The star-studded walk on the well known Washington D.C., red carpet reflects the destiny of accomplished careers, and in the case of Patricia McBride, heart and soul of the Charlotte Ballet, a Kennedy Center Honor was a defining moment.
"I followed my dreams. My dreams came true and I had an extraordinary life," she said.
Being celebrated at the Kennedy Center first means a trip to the White House. That's where the president expressed his appreciation for the talents of those who are recognized.
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Honorees in the 2014 group that include Sting, Al Green, Tom Hanks and Lily Tomlin, offer a sincere sense of respect for their colleagues.
"They're a fantastic group," Sting said. "A very stellar group."
Tom Hanks had praise for the famous dancer from Charlotte. "You met Patricia McBride who's got this sweet set of legs on her. Not bad," Hanks said.
A tip of the hat came to the dancer when a series of dance performances acknowledged her contribution to the art form.
Pride is not only embraced by the celebrated ballerina, but praise is also delivered by the former mayor of the town she now calls home.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was on hand for the event. He said "Patricia McBride is such a star in her on right, and she's getting her just desserts tonight."
In her early years the woman known as Patti McBride would pay 75 cents a session for dance lessons, but with a celebrated event like the Kennedy Center Honors, the return on investment is priceless.
"I'm still euphoric," McBride said. " It's just amazing."
The Kennedy Center honors air on WBTV and CBS on December 30.