Mara was born in Chicago in 1911. After beginning her performance career in Chicago, Mara traveled to Paris in 1927. After living in New York in the 1960s, Mara moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where she helped found the USA International Ballet Competition. She authored eleven books on ballet, as well as founded the Thalia Mara Arts International Foundation.
- Mara, Thalia (1987). The Language of Ballet: A Dictionary. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Book Company. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
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