I remember fantasizing about dancing in a line with The Rockettes when I was a little girl. I have been practising my high kicks and swirls in private for as long as I can remember. Of course, The Rockettes are a household name and a New York tradition who are seen by a mere 75 million people since 1933! When I was invited by Lexus USA and The Radio City Rockettes to come dance, I dusted off my tap shoes and nearly busted my back trying out a high kick.
Dancing with the Rockettes
I had the opportunity to join the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall to participate in a dance class before a live Christmas Spectacular performance. I learned some signature moves: marching soldiers and rag doll! These girls are constantly learning choreography and always have to be on their toes! While they looked glamourous and poised during the dance class, we all tried to emulate these easy looking steps which was no easy feat. I stepped on my neighbors toes and even my own as I tumbled my way through the number.
If you are considering joining the troupe, you must be between 5’6 and 5’10 in height and be proficient in tap, jazz and ballet, which means I am out of the running in all categories! The dancers are strategically placed in a line in descending heights. As well as being a tap dancing glamazon, you must have a knack for changing clothes in a snap! They wear 1100 costumes in each show and as a Rockette, you must be able to change in 78 seconds.
The dancers are in 3-4 shows each per day producing up to 650 kicks per day! That’s a lot of kicks! They do their own makeup! They wear a signature red lip, hair pulled back in a French twist and false lashes.
The Rockettes in the Christmas Spectacular Performance
Did you know that you get to wear 3-D glasses to enjoy 3-D animation during the show! This popular tourist draw will have you seeing 3-D, Santas galore, and a moveable ice rink. You even get a simulated tour of downtown New York. You feel like they pull you into the entire number. There is never a dull moment with the cast singing and dancing their way through the aisles, to the left and right of the theatre and on stage. If you’re in New York for the Holiday season, check out the Rockettes show put on by some of the most hardworking ladies in the city! Thank you for the great time and the dance lessons, girls!
Have you seen the Radio City Rockettes?
Images by Jayne Wexler