The Radio City Rockettes kicked up some early holiday sparkle at Children’s Hospital. Dressed in matching candy-striped outfits with glittery gold skirts and bangles, they entertained children and parents with shuffle-kicks and personal tales of being a Rockette.
What does it take to become a Rockette?
“Lots of practice. Lots of repetition. We practice six days a week for six hours a day for about month before the show. We work very hard for a short amount of time,” said a dancer.
Another Rockette shared that the perfect line was an illusion. The tallest dancers stood in the middle and then graduated to the shortest dancers on the ends. Each Rockette kicks about 300 times per performance and, with several shows a day, there are between 900 and 1200 kicks before the high-heels come off at night.
With as many as seven costume changes per show for each woman, the 100-member crew backstage has to be just as choreographed and precise.
“How old do you have to be to join?” asked a young girl.
“You have to be at least 18 to audition. Then after that we don’t have a cutoff age. Lots of people will ask us how old the oldest Rockette is and, honestly, we don’t know. We have this saying that once a Rockette always a Rockette.”