NEW YORK — The signature kick line of the world-famous Rockettes is known across the globe, and they’ve been hard at work in rehearsals to bring even more delights to this year’s crowd.
Every move from their eyelashes to their toes meticulously choreographed and repeated with precision among all 80 members of the dance troop.
Corey Whalen, who has danced for nine years, with the world-renowned women explained, “It’s such a payoff at the end of the day. You perform on the great stage for 6,000 people; not only once a night, but sometimes up to four times a night.”
It all starts with rehearsals — Six hours a day, six days a week.
And there is this tiny perk: Christmas cookies are not a problem, and eggnog? Bring it on!
And this is a show with treats galore: From the reindeer number, the nutcracker and parade of the wooden soldiers to New York at Christmas.
These are the staples audiences have loved for more than 90 years, and there’s always something new.
This year the finale number “Christmas lights” choreographed by Karen Keeler, a former 14-year Rockette who is now Director of Creative.
“To be able to choreograph on them is, it’s just truly an honor. You know, I come up with the movement and then I put it on them, and they bring the magic to it!”
Each dancer remembers that magic moment she saw her first Rockette number and knew this was where she wanted to be.
“I first saw the Christmas spectacular when I was three years old; so I was very little. I always knew I wanted to be a Rockette!” recounted Sophie Silnicki.
Jessica Davison said, “It took me three years of auditioning, but I finally made it!”
“My parents took me to see the show for the first time when I was 16,” said Whalen.
And PIX11’s Kirstin Cole’s first time seeing the Rockettes? “I was 12, and today, it was time to live my own little dream.”
Kirstin learned what’s known as the strut kick — Mastering the “bevel foot,” then raising a knee, kick and flair, kick and flair, kick and flair. Eyes at the third mezzanine and we all dissolved in giggles.
“I’m still reliving my magical moment with these incredible athletes!”