Secrets of the Rockettes revealed
NEW YORK (AP) — One of the biggest draws in New York this time of year is the “Christmas Spectacular” featuring the iconic Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Everyone knows about their high kicks but do you know how many calories each burns? What do they snack on?
By the numbers
There are 80 Rockettes, split into two teams of 36 dancers and four standbys. The 36 women can fit shoulder-to-shoulder along the 66-foot stage. They perform eight dance numbers per show, up to four shows daily, 200 shows a season.
Rockettes must stand between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10½ and be proficient at tap, jazz and ballet. Candidates must be ready to do 300 eye-high kicks a show. One Rockette used a fitness tracker and discovered she burned 1,000 calories every show.
“When we do four shows a day, that’s a lot of pizza that we get to eat,” said veteran Bailey Callahan of Melbourne, Florida.
How do they look
the same height?
Heels? Optical illusion? “The way we line up is we put the taller girls in the center and gradually go down to the shorter girls on the end,” said Alissa LaVergne of Houston. “There’s a bit of an illusion but it’s actually really simple.” The costumes are made proportionately, helping the illusion.
During high kicks, how tightly do they hold each other?
“We actually don’t touch each other,” said LaVergne. The dancers just lightly brush the women beside them with outstretched arms. They call it “feeling the fabric.”
That ensures they’re in line without pushing or leaning.
Quickest costume change?
Between the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “New York at Christmas,” the Rockettes have just 78 seconds to change outfits.
That means taking off socks, shoes, pants, jackets, gloves, cheeks and hats, and then putting on dresses, shoes, jackets, earrings, gloves and new hats. Wait, what’s that about “cheeks”? The Rockettes wear red cloth cheeks for “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Rag Dolls” for rosy complexions.
What do they eat?
Anything they want.