Get the lowdown on America's favorite high steppers.
The holidays are here! And that means it's time for the world’s most famous kick line: The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes.
For nearly a century, since choreographer Russell Markert founded this iconic dance troupe in 1925, the Rockettes have been kicking and dazzling more than 69 million people from around the world. (They debuted at Radio City in 1933.) In fact, these artistic athletes are known to do 160 high kicks per show.
This year the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by QVC debuted Nov. 18 at Radio City Music Hall and plays through Jan. 2, 2023. The 84 Rockettes are not only fierce dancers, they are multitasking marvels who sometimes have non-performing professions outside the holiday season. In fact, the company has consisted of accountants, nurses and college students.
The Rockettes even has a set of identical twins on the kick line. “Being a Rockette with my twin sister Sarah is a gift that we don’t take for granted. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and for the ability to share this sisterhood with my twin sister,” says Katie Daniel of their fourth season performing with the Rockettes. “I love seeing how we both grow and learn every year. We moved to New York City at 18 years old to pursue this lifelong dream we shared, and I love being able to say we did it…together.”
The 2022 Christmas Spectacular also debuts the “Dance of the Frost Fairies” which transforms Radio City into a winter wonderland. The new number features the Rockettes as winged fairies along with fairy-drones that fly above the audience.
Plus, there are the classic pieces that audiences come back for year after year. “We hold true to the timeless traditions audience members love and adore, like Parade of the Wooden Soldiers which has been in the show since 1933,” says Daniel. “There is no place in the world like Radio City during the holidays, and there is no show in the world like The Christmas Spectacular.”
Who Are the Radio City Rockettes?
The Radio City Rockettes are made up of 84 strong, unique and talented women. Many of them pursue other occupations outside of the Christmas season. There have been Rockettes who are college students, mothers, teachers, nurses, trainers, accountants and more!
This year, there are 18 brand-new Rockettes, 17 of whom participated in Rockettes Conservatory. The dance company’s invite-only, no-cost training program offers intensive study in the Rockettes precision style. The 18 women come from two countries (US and Australia) and 11 different states.
When do the Radio City Rockettes perform in the Thanksgiving Day Parade?
In addition to performing in the Christmas Spectacular, each year the Rockettes appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. However, the exact time that they will be performing has not been released just yet. You can also see the Rockettes perform at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting.
How long is the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes?
The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes is 90 minutes with no intermission.
How many Radio City Rockettes are there?
There are 84 Rockettes in total with two casts of 42 Rockettes. However, 36 are on stage at one time. Each cast has six “swings” who can fill in the spots for the women on the line.
How tall are the Radio City Rockettes?
The height of a Radio City Rockette ranges from 5’5” to 5’ 10.5”. In fact, they recently expanded the height requirement to open the opportunity to more dancers.
Where do the Radio City Rockettes perform?
The Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
How long do the Radio City Rockettes have to learn the show and what is the rehearsal like?
The Radio City Rockettes rehearse for six hours a day, six days a week for six weeks before the show opens. They have about a month of learning the choreography, and then two weeks at the theater to rehearse with technical elements. “Rehearsals are an all-consuming process that requires a lot of grit, focus and attention,” says Rockette Katie Daniel. “We practice all day together, and then we go home and practice on our own, and then wake up and practice more. It is non-stop Christmas!”
What do Radio City Rockettes do the rest of the year?
Many Radio City Rockettes have all kinds of pursuits outside of the Christmas season. There have been Rockettes who are college students, mothers, teachers, nurses, trainers, accountants and more.
How much are tickets for the Radio City Rockettes?
Tickets for the 2022 production of The Christmas Spectacular start at $49 and can be purchased online at www.rockettes.com or at the Ticketmaster Box Office at Radio City Music Hall (1260 6th Avenue). Service charges apply to internet orders. Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 888-609-7599. Visit www.rockettes.com for more information.