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Dreams Of Dance Lead Jersey Girl To The Rockettes

Danelle Morgan Now Dazzles Thousands At Radio City
Radio City Rockette Danelle Morgan (center)

Radio City Rockette Danelle Morgan (center) (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – When Danelle Morgan was 3 years old, all she ever dreamed about was, like most girls, becoming a dancer.

“I had so much energy growing up. I was bouncing from wall to wall. My parents were so excited when I said, ‘Hey, can I take dance lessons?’” said Morgan, a native Highland Park, N.J.

After years of lessons, hard work and learning how to flow, fly and defy gravity, Morgan made it onto one of the most spectacular seasonal stages of all as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.

For tourists and locals alike, the Rockettes are often the highlight of the holiday season, but for Morgan, it’s most than that. As CBS 2’s Don Dahler reports, it’s the culmination of years of effort and growing ambition.

“I always admired my dance teacher, who was a Rockette. It wasn’t necessarily something that I thought I could do, you know,” Morgan said. “I was just a dancer and I was like, okay, I’m going to go to college and I’m going to work hard and see where this takes me. And dreaming big, actually, it got me there.”

She’s now one of 36 Rockettes, who, for four months out of the year dazzle hundreds of thousands of people.

Even though this is her second year at Radio City, she hasn’t lost any of the sense of awe.

From the backstage area to the costume room, nothing has gotten old for her.

“We pretty much have everything set up so we can come off the stage and put things on in the order that they need to go on,” she said.

When she isn’t being a Rockette, she performs in modern dance troupes. However, she said nothing can compare to the moments on stage, doing what she loves.

“The best part of being a Rockette is definitely seeing the audience. We’re on that stage and a lot of people don’t know that we can actually see what’s going on in the audience and you can see the little children that are dancing in the aisles and their parents clapping along with the show. So to get the feeling of how much people actually enjoy the show and what this means to families,” she said.

To those children in the audience, her advice is to also dream big and practice.

Morgan said for each performance they kick 300 times, and on weekends they do four shows a day. That’s 1,200 kicks.