NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Radio City Rockettes are back, spreading holiday cheer one high-kick at a time in the Christmas Spectacular. But while the dancers make it all look easy, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.
CBS2’s Alex Denis got a chance to go behind the scenes to see what it takes to pull it all off.
Along West 51st Street and inside an unassuming door, you’ll find the secret world of the Rockettes. It’s the lesser known choreography back stage that keeps the entire show on track.
Changing rooms house racks of costumes, hats and shoes where each dancer has a spot.
“We actually change from the parade of the wooden soldiers into our New York at Christmas costume in 78 seconds,” said Rockette Danielle Betscher.
These ladies are required to be proficient in ballet, tap and jazz.
“To become a Radio City Rockette, you do have to be at least 18 years old and height 5’6″ to 5’10 1/2,” said Betscher.
Gracing the stage since 1933, this year, audiences can expect the Christmas Spectacular to have updated choreography, but one number, the parade of the wooden soldier, remains untouched.
Known for their high-kicks, a lesser known fact is the ladies do it all without touching.
“We never put any pressure, we don’t want the line to move back and forth,” said Rockette Ashley Kasunich. “Every woman has to do all of her kicks holding herself up.”
It’s much harder than it looks., but they make it look effortless.
The Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes runs through Jan. 1.