NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The holidays in New York City just doesn’t feel right without the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes.

After the pandemic pause canceled last year’s show, this year, they are back.

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The famous high kicks could not be halted.

In a rehearsal room on the Upper West Side was Radio City Rockette LaTarika Pierce, who dreamed of doing this since she was a kid in Orange, New Jersey. It’s her second year as a Rockette.

“I started dancing in my middle school. It ended up as a class on my schedule for some reason, and I was a very shy growing up, so I was like, ‘No way, I don’t want to do this.’ And then we performed and I was like, ‘Oh, I love this. I’m going to continue,'” Pierce told CBS2’s Dave Carlin. “And then my teacher said, ‘Have you ever heard of the Rockettes?’ And I said, ‘No, I’ve actually never heard of the Rockettes.’ I researched them, and then I was like, wow, this looks so amazing. I did a Rockette Experience and I fell in love with the style immediately. It took me about 10 tries to get it, and I’m really grateful ’cause each time I learned something new about myself, about the choreography, and I came back and when I finally got the call, it was, I cried.”

Watch: Radio City Rockette LaTarika Pierce Discusses Returning To The Stage For The 2021 Christmas Spectacular —

To borrow the word spectacular, that part comes later with the big sets and lights, but right now, it’s all sweat and preparation.

“You know, it’s a hard job. We’re here six hours a day, six days a week,” Pierce said.

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Joanna Richardson is in her 15th year with the Rockettes.

“We put in a lot of hard work so we get to perform on stage, so we get to wear the costumes, dance in the lights and we all get to do what we love to do,” she said.

She says during the pandemic pause, the Rockettes scattered, but they did not lose contact.

“One thing the Rockettes did offer was Instagram live classes so we were able to stay connected with each other and then also connect with fans all over the world,” she said.

“They are an amazing group of women that can dance just about anything I throw at them,” said Julie Branam, choreographer and director of the Christmas Spectacular.

“I think everyone this year needs Christmas more than ever before. Last year was a little bit of a downer and it didn’t feel Christmas, and this year, Christmas is back, and I’m so excited,” Pierce said. “Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I’m excited to get on the stage and spread joy to everyone. We have nine numbers, which is more than we’ve ever had before, and we’re bringing back a fan favorite, which has easily become one of my favorites in the show, ‘Snow.’ So I’m very excited to perform in front of everyone.”

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Performances start Nov. 5 at Radio City Music Hall. For more information about tickets, click here.

Dave Carlin