NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The world famous Rockettes have been part of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall since the very first show in 1933.

Many of us know the numbers they perform by heart, but CBS2’s John Elliott recently went behind the curtain to find out how the magic is made.

READ MORE: Spectacular Shows Spread Holiday Magic In New York

The Rockettes are back and ready to dance their way through the holidays. But there’s a lot more to the Christmas Spectacular than the show you see on the stage. To make sure over 200 pairs of shoes can make over 10,000 kicks in each and every show, there’s a whole different kind of show going on backstage.

During the show they wear nine different costumes, so than means there are eight costume changes. The fastest is 78 seconds and at any given time there can be over 20 Rockettes with helpers in this tiny space.

“We’re just as choregraphed backstage as we are on stage,” 11th-year Rockette Corey Vanwyk said.

“Luckily, with the new girls this year, they did rehearse the change before,” new Rockette Stevie Mack said.

“Hold on. You have to rehearse changing your costumes?” Elliott asked.

“Yes, just like Corey said. The backstage traffic is just as much a part of the show as the onstage portion,” Mack said.

(Photo: MSG Entertainment)

READ MORE: Timothy Cardinal Dolan Blesses Christmas Spectacular's Animals

Everything is color coded because there’s a morning cast and an afternoon cast. The shoes are all hand bejeweled and then painted so they perfectly match the Rockette that wears them. As for the tap shoes, they actually put a microphone in the heels so you can hear them.

There are two different types of kicks, strut kicks and high kicks. When the Rockettes do the high kicks, they all have to be at eye level so it looks like they are kicking it at the same height all the way down the line.

Rockettes are measured by one-quarter of an inch, but to make it look like they’re all the same height, they put the less tall ladies at the end of the line. It’s kind of an optical illusion.

“Your legs have to stay perfectly straight during the dance of the wooden soldiers, right?” Elliott asked.

“Correct, and watch this,” Vanwyk said, as she positioned the pants to stand on their own. “Christmas magic. This helps us stay perfectly straight like a wooden soldier.”

“There’s no little elves holding these pants up?” Elliott said.

When asked how great it is to be back, Vanwyk said, “It’s the best feeling in the world. Everyone is excited to be there. We’re excited to perform. It’s a feeling like no other.”

“It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true,” Mack said of doing her first Christmas Spectacular. “This has been a lifelong goal of mine and to be able to be on stage with 35 amazing women in the line, it’s a dream come true and I’m so lucky to be here.”

MORE NEWS: Hundreds Audition For A Spot On Radio City Rockettes

The Christmas Spectacular runs through Jan. 2.

John Elliott