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A Look Back: Performing During the Super Bowl Halftime Show In 1988


et’s be real: the NFL Super Bowl halftime show is just as popular (if not more!) than the football game itself—but it wasn’t always that way. Prior to the early 1990s, the halftime show was based around a theme, and the mission was to entertain the fans who weren’t stuck in lines for the bathrooms and concession stands with performances by marching bands, drill teams, performance ensembles … and even the Rockettes!

On Jan. 31, 1988 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, CA., twelve hundred performers participated in Radio City Music Hall‘s extravagant spectacle, “Something Grand” during Super Bowl XXII.

Between 44 Rockettes, 400 swing band members, 300 Jazzercisers, 88 tuxedoed pianists on 88 Kimball grand pianos, two college marching bands (San Diego State’s and USC’s) and one legendary Chubby Checker bringing back his massive hit “The Twist,” this was a show-stopping performance.

“This was one of the most exciting performances I have ever done as a Rockette,” says former Rockette Patricia Tully-Osborn. “We spent about a week rehearsing on and off the football field … I still have my pink football helmet with 88 on it—it’s displayed in my dance studio!”