How Rockettes Prepare for the Christmas SpectacularT
is the season! Now that the Christmas Spectacular is in full swing, we’re giving you a sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes as we prepare for the holiday show.
Rehearsing six hours a day, six days a week for nearly six weeks before opening night (four weeks in our rehearsal space and then two weeks at Radio City Music Hall for tech rehearsals!), it takes a lot of hard work, determination and focus to prepare for the busy season ahead.
“I always make sure to eat a really good breakfast every morning,” says Rockette Tiffany G. about her daily ritual during the season. “I get here about an hour early, do a really good warm-up and then go through notes and choreography that we learned the previous day so I’m ready for the current day.”
After every rehearsal, and even during rehearsals and runs, we have personal and group note sessions where our dance captains give us feedback and corrections—just the slightest little thing can throw off our lines, whether it’s a head tilt or wrong foot.
So, how do we make our iconic precision look so effortless? All of our choreography goes along with different lines and numbers on the stage. “We use a grid-like system. There are certain numbers across the front of the stage and different depths upstage and downstage—it’s sort of like battleship,” says Rockette Rachel B. “This is a part of the rehearsal process and is just as important as the choreography we’re doing.”
After spending four weeks in rehearsals perfecting each number (it takes two to three days to stage each number!), we finally move to Radio City Music Hall where we add the final elements and finishing touches onstage.
“It’s always cool when we first move into Radio City Music Hall to stand outside and take in the marquee, the decorations, the lights, the traffic … and all the energy that’s around the theatre,” says Rockette Sagan R. “It gets you in the holiday spirit and makes you feel like home.”
And a magical home it is!
Want more Rockettes? Join us this holiday season at Radio City Music Hall—November 9 through January 1!