On Air With Walter ‘Sweetness’ Payton

Rockettes Reflection

By Michelle Tolson

Throughout their 90-year history, the world-famous Rockettes have shared the stage—and unforgettable adventures—with many other world-famous personalities. They have appeared at such iconic events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl and on TV shows like America’s Got Talent and Night of 100 Stars. The Rockettes are taking a moment to reflect on their favorite stardust memories.


Former Rockette Michelle Tolson and legendary running back for the Chicago Bears, Walter Payton.

In 1998, a few of my Rockettes sisters and I were in Chicago doing a radio promo for the Christmas Spectacular (back in the ’90s, we did C.O.N.Y. shows—that’s Christmas Outside New York).

Although we talked about the show, we interviewed Chicago Bears legendary running back and Pro-Football-Hall-of-Famer Walter Payton while on-air.

As a huge sports fan, I was ecstatic. We only had a short time to chat with him, but he was so kind, generous and such a gentleman. Walter shared how much he respected our jobs and what the Rockettes do—he even asked US to take a photo with him!

Now I know why everyone in the NFL called him “Sweetness.”

Michelle Tolson was a Rockette from 1997 to 2002. She currently resides in New York, NY.