In celebration of Black History Month, Radio City Rockette Alexis shares her journey and what dancing on the Great Stage at Radio City Music Hall means to her.
I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Growing up, I loved dancing around the house and moving whenever I could. My parents enrolled me in dance classes at three-years-old at my local studio. I started taking ballet, tap and jazz, while also participating in activities like soccer, piano lessons, and swimming. As a young girl, I had the opportunity to perform in the local professional ballet company’s production of “The Nutcracker” for two seasons. Being around professional dancers really inspired me to continue to work hard and keep training.
Once I started middle school, I began taking dance classes at school, in addition to classes at my local studio. My new tap teacher, Mr. Heath, led my school’s tap company and actually incorporated elements of the Rockettes precision style into his teaching! That was my first introduction to dancing in a heeled tap shoe like the Rockettes. He showed us a whole new world of dance, taking our class to see the Christmas Spectacular on tour, and even to NYC to see the show at Radio City Music Hall.
I continued to train in more dance styles as I got older, including modern and contemporary. When it was time to apply for college, I knew I wanted to attend a school that had rigorous academic and dance degrees. I graduated from The University of North Carolina with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Health Science, and later earned a Master’s in Environmental Science & Engineering. However, I knew upon graduation that I wanted to move to New York City to pursue a professional dance career.
When I was still in college, I auditioned for the Rockettes for the first time and was cut in the second round. The second time I auditioned, I made it through to the callbacks, but didn’t receive an offer. Although I was disappointed, I knew there were areas that I could improve in my dancing. After graduating from college, I auditioned for my third time, and finally got the call to be a Radio City Rockette! Having the opportunity to be a Rockette and represent this organization to fans from around the world has truly been a dream come true. The best part of this job for me has been getting the chance to meet with young Black dancers who are empowered by seeing themselves represented on the line. I just finished my third season as a Radio City Rockette, and I look forward to continuing to inspire the next generation of dancers!