Over the course of several months in 2022, the USA Today network received an inside look at the inner workings of casting the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. Reporter Peter D. Kramer was onsite for everything from the Rockettes open call auditions in April, to the two week-long Rockettes Conservatory sessions to the final auditions in August and the opening of the 2022 production.
Throughout this process, he was able to observe our dance company’s commitment to diversity as we work to create a more inclusive kickline. For so many, the Christmas Spectacular is an integral part of the holiday season. And part of what makes that experience so magical is creating an environment where all audience members see themselves reflected on stage.
“This is a process. This is a long-term commitment. This is not us checking the box or just doing something for the sake of doing it,” said Jessica Tuttle, Senior Vice President of Productions at MSG Entertainment, the parent company of the Radio City Rockettes. “The goal is that every dancer in the country and around the world sees themselves represented on the stage at Radio City Music Hall. It is being intentional and deliberate in taking the steps to get there.”
From expanding the height requirement to 5’5” to 5’510.5”, fostering existing partnership & forging new relationships with diverse partners, and providing cost free opportunities for aspiring Rockettes, we remain devoted to its efforts of creating an equitable space for all dancers.
Lakey Evans-Peña, a teacher at our partner The Ailey School said, “The Rockettes and their Christmas Spectacular are representative of so much, in part of the dance ﬁeld and the community, so audiences coming from all over to be able to see themselves on stage matters. Representation matters, the balance of it matters.”
Julie Branam, director and choreographer of the Christmas Spectacular emphasized that the Rockettes extraordinary outreach efforts are sowing seeds for the future: “It’s always a bigger variance that I wish it were, but I’m hoping that we are going to open up the world to have more.”
USA Today subscribers can read the full story here. And visit our Dancer Development page to learn more about Rockettes programming and our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.