The Radio City Rockettes are excited to announce a new partnership with Boston Conservatory at Berklee where the dance company will offer its first ever college-level Rockettes Precision Dance Technique course. This is the first class of its kind in both Rockettes and Boston Conservatory history.
Students at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music will have the unique opportunity to receive precision training from the Rockettes as part of the course, which will run throughout Boston Conservatory’s spring 2023 semester.
Jessica Tuttle, Senior Vice President, Productions for Madison Square Garden Entertainment, the parent company of the Radio City Rockettes said: “This marks a major step in the evolution of the Rockettes brand and our dancer development programming, and comes on the heels of our extremely successful first in-person Rockettes Conservatory this past summer. As leaders in the commercial dance industry, the Rockettes are committed to eliminating barriers to entry and providing quality dance education to all aspiring dancers. Boston Conservatory and the Radio City Rockettes are united in their pursuit of excellence in dance, and in their mission of creating equitable and inclusive spaces in both pre-professional and professional dance organizations.”
The Rockettes Precision Dance Technique course will be taught by a current Radio City Rockette and will focus on the Rockettes signature precision technique, which is based on a foundation of tap, ballet, and jazz. The course will incorporate strength training and choreography that informs the traditional Rockettes repertoire. Students will have the opportunity to explore how precision technique can inform other styles of dance and potentially new works.
Mila Thigpen, Boston Conservatory at Berklee Chair of Dance, said: “Both of our organizations are thinking deeply and critically about how to honor the best parts of our traditions while simultaneously evolving and innovating with a consciousness towards excellence and inclusion.”
“This partnership is an exciting expansion of our dancer development and educational programming into the collegiate sphere,” said Julie Branam, director and choreographer of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio CIty Rockettes. “Students will not only study our unique combination of choreography and precision, but also how to put a Rockettes number together by breaking it down, notating it, and charting it.”
The partnership with Boston Conservatory at Berklee is the latest initiative as part of the Rockettes dancer development programming. Announced in early 2020, Rockettes Conservatory, an invite-only, week-long intensive training program offered at no cost to invited dancers and designed as an investment in promising dancers’ futures, was held virtually in 2020 and 2021. This past summer, for the first time ever, Rockettes Conservatory was held in-person at Radio City Music Hall. Rockettes Conservatory participants receive instruction in Rockettes repertoire and in various dance styles from renowned choreographers and acclaimed New York City dance organizations, including Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Chloe & Maud Foundation. Of the 84 Rockettes that performed in the 2022 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, 18 were brand-new and 17 of those dancers came through the 2022 Rockettes Conservatory program.
As both the Radio City Rockettes and Boston Conservatory are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to making dance more accessible and bringing quality education to all communities, this course is open to dancers from all backgrounds and gender identities.