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Time Steppin’ Away With Dick Van Dyke

By Susanne Doris

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.

Photo Credit: Ron Galella | Getty Images

Photo Credit: Ron Galella | Getty Images

During Night of 100 Stars II (1985), we did quite a few numbers throughout the show, however, the last routine was a very intricate tap routine, called “Red Shoes.”

Former Rockette Susanne Doris

Former Rockette Susanne Doris

This number was a tribute to a man who donated tap shoes to performers over the years, so in honor of him, they had me and my Rockette sisters wear red shoeboxes on our heads tied with ribbon—kind of like a makeshift hat.

Some of the celebrities who starred in the show that night—like young Alfonso Ribeiro,  Gwen VerdonCharles ‘Honi’ ColesJuliet ProwseMaurice HinesChita RiveraDonny OsmondDebbie AllenDonald O’ConnorGinger Rogers and of course, none other than Dick Van Dyke—tapped with us.

While we were over in the wings getting ready to take the stage, I just so happened to be standing next to Dick Van Dyke.

That’s when he turned to me and said: “How does that go? Can you show me how that tap finishes out?”

So here I am showing and finishing out a time step for Dick Van Dyke in the wings of Radio City … it was pretty cool!

He spoke to me performer-to-performer; he was so down-to-earth and just such a friendly gentleman.

Susanne Doris was a Rockette from 1971 to 1999. She currently resides in New York, NY.