When Lassie Joined the Rockettes’ Kickline
By Jeanne Zihl Sawicki
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.
In August 1978, back when Radio City Music Hall premiered movies, the Rockettes had the opportunity to help debut Lassie’s first film in 28 years, “The Magic of Lassie,” on the Great Stage.
As you can imagine, there were quite a few rehearsals. Although one might think there was one Lassie, there were actually quite a few furballs who changed periodically. But all of them were gorgeous collies who were very well-behaved and well-trained.
Whenever we would see Lassie in the elevator, her trainer would let us pet and talk with her, but was quite wary about all of us doing it at one time—he was worried we’d overwhelm her.
Aside from being a really sweet dog who got to kick with us, the most significant thing I remember was when me and my Rockette sisters found out about Lassie’s travel accommodations … and boy, were we jealous.
Lassie traveled to and from Radio City Music Hall in a limo and even had her own suite at the $380-a-day Plaza Hotel. Yes, Lassie had a suite at the Plaza.
Jeanne Zihl Sawicki was a Rockette from 1976 to 1986. She currently resides in Long Island, NY.