NEW YORK CITY - It's that time of the year.
The Radio City Rockettes are holding auditions for the 2023 Christmas Spectacular. Hundreds of dancers worldwide traveled to Radio City Music Hall in New York City, armed with a dream and hoping for an opportunity.
To be a Rockette, you need technique, precision, and more importantly – stamina.
Commonly referred to as "athletes dripped in diamonds", Rockettes perform "up to four shows during the Christmas Spectacular, [and] at least 12 shows, but it's somewhere up to 17 shows a week," assistant choreographer and dance captain, Danelle Morgan, said.
The audition is a grueling 3-day process for even the most advanced dancers, where timing and technique can take you from a number to a name. After two failed auditions, Morgan nailed the third one. She’s been a Rockette for 18 years.
Before those eye-high kicks get off the ground, dancers receive a number and have their height taken to ensure they meet the height requirement of 5'5 to 5'10 and a half. After that, dancers warm up and learn a routine in 30 minutes before showcasing their moves to the judges.
"We'll get to see pads and arms," Morgan said. "We'll see your eye-high kicks. We'll maybe see a pirouette or two. We'll get to see your strength as a dancer and your personality."
Julie Branam, director of choreography, started as a swing dancer. She has been with the Rockettes for nearly four decades.
"I look for is somebody who is smart and listens, a strong and a confident dancer, well-trained and has a great foundation," Branam, who also oversees the dance conservatory, a dancer development program, said.
Callbacks are April 21 and 22.
There is no word on how many dancers will be chosen or how many will receive an invitation back for an all-expense paid week-long experience in the dance conservatory, where dancers will experience a day in the life of a Radio City Rockette.