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"12 Days of Christmas" featuring the Rockettes

By Jillian Groening

 

I triple-dog dare you to not be impressed by the Rockettes. From their astounding unison to their famous eye-high kicks (300 a show to be exact) and formations that would put the marines to shame, these world-famous women power through eight solid weeks of performing four shows a day all while beaming brightly. It’s no wonder they’re an American institution.

Founded in 1925 in St. Louis Missouri, the Rockettes now perform in New York’s Radio City Music Hall’s annual <i>Christmas Spectacular</i>. Featuring old classics, such as 1933’s “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”, alongside new gems decked out with 3-D live projection technology, the precision dance troupe has been able to stay entertaining without becoming dated.

This year’s <i>Christmas Spectacular</i> takes place from November 13 through January 3 and features four Canadian dancers: Regina-based Karen Ritchie and a crew of three sisters from the rural community of Lacombe, Alberta: Kristin, Lisa and Alison Jantzie.

If you have dreams of being in the kick-line one day, then get practising. Approximately 1500 dancers audition every year for ten to fifteen highly coveted positions. Performers in the eighty-dancer company must be proficient in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and musical theatre and must be able to maintain elegance even when performing next to camels, sheep and donkeys, which are used in the production’s live nativity scene. Nothing screams holiday classic like Swarovski crystal–encrusted bodysuits, camels and a kick line.

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