Hundreds of dancers travel to New York City each year for the chance to perform with the Rockettes over the holiday season at Radio City Music Hall. Making it as one of the city’s recognizable dancers is a difficult task because there are only 80 spots in total, and even fewer are available for newbies every year.
Many people who have successfully passed the yearly audition procedure and get to ring in the new year by visitors and New Yorkers are still conscious of how uncommon their position is. 25-years old Audrey Telemann of Park Slope has said that she’s been on the team for almost 8 years and she’s still “so grateful”.
The Rockettes frequently train for years at nearby dancing studios in preparation for their big moment. After watching the show for the first time as children, many people have fantasized about working at Radio City. Even though your desire to join the dancers is only a new aspiration, there is still a chance that you may achieve your goal.
Here we’ve included some of the information you’ll need to be aware of in order to crack a role as one of Radio City’s leading women, from the exact height requirements to the auditioning process insider tips. Remember that everyone has a different view of the stage. 38-year-old Heather Langham attended 10 auditions over the course of 6-years before being accepted as a Rockette in 2009. Whereas, before being given the honor of leading the dance squad, Telemann only had one audition.
Mandatory Requirements To Become A Rockette:
- You need to be proficient in jazz, ballet, and tap. Although understanding more techniques is always beneficial, it is not necessary for dancers to be proficient in pointe. From the “12 Days of Christmas” to the “Parade of the Wooden Soldier,” the Rockettes use jazz, ballet, and particularly tap throughout their performance.
- You must be or above 18 years old. In case your 18th birthday falls after September 15 during the casting year, you may still audition as long as a parent or legal guardian signs a consent form. Although there isn’t a set maximum age for Rockettes, they usually strive to perform for at least 10 years before hanging up their tap shoes. Retired Rockettes frequently continue to work for the organization, either as dressers backstage or instructing dance classes at the Radio City Summer Intensive workshops.
- Your height must be between 5’6 and 5’10 ½ inches tall. Although the dance team’s severe height criteria are well-known, they are in place for a purpose. To give the impression that they are all the same height, the dancers are lined up in diminishing height order as they perform their famous high kicks and other routines. You will also be measured in “stocking feet” at the audition, which means that you must be able to fit within the range without your tap heels on.
Application Process To Become A Rockette:
- Radio City hosts two-day auditions every spring. Due to the public nature of the auditions, lines frequently form outside the location, and dancers are viewed in the order of their arrival. The Large Rehearsal Hall is where auditions are held.
- In groups, you’ll execute Rockette combo routines. As they practice dance routines that eventually get harder, the dancers are divided into five groups. There are several routines, which include ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and kicks.
- After each routine, cuts are made. Directors and choreographers of the “Christmas Spectacular” watch as the dancers give it their all. According to a Rockettes blog post, they “look for dancers who are in superb physical shape and have the stamina to perform in up to five 90-minute shows in one day.”
Langham further said, “They’ll teach you the fundamental kick-and-turn maneuver before cutting you in the opening round. Those that succeed will then learn jazz before moving on to another cut. If you make it that far, you’ll return for the callback round, after which they’ll teach you more about the jazz combo and a tap combo.”
- You won’t be informed of the reason you failed. The crew can’t provide individualized input to every applicant because there are hundreds of dancers to observe in just 2-days. You won’t be informed of the reason if you are not requested to return for the second day or if you are not contacted after round two. According to Langham, there is no response shared during the audition process and you have to learn on your own. You should reconsider your assumptions in light of the feedback and put more effort into honing your style.
- You will need to re-appear every year even if you are a Rockette. No Rockettes squad spot is guaranteed. If you succeed, you will receive a contract that, though it varies each Rockette, runs from late September or early October through early January. Rockettes are asked to return for the upcoming season when their contract expires by being asked to open auditions.
Tips From The Rockettes:
- Participate in the summer program. Before taking their auditions, a number of the dancers who are now known as the Rockettes participated in the summer workshop. You will learn practical routines that you may use when performing at the workshop ($1,099), which is guided by former Rockettes. Additionally, you’ll be able to benefit from feedback. The program runs from June through August, and more information is available on its official website.
- Get your body ready for the physical rigors with this Rockettes advice. Rockettes must be in excellent physical condition because they can kick up to 300 times per show and perform up to five shows per day. Langham has said that “I began lifting a lot of weights. I was doing a lot of strength training and high-intensity interval training to improve my endurance, which isn’t bodybuilding.”
- Don’t let failure bring you down. Telemann has said that many of the girls I worked with at the summer program I’ve taught them that it’s really just a lot about passion and tenacity behind your dedication. He further said that don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goals and maintaining your pursuit of them. He frequently advised people who went for auditions to go back and smile while being confident.