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Monday, September 08, 2014

Dreams do come true -- Rockettes Will Perform in Omaha

Do you have a bucket list? I do...and I've been able to check one item off of my list. Meet the Rockettes. I'm truly blessed to have been a part of a meet and greet with two Rockettes this week. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes will be at Omaha's Orpheum Theater from November 13-30. Tickets are on sale now at and if you want to go, I'd suggest you get your tickets soon. My prediction is that it will be a sold-out show. 

Rachel (L) and Karilyn (R)
I got to meet two of the Rockettes. Rachel Borgman, a Rockette for 10 years. She is a Nebraska native from Norfolk. I also met Karilyn Surratt who grew up in St. Louis but is from Oklahoma. She has also been a Rockette for 10 years. The requirements to be a Rockette are:
1. You must be a minimum of 18 years of age
2. You must be between 5' 6" and 5' 10.5" in bare feet. 

The Rockettes hold auditions twice each year in a couple cities around the country. It is expected that 500+ women will show up to audition in each city. You learn routines for about 6 hours and if you are called back to the second day, you'd better remember what you learned and look better than the day before because each day you should be better than you were before. If you make it through the entire audition, they take all of your measurements and then you wait to find out if you made the final cut. If you are asked to become a Rockette, your training will be dancing for 6 hours a day, 6 days a week for about 6 weeks. These women are truly top-notch athletes to be able to keep up that pace. Once they hit performances, the girls can dance up to four shows a day, six days a week. And, if you don't see a Rockette on stage dancing, it's only because she's changing costume. All dancers are on deck during the entire show. 
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (dates back to 1933)

The Rockettes have been doing their eye-high kicks for over 85 years. Two of the dances in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular are from the original show in 1933. "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and "The Living Nativity" are the two numbers still performed at every performance of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. And do you go looking for the world-famous precision high kicks? You won't be disappointed. There are 300 eye-high kicks per show. If it's a four show day, that's 1,200 kicks in a day.

Rachel & Karilyn's favorite outfit -
over 3,000 crystals sewn into each one.
It is featured in the finale, Shine.
I learned so many fun facts that I could geek out and share with you all day. I'd love to spend another 12 hours talking to and learning from these wonderful women. I will let you know that on the high kicks, they do NOT touch each other. Keep in mind they have been dancing for up to 11 minutes before the high kicks take place. They can't touch because they could pull their neighbor out of sync or weight her down and they are pretty sweaty by then. The dancers all wear a signature French Twist hairstyle. And, at the end of each day, they all take an ice bath to pull the lactic acid from their muscles so they can dance again the next day. 

I have a degree in theatre. I've worked with countless famous (and infamous) performers, musicians and shows. I will tell you I'm fairly jaded and rarely get 'star struck' by anyone. They are all just people. They put on their pants one leg at a time. And yet, I can admit that the Rockettes still leave me star-struck. They truly have such a high quality of precision and excellence that is unparalleled in most of the theatrical world. So this night was one I want to hold close to my heart and cherish forever. I got to meet two Rockettes. It's a lifelong dream of mine that has come true. 

So I hope you'll join me in welcoming the Rockettes to Omaha by attending one of their shows. I've seen this before and I'll be seeing it again. I promise you won't be sorry you bought the tickets. Head over to Ticket Omaha and get your tickets now. 

Bucket List Item Achieved
Let me leave you with my favorite quote from the meet and greet. When asked how the Rockettes can keep the same show year after year and still stay popular, Karilyn said, "Class and grace are always on point--that's the epitome of the Rockettes." She's right. Precision, class, grace, style and elegance will never get old. Make a memory for yourself and be sure to see The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes. 

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