The Radio City Rockettes are a holiday season mainstay, with their Christmas Spectacular taking place each year in New York City. One of the dances, the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, has captivated audiences since it became part of the show in 1933. The iconic costume (complete with 3-foot-tall hats!) has remained nearly unchanged.
The Rockettes gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at one special element of their production, the wooden soldier fall. The 36 Rockettes line up to do the memorable stunt. They begin practicing the move six dancers at a time, before moving up to the full line of 36. They line up in height order, with the tallest in the middle and the shortest on the ends. The Rockettes call it the "ultimate display of teamwork."
Choreographer Julie Branam explains the process: "It starts by having someone rock up on their heels and start to go back. You raise your hands up, slide your hands through, and open your arms. Their feet have to be completely lined up because you don’t want the fall to go one way or another because someone could get hurt." It gets even more complicated when the women are in uniform. Julie continues, "We have these big hats on that you have to keep straight. You have to trust that your nose is going to get flattened a little bit but it’ll all be fine once it’s over. It is a complete team effort."
The Rockettes shared a look at the rehearsal process with their fans on Instagram. They captioned the post, "The ultimate trust fall 💂🙌." Fans responded with comments like, "It’s always AMAZING, breathtaking ❤️❤️❤️" and "Yesss! One of our favorite parts of the show! 😍 the anticipation gets us every time!"
If you can't make it to New York this holiday season to see the Rockettes, tune in to "Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes At Home Holiday Special" on December 2 at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST on NBC.
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