Growing up, I dreamed of one day visiting Radio City Music Hall. Not only is it home to the fabulous, high-kicking Rockettes, but it's also a venue for concerts, movie premieres and more. (My 8-year-old self knew it as the giant movie theater Daddy Warbucks and Annie visit in one of my favorite childhood movies—Annie!) Little did I know that one day I would move to NYC, see the Christmas Spectacular every holiday season—and, as of last week, even get to know the theater's innermost nooks and crannies.
I arrived at the stage door one Saturday afternoon and was greeted by possibly the most friendly (and knowledgeable!) tour guide in NYC. Joyce has been giving tours at Radio City for over 10 years and it shows. She led me through the grand foyer down to the grand lounge, and then up to the highest balcony—all while telling me the story of the historic theater, which opened in 1932. She knew every detail about the hall, from the artists who created its numerous sculptures and paintings to the number of seats (5,931) and organ pipes (4,000) in the theater. And it was far from a boring history lesson. I was entertained and fascinated the entire time.
While we didn't get to actually step onto the stage, we were able to visit many other parts of theater you wouldn't normally see, like the famous Roxy Suite. We even got to peek inside the costume shop and meet a real-life Rockette!
The next time you're in NYC and you've got an hour or so to spare, go on the tour. You'll learn more than you could possibly imagine about this beautiful and iconic NYC landmark.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?