The road to becoming a Radio City Rockette just got smoother.

While the Rockettes Summer Intensive has long been considered the best way for aspirants to get their foot in the door, the famed precision dance troupe has announced a new dancer development program that will formalize the student-to-Rockette pipeline.


The Rockettes Summer Intensive and the Rockettes Mini Intensive will be replaced by two new summer programs, held at Radio City Music Hall: a three-week Rockettes Conservatory for 20 invited dancers and a one-week Rockettes Preparatory, which will offer three sessions. The end of the Rockettes Conservatory will lead directly into the annual August auditions for the Christmas Spectacular, though dancers from both programs will be encouraged to try out for a spot on the line.

Selected dancers will be able to participate in these programs at no cost, with transportation to and from New York City, housing and meals provided.

The Rockettes are also widening its net by holding auditions in Los Angeles and Chicago, in addition to New York City, in April; dancers at these auditions will be considered both for spots on the line and in the dancer development program. (Previously, summer program auditions were held separately.) In addition, the Rockettes team will be scouting at university dance programs nationwide. Dancers who participated in the troupe's previous summer programs between 2017 to 2019 and still fall within age requirements will automatically be considered for the first iteration of the dancer development program this summer.

"We are committed to finding the best dancers in the country," said Jennifer Vogt, president of creative content and productions for The Madison Square Garden Company (the Rockettes' parent company), in a press release. "By offering this program at no cost, and by expanding the ways in which we seek talent, we are breaking down significant barriers to entry and ensuring that the country's best female-identifying dancers of all backgrounds see an opportunity for themselves within the iconic dance company."

After widening its applicant pool with auditions in Chicago and Atlanta, last season's Christmas Spectacular featured an unprecedented 13 new Rockettes and one of the most diverse lines in the organization's 95-year history. The continued use of the term "female-identifying dancers" and these new efforts to remove financial and geographical barriers to entry for auditioning dancers means we could be seeing the troupe evolve even more in the coming years.

Ready to give it a go? Information on the April auditions can be found here. In the meantime, check out creative director Karen Keeler's advice on how to catch the creative team's eye.

Latest Posts


All photos by Joe Toreno. Grooming throughout by Lisa Chamberlain for The Rex Agency.

How Mark Kanemura—Artist, Activist, and All-Around Icon—Became Our Internet Dance Mascot

Twelve years ago, a baby-faced Mark Kanemura appeared on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 4. The Hawaiian-born dancer—whose winningly quirky style found a perfect vehicle in Sonya Tayeh's creepy-cool "The Garden" routine—quickly became a fan favorite. Kanemura made it to the Top 6 (Joshua Allen took the title that season), and a star was born.

But the world didn't know how bright that star was going to shine.

Fresh off "SYTYCD," Kanemura started booking jobs with Lady Gaga: first the MTV Video Music Awards, then the Jingle Bell Ball. Soon, he was a staple on Gaga's stages and in her videos, and he began to develop a dedicated fan base of his own.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Taylor Goldberg, Jordan Goldberg, and JT Church attending REVEL's virtual convention (courtesy Leslie Church)

What It's Like to Attend a Virtual Dance Convention

During this new era of social distancing, the dance world has gotten pretty creative. Tons of teachers, studios, competitions, and conventions have stepped up to the plate to help fill our living rooms with virtual dance content. But what's it really like to attend a dance convention online?

Dance Spirit followed JT Church, "Dancing With The Stars: Juniors" pro and "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" runner-up, as he spent the weekend attending REVEL's "Rev-Virtual" online convention experience.

Hey guys! I have been a special guest faculty assistant for REVEL Dance Convention for the last four years. So I was excited to find out they'd be hosting a series of online convention weekends. With everything that's going on, I've been missing conventions so much. I knew it'd be great to be able to keep up my training.

Two of my best friends, Jordan and Taylor Goldberg—I dance with them at Club Dance—asked me to come over to their home studio so we could take REVEL's online classes together. Here's how it all went.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

It’s OK to Grieve: Coping with the Emotional Toll of Canceled Dance Events

Grace Campbell was supposed to be onstage this week. Selected for the Kansas City Ballet School's invitation-only Kansas City Youth Ballet, her performance was meant to be the highlight of her senior year. "I was going to be Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, and also dance in a couple of contemporary pieces, so I was really excited," she says. A week later, the group was supposed to perform at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC. In May, Grace was scheduled to take the stage again KC Ballet School's "senior solos" show and spring performance.

Now, all those opportunities are gone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed the dance community. The performance opportunities students have worked all year for have been devoured with it. Those canceled shows might have been your only chance to dance for an audience all year. Or they might have been the dance equivalent to a cap and gown—a time to be acknowledged after years of work.

You can't replace what is lost, and with that comes understandable grief. Here's how to process your feelings of loss, and ultimately use them to help yourself move forward as a dancer.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
contest
Enter the Cover Model Search