For Rockette Megan Levinson, being a Rockette in the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” brings her full circle, having played the role of Clara when she was a preteen in 2001.
She’s now getting her kicks as one of the synchronized dancers in the seminal show that dates back to 1933 and is at one of the most prestigious stages in the world.
amNY spoke with Levinson about being a Rockette.
What does being a Rockette mean to you?
Well, it’s such a thrill and it’s an honor to be a Rockette, and performing in a Radio City musical is absolutely amazing. The show is a show for everyone, it’s a holiday tradition for families to come and see and it’s so special to be part of such a legacy and such an icon.
How do you prepare?
We rehearse first for about six weeks before we open and it’s six hours a day, six days a week, so it’s a very intense rehearsal process, but it’s how we get that precision dance technique so perfect. And that’s what we’re famous for! It takes a lot of practice, it’s a lot of team work and it’s an amazing process and the end result is absolutely stunning.
How did you get started?
So I started training primarily in ballet, and then I saw the Rockettes when I did Clara in 2001. And I was like, I really need to start taking tap and jazz and I need to be so versatile in so many styles. I really started taking tap and jazz in New York City and that’s where I got a lot of my training and got prepared to audition for the Rockettes.
Did you always dream of being a Rockette?
It was definitely a dream for me. I was very short when I was younger. To be Clara, you have to be so tiny. I actually turned 12 during the rehearsal process and I made a wish that I would grow tall enough because that was the one aspect that I felt like could maybe hold me back. You have to be between 5’6″ and 5’10½” [to be a Rockette] so I knew that if I grew tall enough, I kept working hard and I kept dreaming, that it definitely could become a reality.
How many kicks do you do in an average week?
So we do about 300 kicks a show, and so it’s a lot of kicks. And if we’re doing multiple shows, you do the math, it’s in the thousands.
If you go: The “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” runs through Jan. 3 at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., 866-858-0007, $46-$506
The Dolan family owns controlling interests in Radio City Music Hall and Cablevision. Cablevision owns amNewYork.