Filling New Yorkers with holiday cheer is one seriously big responsibility. For the Rockettes, the stars of Radio City Music Hall's annual “Christmas Spectacular,” it’s just another day on the job.
We caught up with Taylor Shimko, who has been a Rockette for seven years, to see just how she and her 79 other team members spend their work day. With two teams of dancers splitting 32 shows per week between November and January, being one of the show's stars definitely isn’t your average 40-hour-per-week gig, but she doesn’t mind.
“The Rockettes are such an iconic legacy of New York City,” she said. “It’s such an amazing thing to be able to dance alongside my best friends ... to be here and to love what I do.”
We shadowed Shimko and found out there really is no such thing as an average day for a Rockette. For Shimko, the job runs Monday through Saturday and her days can run as long as 11-and-a-half hours, depending on how many shows she’s scheduled for.
“There’s really no consistency in all of our schedules,” she said.
It sounds rough -- and it is -- but when you’re living out your childhood dream, the days seem less like work and more like spending time with friends and family, she said.
“Being a part of such an amazing legacy is something that little girls dream about being when they grow up, so it’s so awesome to be standing in these shoes now when I once looked up to the Rockettes as a young girl,” she added.
Here’s a look at what a day on the clock could look like for one of NYC's iconic Christmas dancers.
Arrive at work — aka Radio City Music Hall
Give a tour or participate in a photo-op
Head to the athletic training room
Master the twisted hair
Freshen up and add that Rockette red lip
Take to the stage for the big show
Quick costume changes backstage
Grab food and wind down