Linda Haberman, once a ballerina, trains the Rockettes.
It’s always holiday season for Linda Haberman, director and choreographer of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. This year she is leading her troupe of 36 dancers on a 25-city tour with November and December dates in Fresno, Oakland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and San Jose. For details, go to radiocitychristmas.com.
Q What can we expect on this tour?
A We’ve made the Radio City show even bigger. Our set designer stages concerts for Madonna and the Rolling Stones.
Q The most thrilling part?
A A new number called “New York at Christmas.” Dancers board a giant double-decker bus as it weaves through Manhattan. We put an enormous LED screen behind it so you feel you’re actually on board. It ends in Times Square with a big dance routine and fireworks. It’s pretty amazing.
Q What’s precision dancing?
A For a long time, people thought of it as lines of women tap dancing in formation, but it’s really a whole other art form. Any time you get a large number of people doing the exact same thing at the exact same time, right down to their pinkie fingers, it appeals to us on a very human level.
Q Who gets to be a Rockette?
A Beyond being a great dancer, you have to be tall—between 5'6" and 5'11". You also have to know how to express yourself within the confines of a group. There are plenty of talented dancers who wouldn’t make good Rockettes.
Q Will there ever be a male Rockette?
A Sorry, guys. We’re a female precision dance company.
Photography courtesy Madison Square Garden Entertainment
This article was first published in July 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.