It's not easy being a Rockette: Since they debuted back in the 1930s as the "Roxyettes," the leggy dancers have been holiday icons. They put on perhaps the most famous Christmas show in the country.
First, you must meet the height requirement: All Rockettes must be between 5-foot-6 inches and 5-foot-10½ inches tall. That's not including the high heels.
To create the illusion that they're exactly the same height, the tallest women dance in the middle of the line, and the shorter women stay on the ends. They also wear different length skirts to perpetuate the illusion.
A Rigorous Job
On top of that, every Rockette must dance and kick and smile in perfect formation.
At least "GMA" anchor Kate Snow met the height requirements -- but that's where her Rockette qualities ended. Snow stumbled through the kick-line and struggled with the signature Rockette "bevel" stance.
For a day, she got a taste of Rockette life -- and she is one of the lucky few. This season, 1,000 women tried out for the Radio City Music Hall "Christmas Spectacular," and only 11 made the cut.
Snow learned how to kick, "ball change" and snap her head from left to right.
"It takes me half the day to learn a 30-second routine," she said.
A Rockette has to be as quick as she is athletic. In one show, she will change costumes eight times with as little as 78 seconds to change. At Christmas time, a Rockette can do up to six shows in a day.
The Rockettes showed Snow the tricks of the trade. Rockettes focus on the exit signs while dancing, and they sneak peeks at excited kids as they make their way to their seats. Seeing the kids helps the dancers maintain their enthusiasm. They drink green tea and Gatorade, and eat a lot of protein like chicken, eggs and milkshakes.
Some have to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day -- but their families are allowed to come to the show on those days.
Many of the Rockettes are young mothers, Snow said.
During the rest of the year, the Rockettes -- who range in age from 18 to 41, work in a variety of professions -- perhaps as teachers, yoga instructors or dancers on Broadway. Many were cast in the movie "The Producers."