Female dance troupe whose signature move is the leg kick -- the girls (they call themselves that) link arms, everyone facing the front of the stage, and they high-kick in unison.

The Rockettes, originally named the Missouri Rockettes, were started in 1925 by Russell Markert as a taller, leggier answer to the Ziegfeld Follies girls of the time. The 16-girl troupe performed at Radio City Music Hall’s opening night in New York City, Dec. 27, 1932, sharing the billing with 16 other acts including the Flying Wallendas, Ray Bolger and Martha Graham.

The Rockettes became regulars at Radio City from that point on, featured in lavish stage shows. Their hallmark was and is their ability to keep in perfect unison step -- think of large-scale synchronized swimming, only interesting. They’ve done Super Bowl halftimes, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and numerous USO tours.

During the summer, the Rockettes host a kind of career day where kids can learn about auditions, rehearsals and performances.

More than 2,000 women have tried out for the troupe since 1932. Rockettes must be at least 18 years of age and between 65 and 70 inches tall. They have to be experts in tap, ballet, and jazz dancing. They don’t have to be caucasian. Strong smile muscles and the stomach to be that insanely smiley are also necessary, although anyone getting into this kind of dance has already honed those skills.

And yes, there is a Radio City Rockettes Barbie.

Source: -- RCMH site: http://www.radiocity.com/b1e.html

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