Behind the scenes with the Radio City Rockettes

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Amy Freeze looks at what goes into the making of a New York City holiday favorite. (WABC)

Every year families look forward to all the magic that surrounds the Christmas spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.

But behind that magic is a lot of hard work and very little time for the 80 Rockettes to change from costume to costume.

We were able to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to bring this New York City favorite to the big stage.

During eight different costume changes the Rockettes come backstage, find their name and costume and in some cases they have just 78 seconds to get ready for the next number!

"It's choreographed backstage as much as it is on," said Christina Cichra, now in her 8th season with the Rockettes.

The toy soldier costume is tricky - with stiff leather pants that don't even crease!

"It was actualy designed by Vincent Minelli, so it's been the same costume since its inception in 1933," said Allyson Kelly, in her 7th season with the Rockettes.

There are new elements added each year - last season, the dazzling Snow Costumes.



"These are higher shoes than we normally wear on the show, these are three inch heels and we usually wear two and a half inch heels," Kelly said.

The weighted Santa suits are a tribute to each dancer's athleticism. The new costume is the rag doll dress - complete with a wig and glasses!

"The stage we are standing on is the orginal Radio City stage," Cichra said.

After wardrobe changes - more precision in finding their places on a hydrolic stage with elevators and mechanical turn tables, it can be a rollercoaster behind the curtain.

"They can lift those and then bring it down the same level so that we can all come down," said Allyson, on the right 8 count, she added.

And that's how quick the magic happens when you're a Rockette... Showtime.

Related Topics:
entertainmentrockettesradio cityentertainmentNew York CityMidtown
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