NNN Reporters Newsroom Forum  

Go Back   NNN Reporters Newsroom Forum > RSS FEED

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-20-2019, 08:16 AM
The Bobster's Avatar
The Bobster The Bobster is offline
Senior Editor
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 67,233
Default Meet the new diverse faces of the Rockettes - It’s not a lily-white lineup anymore.

https://nypost.com/2019/10/19/meet-t...the-rockettes/

Meet the new diverse faces of the Rockettes
By (((Susan Edelman)))
October 19, 2019 | 8:57pm | Updated

It’s not a lily-white lineup anymore.

The Rockettes are kicking up their diversity, adding three new African-American women, a second Latina and a “differently-abled” dancer with one hand.

Casting a wider net for the 2019 Christmas Spectacular, the world-renowned precision dance troupe held “open call” auditions in Chicago and Atlanta for the first time in 10 years, as well as at Radio City.

Of nearly 950 wannabes who tried out this year, only 13 newcomers were hired — but that was the most at one time in nearly two decades, a spokeswoman said. Candidates must be proficient in tap, jazz and ballet, 5’6” to 5’10 in height, and at least 18 years old.

In all, the 80 Rockettes are split into two casts of 36, plus four substitutes. Meet some of the rookies:

Samantha "Bubble" Butts



Samantha Butts has danced for 19 of her 22 years, but the Columbus, Ohio, transplant didn’t think about joining the Rockettes until her best friend did a few years ago.

“She always talked so highly about the sisterhood and the legacy,” Butts said.

A recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, the bi-racial dancer aced auditions in April and August. She calls herself a “strong, proud African-American.”

LaTarika Pierce



Ten times — that’s how many the determined LaTarika Pierce auditioned for the Rockettes since 2014. The last five tries, she made it through all three rounds of cuts. But only last month did she finally get her invitation to join the iconic crew.

“I just cried, and slid onto the floor,” the 27-year-old recalled.

Hailing from Orange, N.J., Pierce — who started dancing relatively late, at age 14 — earned a business degree at Montclair University in 2015. But soon after starting an accounting job, she decided, “I can’t do this.”

She threw herself into her love of dance, working at a Manhattan studio in exchange for free classes.

Now, one of six black and bi-racial women in the 2019 Christmas Spectacular — three in each cast — Pierce hopes audiences embrace women of color as part of a cohesive whole.

“It’s important to see a group of strong, inspiring, confident women working together, no matter what color,” she said.

Sydney "Stumpy" Mesher



Born without a left hand, Sydney Mesher is breaking a barrier in the art and entertainment world against body-types that don’t fit the stereotype.

“I don’t consider myself disabled,” the 22-year-old told The Post. “I don’t want to be known as the dancer with one hand. I want to be known as a really good dancer who happens to have one hand.”

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Mesher’s childhood wiggling to music prompted her parents to start her on dance lessons. With “amazing support” from family and friends, she overcame schoolyard bullying, and brushed off initial shocked reactions. Once, before a recital at age eight or nine, a stagehand screamed, “Oh my God, you don’t have a hand!” she told Health magazine for a video on strong women

Mesher does not wear a prosthetic. “I was able to embrace who I am and celebrate it because I know I am different.”

Megan Garcia


Annie Wermiel/NY Post

Megan Garcia, a 22-year-old Latina from Naperville, Ill., received a huge surprise at the finale of the Rockettes’ “summer intensive” training program. A manager announced to the 60 women on stage, along with friends and families, that Garcia was hired on the spot. The other women crowded around to give her a group hug.

“I’ve wanted to become a professional dancer nearly all my life,” she said. “It was a dream come true.”

Regan Hutsell


Annie Wermiel/NY Post


At 18, Regan Hutsell is a baby in the 80-woman troupe, which includes some in their 40’s — and seven mothers. The middle of three daughters of a black mom and white dad — both doctors — Hutsell grew up in Houston and Katy, Texas. Between house calls, their mom homeschooled the girls and chauffeured them to myriad classes and competitions. Hutsell later trained with masters such as San Francisco ballerina Lorena Feijoo.

After summer intensive, Hutsell auditioned for the first time at Radio City in August — and was snapped up. Now she’s sharing the spotlight with her older sister, a dancer with the New York City Ballet.Asked if she considers herself a role model for other young dancers, Hutsell said of the Rockettes, “If each one of us inspires only one person, that’s 80 little girls inspired.”


The class of new freshman Rockettes (Left to right, top: Samantha Butts, Mackenzie Howse, Abbey Kowalec, Sydney Mesher, Soultana Schiavi, Regan Hutsell; Bottom: Megan Garcia, Athena Petrizzo, Mara Ranson, Madeline Rodrigue, Katie Milani, La'Tarika Pierce, Johanna Piper).
Annie Wermiel/NY Post
__________________
Those who find the truth hateful just hate hearing the truth.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.....on a nigger.

If you're not catching flak, you're not over the target.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.