Dancers From NYC's Radio City Rockettes Share Their Most Interesting Holiday Traditions

For decades, the Rockettes have been charming audiences with Radio City Music Hall's annual "Christmas Spectacular" in New York City. This year, HelloGiggles interviewed the dancers and members of the cast, and they revealed some of their most surprising Christmas traditions. Although the acclaimed dance group has been in existence since 1925, the Rockette's most famous holiday performance dates back to 1933. The 90-minute performance includes a dazzling array of acrobatics, shimmery costumes, and of course, their signature high line kicks.

Liz Peterson, a performer who has returned for her sixth season with the Rockettes team, decided to kick things off by sharing a personal holiday tradition. With her family, Peterson loves to sing karaoke as soon as dinner wraps up. She noted that some of her brothers will even accompany the family by playing the drums and guitar in the background. Too cute! As told to HelloGiggles, “My favorite memories of performing in the Christmas Spectacular are during the ‘Here Comes Santa Clause’ number. Rockettes dressed as Santa run through the audience and surprise the people sitting in the aisles before performing onstage in the fun, high-energy number.”

Kristin Jantzie, originally from Alberta Canada, loves to enjoy a Yule log during the holidays and will spend hours watching Christmas movies with friends. Celebrating her fourteenth season with the Rockettes, Kristin shared that one of her most special memories was performing in the Christmas Spectacular alongside her two sisters. Kari Gregg, from Indiana, loves the holiday season for one major reason--a special appetizer made by her grandmother. Amusingly called "Polish Mistakes", these bite-sized eats are made from meat and cheese with rye bread. Sounds delicious! With her seventeenth season as a Rockette, Nicole Shuman certainly has her fair share of holiday memories with the team. Shuman loves giving back to the community, and she fondly remembered a time when the whole team went to volunteer at a soup kitchen, right after wrapping up a show.

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Lights, camera, kickline ✨👯‍ #ChristmasSpectacular

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Jessica Palu, from Nebraska, definitely had one of the more unusual holiday traditions to share. In an interview with HelloGiggles, the artist said, "Every year, my family hangs an ornamental glass pickle on our Christmas tree and hides it among all of the other Christmas ornaments and decorations. On Christmas morning, whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first present. I will never forget the year my brothers and I spent hours searching the tree for the glass pickle only to realize my parents forgot to put it on the tree!” Too funny! Maile Maakafi, one of the newest Rockettes to join the squad, loves to celebrate Christmas with her family and grandmother. Maile said that she has always wanted to be a part of the Rockettes, amazed by their sky-high kicks. We're so happy to hear that she made her dream come true! Sophia Anthony, a Florida native, usually spends every Christmas Eve at the happiest place on Earth—Disney World. From spending time on the rides to walking around and gathering in the sights, we have to say, a trip to Disney World during the holidays sounds so dreamy. Amarisa LeBar, from New Jersey, has another unique holiday tradition to share. Every year, she uses one of her family's holiday mailboxes as a time capsule. Each year, she revisits her goals and sees all the things that she's accomplished. With the new year right around the corner, this sounds like a perfect plan to put in motion. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Would you try any of these Christmas traditions for yourself? Let us know in the comments!


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