Together We're Better

Shine costumes backstage at RCMH

This week I completed my fifth Rockette audition and am reflecting on the joy that this experience always brings to me. Even if I never make it to the Great Stage, I will remain happy just to have taken the journey. And for me, what makes the journey so worthwhile is the amazing group of people I have met along the way.

Warming up before auditions
The media often enforces stereotypes that associate the performing arts community with competitiveness, jealousy, cattiness, and backstabbing. While these traits do occasionally surface, I have never experienced any feelings like this throughout my time in New York City, especially not in my "Rockette Hopeful" family. The Rockettes' motto is: "Together we're better." In a team famous for its precision and perfection, each woman must uplift every member of the team to uphold the standards. But it's not all about maintaining a look. It's about boosting morale and bonding in unity to work better together. This way of thinking is encouraged in every facet of the Rockette organization.

Through the Rockettes I have met some of my best friends and biggest inspirations. I have become part of a beautiful and supportive family that understands my struggles and shares in my dreams. Every year the family grows larger. When I first began auditioning for the Rockettes, I was lonely and afraid. Now the audition is like a big reunion. I don't feel frightened anymore because my sisters always have my back. I would be just as excited to see one of my friends make the line as I would be for myself to make the line. That's just how we support each other. That's also why I will never give up. Each audition, master class, and summer intensive reignites the fire. And now, as people I actually know are getting hired, it makes the dream feel closer than ever. The Rockettes have been dubbed "the hardest-working women in showbiz", and this is no lie. It requires infinite dedication, sweat equity, and resilience to become a member of this team. In these difficult challenges, it has been so lovely to have my little hopeful family to rely on.

I have mentioned this previously, but the kindness of the Radio City crew also contributes to the family values. You would imagine that in a situation where hundreds upon hundreds of women file through the door hoping for the same job, there would be some cattle herding along the way. But this is not the case. Every hopeful in Radio City is treated with kindness and dignity.  It is so rare, and for this I am always grateful.

Pre-audition paperwork

I know that I gush about the Rockettes almost every chance I get, but it is only because this organization is so wonderful. In fact, the whole New York dance community is wonderful too. I have dreamed of moving here my entire life, but never imagined it would feel this much like home. I am very happy. I am in love with every person I have met and every chance to dance I have been lucky enough to receive. Each day is a gift.

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