The rehearsal space was filled with leggy young dancers wearing black T-shirts over leotards, three-inch heels and mandatory smiles. On a Thursday in mid-October, less than a month before the Radio City Christmas Spectacular's kickoff, the 2012 Rockettes were practicing a pivotal number called "Let Christmas Shine."
"Even if we do four kicks in a row, every kick is eye-high," director/choreographer Linda Haberman told the dancers, sounding part mom, part drill sergeant.
"Ninety-nine percent of us getting it right here doesn't work," Haberman said as she surveyed the precision dance lines in this space on the Upper West Side. "It has to be 100 percent."
Despite the grueling routines and rehearsals, at least one of the 80 Rockettes in the room – 18-year-old Brigid Cash – was not forcing her smile. This is exactly where the Bergen County native has wanted to be since she was 8 years old and her parents took her to the Spectacular for the very first time.
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