Auckland teen to dance with iconic Rockettes
An Auckland student is heading to the Big Apple to dance with a company that performed at Donald Trump's inauguration.
Diocesan School for Girls student Alisha Huang is one of 30 winners selected out of more than 4000 entrants worldwide to join the Rockettes Summer Intensive program.
The Rockettes are a New York dance company founded in 1925.
Each year the group performs America's largest holiday production Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall - in front of an audience of more than 2 million people.
They also performed at the inauguration of George Bush in 2001 and Donald Trump in 2017.
The year 13 student is the only successful New Zealand applicant and will head to New York for two weeks beginning July 21.
Huang, who began dancing at 6 years old, said she had followed the Rockettes her entire life.
"It's a dream come true. The Rockettes is a legacy of women dancers that dates back to 1925. To know I'll be joining them – it's just amazing," Huang said.
To be considered for the program dancers must be at least 14 years old, have a minimum of five years training in tap, jazz and ballet, and submit a video audition showcasing their jazz, tap and eye-high kicks.
"I never thought I'd get selected out of so many talented auditionees. It still feels a little surreal but I am really excited to be training with girls that share an equal love and passion for dance," Huang said.
The Rockettes Summer Intensive is designed for advanced dancers who want to train in the Rockettes "precision" style and connect with the professional dance world.
The experience could be life-changing, Huang said.
"I am looking forward to learning the actual Rockette choreography that I used to watch as a kid. To be mentored by such an incredible group of women and directors is going to be an experience of a lifetime and I can't wait to perform in front of them," she said.
The two weeks will culminate in a performance at the New York University Skirball Centre for the Performing Arts.
In its 15 years the Summer Intensive program has produced 60 permanent Rockettes and Huang hopes to be the next one.
She will return to New York City in April 2018 and audition for a permanent place in the kick line.
If successful, Huang would be New Zealand's first-ever Rockette.