The 41 Rockettes whose guaranteed job security was threatened by a labor dispute between Radio City and the American Guild of Variety Artists, will dance another year in the venue's annual Christmas Spectacular. When the Spectacular closes Jan. 5, however, these dancers will accept a buyout worth $2 million, according to the New York Times.
That figures out to anywhere from $30,000 to $120,000 per dancer, depending on the individual Rockette's years of service in the precision troupe. In future, all Rockettes will have to audition yearly.
This open audition system is used for other Rockette companies, including the ones in Branson, Chicago and Atlanta, which also host Radio City Christmas Spectaculars. Rockettes earn between $20,000 and $24,000 for their fifteen week work schedule at Radio City, which features over 80 women, working in two casts of 36, plus standbys.
The Rockettes were formed in 1925 by Russel Markert as the "Missouri Rockets." In 2002, the precision tap, jazz and ballet troupe celebrates their 75th anniversary in New York City. Since 1932, over 2,000 women have danced as Rockettes, whose famous Christmas Spectacular includes the beloved "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers."
—By Christine Ehren