There are currently 41 Rockettes on the Radio City Music Hall roster, but that may change.
Variety reports that the American Guild of Variety Artists, the dance troupe's union, is in talks today to with the Rockettes' owner, Cablevision, over whether or not dancers from past seasons will be bought out and replaced through a system of open auditions.
The open audition system is used for other Rockette companies, including the ones in Branson, Chicago and Atlanta, which host Radio City Christmas Spectaculars. At least half of the New York dancers would remain with show, with other slots filled by new auditioners.
According to Variety, Rockettes earn between $20,000 and $24,000 for their fifteen week work schedule at Radio City. Cablevision offered buyouts of $45,000 to ten dancers who had been employed more than ten years, Variety said.
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