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The Radio City Rockettes and the making of a sisterhood

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Since their origins in 1925, the Radio City Rockettes have been a self-proclaimed sisterhood that has long been viewed as wholesome family entertainment. Although dancers for the Rockettes have had to submit to stringent guidelines of physicality, personality and uniformity, most alumnae are quick to wax poetic on their years in the line. This article investigates the meaning and the making of such sisterhood by looking at how a ‘community of practice’ is created through the structure of the company and the shared labour involved in precision dance. Their group dynamic and joint performance goals, along with the stable workplace and practices of Radio City Music Hall, shaped how the Rockettes’ identity was formed and propagated, in a way that differed from other more sexualized dance companies, which existed in the same era.
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Keywords: Radio City; Rockettes; community; dance; sisterhood; women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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