Like many little girls, my parents signed me up for dance classes while I was still prancing around in Pull-Ups. Yet, after breaking out into a solo to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" during a recital and experiencing my first growth spurt at the age of 10 (who wants to be the jolly giant ballerina?), I decided to hang up my jazz shoes. But when the opportunity arose to kick it with the Rockettes, I knew I had to bring it.
The 36 long-legged beauties of Radio City Music Hall are the pop stars of the dance industry. During the Christmas season, they spark just as much excitement as good ol' Saint Nick with their Swarovski-studded costumes, mega-watt smiles and thrilling dance numbers.
With holiday dinners and parties in full swing, I took full advantage of my time backstage with the Rockettes to learn their tricks to always looking beautiful, especially under those hot theater lights. As eighth-year veteran Melissa Thomas puts it so simply: "It involves a lot of lipstick sealing, blotting and hoping you don't have makeup running down your face." Ahh, if only it were that easy for those of us that live off stage.
Another tip Thomas shared (that can bring a bit of calm to our stressful lives) is indulging in ice baths. After a full day of shows, the girls submerge their feet into 40-degree ice baths to reduce swelling and aching. And her foot advice couldn't come at a better time with all the dancing we plan on doing at holiday parties.
Click through the slideshow below for more Rockettes' beauty secrets, including a DIY exfoliant treatment for sensitive skin, trick to pulling off a French twist hairstyle with just five bobby pins and how to prevent saggy earlobes while dancing around in heavy earrings.
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