The Journal News ran a feature story on dance teacher Lauren Gaul fulfilling her dream of becoming a Radio City Music Hall Rockette.
From The Journal News:
Like many young dancers, Lauren Gaul grew up dreaming of becoming a Rockette — even though she lived in Pennsylvania and had never seen the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City.
These days, she practically lives there.
With long hours of rehearsals and full days of dancing during the annual holiday run — which started Nov. 11 and goes through Jan. 2 — Gaul hardly has time for anything but the commute back and forth from her Tarrytown home.
Not that she’s complaining.
From the moment she tried out for the troupe in 2000, Gaul felt she was somehow meant to be a Rockette. The audition, she says, was quite rigorous. “I remember being nervous, but I was actually surprised at how well I felt that I did,” she says. “I really felt the material fit me, and it was something I could be successful at.”
The show, she says, continues to be a magical experience for performers and audiences, even after 79 years. This year, it will include live fireworks and 3D digital projections, plus all the old standards, including “The Living Nativity.”
While Gaul loves the hectic pace of the “Christmas Spectacular” — even with its seven costume changes each performance — she’s thankful for a wardrobe tweak that’s promising to make the popular “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” a little easier. “They used to have these dark soldier pants that were really stiff, and we practically had to get into them standing up,” she says.
The new pants are made of neoprene. “They’re going to be fabulous,” Gaul says.
Here are 10 things you may not know about Rockette Lauren Gaul.
1. She can communicate in sign language. Last summer, Gaul was a dance teacher and artist in residence at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, where she learned sign language after her classes. Gaul is also a professor in the dance program at Pace University in Manhattan.
2.Westchester is home to both Gaul and her parents — in different states, that is. “They live in West Chester, Pa., and I live in Westchester, N.Y.,” says Gaul. “Isn’t that funny?”
Read the full story here: