The Hudson Independent: “Tarrytown Dancer Gets a Kick Being a Rockette”

Lauren Gaul, who teaches contemporary jazz as an adjunct faculty member at Pace University, feels blessed to be a Rockette at the renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

A year-round employee of Radio City Music Hall, Lauren Gaul performed in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Columbus Day Parade, the America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, the Amtrak Whistle Stop Tour, and others. As exciting for the dancers as it is for the audience, once their high-stepping season ends in January, she said to Janie Rosman for The Hudson Independent. “We are free to do other things.”

From The Hudson Independent story by Janie Rosman:

This past September, Gaul resumed teaching contemporary jazz at Pace University, specifically in its new degree program –a bachelor of arts in theater arts– with a specialized track in commercial dance.

Spearheaded by choreographer and dance lecturer Rhonda Miller, the program provides specialized training for dance careers in stage, television, and commercials in range and forms, including include ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop, among others.

“I wanted to have Lauren as an adjunct faculty member alongside me,” said Miller, who hired Gaul in 2007. “She has strong skills and brings a real working environment to the students.”

Gaul’s work as a dancer and choreographer was featured at venues including Broadway Dance Center Performance Outlet, the Bridge for Dance, Jazz Dance World Congress Choreography Event, and most recently at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow inside/out performance space. Additionally she helped choreograph industrials for Lady Footlocker, Sesame Street, Astra-Zeneca, and IZOD Kids, among others.

Which performers does she admire? “That’s a tough question,” she said initially, then a moment later, “Sylvie Guillem,” she said of the French ballet dancer formerly with the Paris Opera Ballet, now a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet of London, “and (the late actress and dancer) Gwen Verdon.”

And after the curtain closes on her last season with the Rockettes, whenever that time comes, Gaul will continue teaching dance. “We don’t say the word ‘retire,’” she said. “It’s my dream to help one or more of my students grace the pages of Playbill.”

Ergo her advice to young dancers, who, like the young girl growing up in Pennsylvania did, aspire to join the famous Radio City Music Hall troupe: “Work harder than anyone will ever push you in tap, jazz and ballet.”

Maybe one of her young protégés will join the renowned kick line some day.

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