Student Spotlight: Anya-Jae Brown

dancer on releve

Anya-Jae Browne

This week’s Student Spotlight features Anya-Jae Brown from the School at Steps

1.      Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?

I first became involved with dance when I was about 6 years old. I had seen the Rockettes perform in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for the first time and I was absolutely mesmerized by how beautiful they were. After the show, I came out of the theater kicking my legs and swore that one day I would be up on that stage!

2.      What do you find you like best about dance class?

My favorite part about dance class is the environment. I am able to work with people who share the same passion for dance that I have. I also enjoy learning from other dancers in my classes. Having the opportunity to watch others dance allows me to learn from them and expand my personal style and skill set.

3.      What is the hardest part about dance for you?

The hardest part about dance for me is probably adjusting to corrections. I find this most difficult because I sometimes struggle to forget how to do something after I first learn it a specific way. Therefore, when my teacher gives me a correction, it can take a while before I apply it correctly and master it.

4.      What advice would you give to other dancers?

The advice I would give to other dancers is to never give up and always try your hardest. Nothing is impossible if you try.

5.      How has dance changed your life?

Dance has given me an outlet to better express my feelings. I have gained confidence in the studio, which allows me to perform better in school and better express myself with friends and family. Dance has also changed my life in the sense that it has given me more to do, so I am always busy.

The School at Steps is a training ground for students, ages 2-18, who are interested in exploring various dance styles, as well as for those students already focused on a particular discipline. The school offers an Academic Year and Summer Program, with classes in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, theater dance, hip hop, and Pilates. Students at the school are also given performance opportunities, and workshops on dance and career-related topics. Beginning with the Young Dancers Program and continuing through the most advanced pre-professional classes, The School at Steps provides children with an opportunity to explore the word of dance, to learn and experiment with technique, and to enrich their appreciation for the various forms of the art.


Rockettes Opener And Summer Intensive Auditions

MSG Photos/Avi Gerver Eileen Grace, Rockettes Director and Choreographer, rehearsing with students during the Rockettes Summer Intensive.

Rockettes Summer Intensive Auditions

If you aren’t already familiar with the Rockettes Summer Intensive, let me explain. It is a week-long program, running June 24 – August 3, 2012, hosted at Radio City Music Hall in the actual studios where the Rockettes rehearse for their starring roles in the annual production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Dancers accepted into the program rehearse daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm, with group education seminars in the evenings.  This distinctive style transcends a multitude of dance disciplines including jazz, tap, musical theater, lyrical and of course the legendary Rockettes kick line.  The curriculum focuses on original choreography and formations from the Rockette repertoire that will culminate in a student showcase.  To be considered for the Rockettes Summer Intensive, dancers must be at least 14 years of age (by June 22, 2012) with a minimum of 5 years training in tap, jazz, and ballet.

Here’s the current audition schedule:

Durham, NC – November 13, 2011

Nashville, TN – December 4, 2011

Boston, MA – December 27, 2011

Chicago, IL – January 8, 2012

Orlando, FL – January 8, 2012

Austin, TX – January 14, 2012

Miami, FL – January 15, 2012

Pittsburgh, PA – January 15, 2012

Detroit, MI – January 22, 2012

Los Angeles, CA – January 22, 2012

Washington, D.C. – January 22, 2012

NYC – January 28 & January 29, 2012

For audition times and locations, as well as more information on the Rockettes Summer Intensive, please visit

Opening Night — The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

November 16th is opening night for The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, and to kick things off, they will be participating in a lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building at 11:00 a.m. that day. The lobby of the building is where this event will take place, and the holiday colored lights is just the beginning of what is t come this season!

America’s favorite holiday show is about to re-define the Christmas Spectacular featuring a new 3DLive video game adventure, new Rockette performances, new musical compositions and heartwarming songs, dazzling new costumes and state-of-the-art technology that will immerse audiences in the magic of Christmas like never before.

If you are interested in attending this fun show, you can learn more at their website.


Christmas In August With The Rockettes

If you are going to be in New York on Thursday, August 11th, take a break from the heat of summer and swing by Times Square to see the Rockettes “Christmas in August” performance.

At 11 am, you’ll be able to see the Rockettes as they unveil both new costumes–and new choreography. Join in the fun as they kick off the 2011 Christmas Spectacular season.

Can’t make this? Then why not enter the “I like Christmas” sweepstakes on Facebook and take a shot at winning $2,011 in Christmas cash and other prizes? All you have to do is “like” the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on this social networking site and you are entered. This begins on August 11th and runs until the end of the month.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, runs from November 11, 2011 through January 2, 2012. Prices range from $45 – $125. Tickets are available online at or at the Radio City Box Office (50th Street and Avenue of the Americas). Box Office hours are Monday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Ticketmaster Christmas Hotline at 1-866-858-0007 or at any Ticketmaster outlets. Ticket prices include a $4.50 facility charge. Tickets purchased via Ticketmaster are subject to service charges. Please call 1-866-858-0007 for more information.


Interview With Lianna Hosein-Sarro

Today we have 5 questions with Lianna Hosein-Sarro, a high school junior who has the opportunity to participate in the Rockettes Summer Intensive program, as well as being featured on “The Rockette Summer Intensive” series, which continues tonight, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. on MSG Varsity.

Take a closer look at the experience through her eyes:

Lianna Hosein-Sarro

1. Can you tell readers a bit about your dance background?

I’ve been dancing for a total 13 years, and have been studying ballet since I was four. I started dancing at Martha Graham this year, and have been active with the School of American Ballet of the New York City Ballet Company for about six years. I’ve also been tap dancing with the Tap City Youth Foundation in the Tap City Youth Ensemble for about four years.

2. What brought you to audition for the Rockette Summer Intensive?

My mother brought me to the Rockettes Summer Intensive. As soon as she told me about the camp, I knew that it was what I wanted to be as a dancer. The precision and perfection of their dancing skills attracted me instantly. I went to the audition not expecting to get in because I was the youngest—and it was my first time trying out.  Luckily, I got in!

3. How do you feel about being able to participate in this?

I’m so excited to go back this year. I enjoyed my first time at the Rockettes Summer Intensive, but now that I know how the camp is run, I know what to expect. For me, this camp is like “the best thing since sliced bread.”

4. How have you been able to stay calm and focus on doing your best?

Most of the time, my nerves don’t get to me. It’s easy for me to stay calm because that’s my personality, but sometimes I get really shy and don’t let myself go full out.  However, at Rockette Camp, I feel like a different person. I’m more energetic and less nervous because I know that this could be my future.

5. What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself through this process?

I’ve learned to not be afraid of what other people think of me. I’m really self conscious, but when I dance, a new power comes over me and I feel important and like a star.  Rockette camp opened me up and improved my life as a dancer, a pro singer, and an actress. The Rockettes Summer Intensive is a dream come true.

Watch the second episode of “The Rockette Summer Intensive” three-part series which airs this evening, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. on MSG Varsity, channel 14 on Cablevision’s iO TV.


MSG Varsity’s “The Rockette Summer Intensive”

Radio City Music Hall

I thought this might be something fun for 4dancers readers to check out. I’ve always been a fan of the Rockettes, so taking a peek into their world is something I found especially fascinating. In the dance world, they hold a very unique place.

Plus, it’s always intriguing to experience the audition process…even as an observer.

The Rockette Summer Intensive”  is a three-part television series — part two will be airing on June 14th at 7:30 pm on MSG Varsity. This means that you can still tune in to get an insider look at the final stage of the audition process that these young high-school dancers go through for a coveted spot training with the world-famous Rockettes.

This is the first time ever that cameras have captured the behind-the-scenes moments as over 600 girls audition for a place in the Rockette Summer Intensive program. You will get to see exclusive footage and one-on-one interviews with the dancers as well as the creative visionaries behind the Rockettes, including Eileen Grace, Rockettes Director and Choreographer.

Since the program’s inception, 42 Summer Intensive alumni have become world-famous Rockettes. “The opportunity for young dancers to study with the iconic Radio City Rockettes is invaluable, and the second episode of the series captures the intensity and emotions of these young hopefuls as they strive to train with the legendary kick line,” said Michael Lardner, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, MSG Varsity.

MSG Varsity's Rockette Summer Intensive

What an audition that would have been to go on as a teenager! I think back to my high school days and believe that it would have intimidated me–but it would have been exciting as well. I’m sure these girls all bring their “A-Game” in terms of preparation, but I can bet there are some pretty big time nerves going on–both on the set and off.

I’m sure there will be a wide range of hopefuls there, and it should be interesting to see what the audition itself looks like–as well as who makes the cut. “Dancers that are accepted into the Rockette Summer Intensive all share a common thread in not only their love of dance, but also exude such passion and drive during this intense training program,” said Eileen Grace, Rockettes Director and Choreographer.

The episode will air on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. on MSG Varsity, channel 14 on Cablevision’s iO TV.

4dancers will feature an interview with one of the young ladies that is involved in the audition, so be sure and check back on the 14th to hear her thoughts on the process!