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Patriettes train with Rockettes in NYC

Bob Jones Patriette dancers worked with Rockette and Madison native Danni Heverin (front, third from left) in New York City. CONTRIBUTED
Bob Jones Patriette dancers worked with Rockette and Madison native Danni Heverin (front, third from left) in New York City. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – The Patriettes Dance Team from Bob Jones High School studied with the Radio City Rockettes in New York City during winter break.
Patriettes members also toured city sites and attended the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the world-famous Rockettes known for precision dance and kicklines.
In summer 2016, the Patriettes worked with Madison native and Rockette Danni Heverin on choreography for the band’s halftime show. An alumnae of Bob Jones and The Dance Company, Heverin told Patriettes coach Katie Robertson and assistant coach Hannah Williams about the “Rockettes’ Experience” class.
Patriettes attending the optional trip were juniors Anna O’Donell, Bailey Burpee, Ally Miller and Claudia Waddell; sophomores Nolen Gunner and Sarah Waldrop; and freshmen Erin Neal and Kaitlyn Linehan.
Other Patriette members are seniors Abbey Harris, Shelby Hogan, Emma Pointer and Nadia Stewart; juniors Amaya Alexander, Caitlin Hollingsworth and Shanna Caldwell; and sophomore Caroline Smelser. Coach Robertson teaches sixth-graders at Rainbow Elementary School.
In NYC, “the girls worked on a jazz number from a former Christmas Spectacular and tapped from the current show,” Robertson said. “The Rockettes spoke about precision and performance as one large unit.”
“Students learned about dance technique to implement in their dances — not only on dance team but at their individual studios as well,” Robertson said. “We saw how precise dance moves affect the show’s overall effect and how moving as one unit influences the team’s overall visual effect.”
The Rockettes advised the Patriettes to avoid making the same mistake twice by remembering corrections that a director or coach gives them.
The Bob Jones dancers also ‘auditioned’ in small groups with jazz, tap and kick routines. They received scores from 1-3 on their performance.
Patriette Bailey Burpee said she “loves the energy of the city during the holidays and learning the choreography from the Rockettes at Radio City. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
“It was an amazing experience getting to dance and learn from some of the best dancers in the world while being completely immersed in the diversity and excitement of the city,” Patriette Claudia Waddell said.
The Madison dancers traveled from Dec. 26-29. With chaperone groups, they explored Midtown, Times Square, Rockettes shows, Metropolitan Museum of Art and other tours.
Their tours varied from seeing “Chicago” and “Matilda” on Broadway; Empire State Building; The MET; Tiffany’s Jewelers; Ellen’s StarDust Diner; Bill’s Bar and Burger at Radio City; and window shopping on 5th Avenue.

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