Heverin defies odds to dance as Radio City Rockette
MADISON – Danni Heverin persevered over 500-to-1 odds and captured her dream with the Radio City Rockettes, the world-famous precision dance troupe.
“I’m thrilled I get the opportunity to inspire other young women to follow their dreams. I’m so excited to experience this new chapter in my life,” Heverin said.
Heverin, 22, recently earned a bachelor’s degree in dance, minor in general business, at the University of Alabama. She credits UA dance program director Cornelius Carter and professors Rita Snyder, Sarah M. Barry, Qianping Guo and Stacy Alley for “instilling a burning passion for the arts.”
She set her goal in childhood after seeing the Rockettes on the televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Rockettes “are the epitome of timeless beauty and grace. They’re the best of the best.”
More than 500 women vie for one slot. Women must be 18 years old; 5 feet, 6-10 inches tall; and proficient in jazz, tap and ballet. Many Rockettes are married, have children and work off-season teaching, on Broadway or attending college.
After five auditions, the Rockettes accepted Heverin. The process is “very intimidating with many girls competing for only a few spots,” she said.
In October, Heverin will train with the Omaha/Houston traveling line for the “SHINE” version of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She has mastered the signature “eye-high kicks,” most difficult for her. “You must have discipline, strength and control,” she said.
Heverin studied with The Dance Company in Madison from 2005-2010. “I couldn’t have reached my goal without … education The Dance Company provided.”
She acknowledged Beth Cannon and Julie George for “an atmosphere conducive to learning, … experienced staff and beautiful facilities. If you’re serious about dancing, The Dance Company … helped me get to where I am today.”
Her parents are James Morgan Heverin III and Julie Heverin. Danni graduated from Bob Jones High School in 2010.
Hoping to continue as a Rockette, Heverin eventually may move to New York City “and grace the big stage at Radio City Music Hall. For now, I’m looking forward to Omaha and Houston.”