Now residing in New York, she grew up in Tualatin, trained at Tigard and Wilsonville studios, went to Jesuit High.
Twenty years old, living in the Big Apple, dancing for the famous Radio City Rockettes, how could life be better for Brooklyn Bronson, who grew up in the Portland area?
Turns out Bronson, who lived in Tualatin and took dance lessons in Wilsonville and Tigard and prepared for Jesuit high school, has been in a New York state of mind for a long time.
“It was a dream of mine to live here,” said Bronson, who lives in Manhattan with her parents and sister. “Personally, I love it. The constant hustle and bustle. I thrive on that energy.”
And it’s a Rockette!
“At first I didn’t understand. I was just in shock, because it’s been a dream of mine since I was little.” She auditioned in the spring, found out she had made the Rockettes in the summer, and trained and rehearsed for the upcoming “Christmas Spectacular Starring Radio City Rockettes” at Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center, November 18-18. January. 2, 2023.
And, the Rockettes starred in a Hallmark Channel film production, “A Holiday Spectacular,” which airs Nov. 27.
“They had the premiere in Radio City and I was lucky to be able to play for it. That’s when I realized, oh my God, I’m a Rockette,” she said.
Bronson, one of 18 new Rockettes, joins Portland native Sydney Mesher on the Rockettes. Mesher first joined the Rockettes in 2019 and performed with them again in 2021 – shows had to be canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mesher made the Rockettes again this year.
There have been other Oregon Rockettes in the past, but not too many. Bronson’s journey began as a toddler when she danced at Innovative Dance in Wilsonville and later in her teens attended Westside Academy Dance and Gymnastics in Tigard, training at both locations under the tutelage of Carla Webber, a former 1970s Rockette. Bronson performed with the Northwest Dance Company.
“She was the first person to tell me about the Rockettes,” Bronson said of Webber. “I was lucky enough to see them when I was little, and I knew exactly that was what I wanted to do when I was older.”
Bronson, whose family lived in Tualatin (and kept the house after moving to New York), graduated as a Jesuit in 2020 and attended Chapman University in California. His father transferred to New York, the whole family moved east, and Bronson continued his college education online through Purdue University.
Bronson had attended crash summer dance classes with the Rockettes during her high school years and at the Rockettes Conservatory earlier this year, then set about auditioning, which obviously went down well despite the large number of women auditioning – 800. The funniest part is the 5-foot-5 1/2 Bronson was able to make the Rockettes because the organization had lowered the height requirement to 5-5 to 5-10 1/2.
“Barely made the cut,” she said.
In fact, the Rockettes put the shortest women at the end of the dance line for their famous kicks, and Bronson is right at the end, with only one person next to her. (Mesher, being 5-10 1/2, dance in the middle, for example).
“It’s really, really tough. The girls have been supporting, making sure the rookies are okay,” she said.
There are two casts of Rockettes, the Blue and the Gold. Bronson and Mesher are part of the cast of Blue, who will work in the first shows of “Christmas Spectacular” six days a week. It’s strenuous activity to be a Rockette, given the number of physical performances and dances, including “eye high” (to eye level) and “strut” (to the eye level) kicks. cut).
“Personally, for me, I train year-round, whether it’s all-day dance classes, pilates, yoga, or any form of fitness,” Bronson said. “I’m trying to stay in shape for this rigorous schedule.”
The Rockettes are known for their “Parade of Wooden Soldiers” number (since 1933), and will perform the “Dance of the Frost Fairies”, an immersive and reimagined number.
Bronson also looks forward to Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which features the Rockettes, and the group usually makes an appearance on NBC’s “The Today Show.” (She does not know if she will be part of the appearances).
Members of his extended family, Webber and other friends plan to attend the “Christmas Spectacular” to see Bronson perform.
Maybe more years with the Rockettes lie ahead, and more dancing jobs in New York might be on the horizon, but Bronson loves living in the moment — and what a moment it is.
“I couldn’t even have imagined getting this job, let alone at 20,” she said. “It was an honor to be able to be here. I’m very excited to get this job.”
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