Beyond Skin Deep – Rockette Beauty

Written by Mardra Sikora
Twitter: @mardrasikora

By day Mardra balances a patchwork of community, advocacy, work and family. Also by day she writes, using fiction and nonfiction to advocate for and with her adult son, Marcus. Join them on Facebook at Grown Ups & Downs.

Rockettes in OmahaThe Radio City Rockettes’ Real Beauty Tip is No Secret

Rachel Borgman and Karilyn Surrat both graciously
shared Rockettes’ beauty and fitness tips with Omaha readers, and also the wisdom “Class and grace are always on point,” which is the epitome of the Rockettes’ timeless effect.  Today let’s look at the Rockettes’ beauty that is beyond “skin deep” – the commitment of this sisterhood to the community.

I understand about commitment to the community, in fact I catch a little grief for the habit of spreading myself too thin. My son and I involve ourselves with a variety of causes from disability rights and education to literacy within the community and, of course, the arts. (Marcus is Omaha’s biggest Broadway Fan, but that’s for another day.) Recently while chatting with one friend from out of state about the variety of our commitments, she waved her hand and said, “That’s a Nebraska mentality.”

It’s true. The folks around here give generously with their time or money or both on a regular basis in an effort to assist the well-being of our community.  In fact, philanthropy is a point of pride for many Omahans and throughout the state. For example Omaha Gives, in only its second year, raised over six million dollars for local not-for-profit groups and for many Nebraskans volunteerism is a way of life.

So, it came as no surprise to me to learn that Rachel Borgman, a native of Norfolk, Neb., and one of the Rockettes scheduled to perform in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular here in Omaha this November, volunteers in several different capacities in her new home of New York City.  “I volunteer at a lot of events with New York Cares (lots of senior citizen events), Gala Gear (organization that gives high school girls prom dresses), and a church soup kitchen.” I’m sure she represents that Nebraska mentality with pride at each event.

Already the Rockettes donated time to the Omaha community earlier this fall by sharing their expertise in dance with local students and also reading with families at a Bellevue Public Library event.

IMG_1863 IMG_1858However, those are just the teasers that show their enthusiasm for contributing to the metro Omaha community while they are in town this Christmas Season.

The Rockettes are a staple at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting in NYC, an event to see, however a few of the touring Rockettes may help kick off the giving season right here at The Omaha Salvation Army Tree of Lights ceremony, November 7. Also, don’t be surprised if you see a long legged beauty ringing bells to raise funds for the Red Kettle campaign around town between performances. (Of course, I expect those legs will be well hidden when the Nebraska winter begins.)

The Rockettes’ with their fabulous red, white and blue image combined with a long patriotic history that  began back in WWII including several USO tours continues their support of our troops right here by hosting a Heroes’ Night in cooperation with the Omaha World Herald. November 18’s Radio City Spectacular event will be all the more spectacular with a color guard present, activities and recognition to and for the military and their families. In cooperation with Blue Star Families, 200 members of military families will be guests of the Rockettes, The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha Performing Arts. Also a military discount is available for that night’s performance.


Ms. Borgman is particularly excited about being performing at the Orpheum, her No. 1 reason? Being close to home and family during the holiday season. In this, her 10th year as a Rockette, she has spent many holidays far from home. Perhaps this is part of why she also often makes time for stops at the Ronald McDonald House Charities & hospital visits.

Marcus kissing handAs I witness the values demonstrated by this 80+ year sisterhood, I’ve learned this: The next time I begin to worry or complain about my time commitments, I’ll remind myself that at least I don’t have to squeeze philanthropy in between high kicking performance eight times each week!

I think it’s easy to see that all of the smiles, hugs and time shared by these ladies proves that the secret to their beautiful glow is simply this: It comes from within.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular will be at the Orpheum Theater November 13-30th, 2014. Tickets are on sale now at

For more information about performances coming to the Orpheum Theater or Holland Center, follow Omaha Performing Arts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


9 thoughts on “Beyond Skin Deep – Rockette Beauty

  1. Great post. I was so impressed with these amazing women when they read for the children at the library, even when my daughter wanted to sit right up front when I introduced them! Now it is immortalized in pictures. Haha! Your advocacy for Omaha and the community’s causes is inspirational. Thanks for sharing your story and Rachel’s.

  2. Great article, Mardra! So nice to see helpful, caring people and learn more about them.
    That military night sounds like something my dad would love (and as a vet, deserve, of course), and something we would all appreciate after all the military events we’ve attended since we lost Dan in Iraq. I’ll have to check that out!

  3. Pingback: Rockette Blogger Recap |

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