Rockette Blogger Recap

It’s Opening Night: We couldn’t be more excited to kick-off the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes here in Omaha! Making their Omaha debut at the Orpheum Theater, 18 Rockettes will be performing 34, 90 minute, shows throughout their 18 day run.

Earlier this fall, a group of Omaha bloggers were chosen for an exclusive meet & greet/Q&A with two visiting Rockettes. Over the past few months, these bloggers have been introducing you to the Rockettes in new ways through a variety of topics from fashion and family to history and travel! In celebration of Opening Night, we are revisiting these fabulous, Rockette-inspired, posts!

Blogger 1 – Sara Sabaliauskas
Rockette Glitz & Glam
Blogger 2 – Dana Zucker
Life On The Road As A Rockette
Rockettes Meet & Greet 011

Blogger 3 – Erin Fairchild
Food & Fitness With The Rockettesrockette workout
Blogger 4 – Mardra Sikora
Beyond Skin Deep – Rockette Beauty

Blogger 5 – Ashley Rich
Behind The Rockette’s Signature Look

Blogger 6 – Lisa Collins
Family Support Encourages Rockettes
Blogger 7 – Kim Reiner
The History of the Rockettes1971
Blogger 8 – Heather Longnecker
A New York Christmas Comes To Omaha
Blogger 9 – Michelle Bazis
Where to find the Rockettes in Omaha
tree lighting

What’s Next?
Heroes’ Night – November 18th
Omaha Performing Arts & The Rockettes salute our military
with a dedicated performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

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.


A New York Christmas is Coming to Omaha

Heather is the blogger behind The Home Alien Blog where she documents her journey through life as a wife and mother.  Heather is a stay-at-home Mom to three (almost four!) children and currently lives in West Omaha.  In her spare time she enjoys baking treats with her kiddos, crafting, taking naps and reading.

Instagram: @hlongnecker

A New York Christmas is Coming to Omaha

Stepping onto the bustling streets of New York City is a rush of excitement.  And, no season in New York City is more exciting than Christmas. There are bells ringing, horns blaring and brilliant holiday decorations everywhere you look. My family would make the short trip from New Jersey to New York each and every Christmas season. There was Rockefeller Center with its iconic ice sheet and glittering Christmas Tree to see. Then, a trip to Macy’s was in order, to take in its dazzling window displays and decorations. Next, we would hop into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, lighting candles and staring up into the breathtaking heights of the ceiling until we got dizzy.  But, the main purpose of our trip was always to see The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  There isn’t another stage production that captures the magic of New York City at Christmas quite like The Christmas Spectacular.

blogJust a couple of crazy siblings enjoying Rockefeller Center! (Heather, Jenn and Ryan circa 2000)

It was my family’s tradition to make our yearly pilgrimage on Christmas Eve.  I believe traditions hold such an important place in our hearts because of the feelings they stir up.  For me, nothing captures the magical feelings of Christmas quite like this show. From the opening chords of the overture to the final moments of the Nativity Scene, I was always mesmerized.   I am beyond thrilled at the chance to share this tradition with my own children when Omaha Performing Arts presents The Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes at the Orpheum Theater in November.  I know it will be the perfect way to begin our Christmas season and yours too!

Heather’s Don’t Miss Moments:

  • The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.  This beloved number has been captivating audiences since its conception in 1933.  You won’t want to miss The Rockettes taking their famous tumble across the stage.
  • The Ragdolls. Reinvented for the 2014 Season, this classic number will be sure to captivate your little ones with a playful dose of magic by giving them a sneak peek into Santa’s Workshop.
  • The Santa Number. Nothing captures the magic of Christmas more than Santa himself explaining how he manages to deliver all those presents, all over the world.  Be prepared to be amazed as the magic of Christmas, literally, multiplies before your eyes.
  • New York at Christmas. This number perfectly depicts the glitz and glamor of the holiday season by taking you to some of New York City’s most iconic landmarks.

rockettesMiss Hannah meeting The Rockettes! Christmas here we come!

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.

Family Support Encourages Rockettes

Written by: Lisa Collins
Twitter: @amomontheside

Lisa lives in the midwest and works at home while raising twins, an 8 year old, and a teen. She loves family adventures, traveling, concerts, and a cold glass of Moscato. You can find her blogging at and

4 Tips for Dance Moms
You work hard all season to prepare for the big day. Hair gets styled, makeup gets done, costumes put on with all their accessories, and shoes laced up. You line up, walk on stage, and hope you remember everything you have been taught. The life of a dancer. Exciting, stressful, and one of the most awesome things I have been a part of in my life. I was pretty excited to meet two of the Rockettes recently and it brought me back to my dancing days.

Rachel Borgman grew up in Nebraska and is now in New York City performing as one of the Rockettes. Her father supported her throughout her dancing career and was always there for her – makes me think of my mom. Growing up a dancer, my mom was always right there with me. Making sure I practiced, had shoes that fit, was dressed for recital, and reminding me to “look out over their heads at the back of the auditorium” so I wouldn’t lose to stage fright during recital. She consoled me when I cried over hideous dance outfits and pictures and cheered me on when I finally mastered wings in tap. I remember all of those things, but I had no idea how much of herself she gave me to me and dancing…until  I was doing the same.


Photos: Rachel’s parents traveled to Omaha while the Rockettes were visiting. If you look closely, you’ll see her parents joining the dance lesson and proudly taking photos in the background.

Being a Dance Mom, especially when you have child that enters Competition Dance, takes a lot of out you. Many nights spent at the studio, many days on the road traveling to competitions, many dollars spent on lessons, shoes, and costumes. Yes, that can all seem overwhelming, and at times it is, but being a Dance Mom to a child that loves dance, is one of the best rewards ever. To help you get through all those dance lessons, dance recitals, and dance competitions, here are some of my best Tips for Dance Moms.

Tip #1 Listen to your Dancer
It can be hard for those of us that danced, to keep our feelings and thoughts separate from our child’s. I loved tap and wanted my daughter to love tap. She came to me during her second year of tap and said she didn’t like it anymore. As much as I wanted to watch her tap, I couldn’t make her. What I did do was have her finish the year she had started, and the following year she didn’t take tap. I taught her that she couldn’t give up on things that she started, but I also taught her that how she feels matters.


Tip #2 Be Involved
Whether they are visiting New York, texting 24/7, or sending care packages to remind them of home, the Rockettes shared how important it is to stay connected with their family. Rockette, Karilyn Surratt, explained how her family understands the busy schedule of “Rockette Season,” but she can always tell when she hasn’t heard her mom’s voice in a while.  Not only does being involved show your child that you care, it will also help you too feel more comfortable. I volunteered to be a room parent for recitals, helped with costumes, and lent a hand around the dance studio when things got hectic. Doing so I was able to get to know other Dance Moms better, get to know the dance teacher better, and ultimately feel more comfortable and less stressed on those big important days.

5 Ways To Cheer On A Young Dancer

Tip #3 Learn Hair Styles
You can save a lot of money by doing your dancer’s hair yourself. The Rockettes do their own hair and makeup for their shows so I think we can do our dancers’ hair and makeup for their recitals and competitions. Am I right? Pinterest is overloaded with hair tutorials and all you need are one or two that you can recreate. If nothing else, find another Dance Mom to show you her tricks, like the French Twist that is passed down from Rockette to Rockette.


Tip #4 Celebrate with other Dance Moms
When the curtain drops on the recital and all the trophies at the competition are handed out, it’s time to celebrate. First or last, you and your dancer made it through another year. You hug and kiss your dancer, give them flowers, and tell them how proud you are of them. We even have cake and ice cream afterward. Then, it’s time for YOU to celebrate that you made it through another year as a Dance Mom. Grab your fellow Dance Moms and celebrate however you want, but recognize all the hard work that you put in as well.


Being a Dance Mom has provided me with some of the best family memories I could ask for. I can’t wait to continue those family memories at The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes at the Orpheum Theater!

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.

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.

Life On The Road As A Rockette

Written by Dana Zucker

I am Dana Zucker, contributor and Food Editor of  I focus on luxury travel and travel for families and triathletes around the world on my personal websites, TriWivesClub and MomsGoodEats.  When not on the road, I can be found cooking, eating, and adventuring around Omaha!


The Rockettes have 120 dancers divided into four casts and two of them spend their time on the road.  This year, one of the two traveling casts will be in Nashville and the other will split their time between Omaha and Houston.  They are on the road September through January; right smack in the middle of all the holiday gatherings.

As a travel writer, people often say to me that I have the best life traveling all the time and get to just have fun, while playing on the road.  While it is a great life, it is also work for me, some of the time.

Rockettes Meet & Greet 011

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Rockettes, Rachel and Karilyn, as a guest blogger for Omaha Preforming Arts!  I am so fortunate to work with an amazing group of travel writers that are moms at so I asked what they wanted to know.  Here are their questions and the Rockettes’ answers…

Kim Orlando is the TMOM Founder, who sends us moms all over the world for articles. Are any of the Rockettes moms?

Karilyn, who first took a deep breath, stepped back and said, “Yes and I have so much respect for them, to do what I do and have a family to take care of”.

TMOM Desiree Miller, who had the opportunity to dance with the Rockettes in Atlanta. Last year, when I was dancing with the Rockettes, one told me that you spend all summer in Myrtle Beach. Do you?

Karilyn and Rachel both replied that the Rockettes are all over the place during their off season.  Many work at other jobs or preform in summer groups and teach.  But, there are some Rockettes who work year-round, traveling for the company.  The Rockettes that are cast in the traveling production, however, spend a good portion of the Fall in Myrtle Beach where rehearsals take place.

TMOM Sue Rodman and TMOM Kim- Marie Evans wanted to know what all TMOMs struggle with when traveling. What do you eat?

Karilyn and Rachel were similar with their answers.  Both, during rehearsal and during shows, are very active.  During show season, they are doing 300 kicks a show for 4 shows a day, plus all the dancing and costume changes.  So, they eat a lot.  When on the road, they always have a refrigerator backstage and in their rooms, but foods easy to eat and carry are always best.  The biggest struggles are proteins and electrolytes.  Favorites are pickles (due to the sodium content which is can be lost while performing), cups and squeeze packs of peanut butter, and those tuna fish packs.  When flying, these are easy to carry on the plane.  But, the real favorites are always care packages from home.  

TMOM Scotty Reiss. Do you ever get time to break away and explore the city and what has been your favorite city?

One of Karilyn’s favorite cities is San Diego, because it’s so beautiful in the winter. Rachel’s was easy; It’s Omaha this year, since Nebraska is her home state.

With rehearsals and shows, it can get really hard to breakaway and see the city or region they are in, but many times they push themselves to get up early and get out and explore. TMOM Founder Cindy Richards. Do you have roadies, because we as TMOMs would love roadies? Oh yea, we are our own roadies…

 The Rockettes travel with a team that helps a lot, but they are each responsible for their own stuff.  The production team is a huge part of what they do.

Photo courtesy of Radio City Christmas Spectacular Facebook

TMOM Mary Dixon Lebeau. How do you keep yourselves so stage worthy on the road?

One of the things the Rockettes are grateful for is the wardrobe department that hits the road with them.  But, each Rockette is responsible for getting their own make up and hair done themselves for each show and appearance.

And me, well I want to know what’s in your carry on besides your dance shoes?

The most important item the Rockettes carry are their phone chargers, to stay connected with family and friends.  But, more special are pictures of friends and family.  Karilyn shared with us that her friends even make her special photo albums to take with her, which makes it even more valuable.  


As with everything else, the Rockettes travel with such class and grace.  We TMOMs strive to do that and write about it at the same time.  With the kids in tow and no wardrobe department, we have a lot to learn from the Rockettes.

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, andInstagram.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular – Glitz & Glam

Written by Sara Sabaliauskas
Instagram: @sarasab

I am SO excited to be collaborating with Omaha Performing Arts as a guest blogger for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!  I was offered a fabulous opportunity to learn more about the timeless, most glamorous, and uber talented group, The Rockettes!  The Rockettes are simply dreamy!  Their sheer glamour and classic beauty speaks to all women, no matter what age or style.


What does it mean to be a Rockette? Two words: “Class” and “Grace”.  That is the epitome of a Rockette.  It is such a large part of American culture and a valued tradition for so many families during the Holiday season.  Most young dancers look up to the Rockettes and aspire to reach the Great Stage of Radio City Music Hall and dance under those bright lights!  Rachel and Karilyn were so gracious to share their point-of-view about life as a Rockette!

First, I was dying to learn all about show-time prep aka their beauty routine, and much to my surprise (I couldn’t believe it!) the ladies do their own hair and makeup! Um, excuse me? Their faces are flawless! Teach me your ways, please!  These ladies have this process down to a science!  They are pro’s, in every sense of the word!

Now let’s get to their insanely gorgeous costumes!  Rachel’s favorite look is the ‘Shine’, which is covered in 3,000 crystals! It is no wonder that those ladies command attention and shine bright while giving the performance of a lifetime!  Karilyn revealed some challenges that go along with live performances and explains that in costumes like the fan favorite ‘Reindeer’ she has had the bowler hat get caught on the bells while performing.  And I thought I had wardrobe issues?!

Shine compressed

R93-2 Retouched

How do the ladies like to dress while not suited up in head-to-toe sequins and sparkle?  They are just like us! They prefer comfort and ease, like the everyday kind-of-gal!  Karilyn reaches for comfortable slacks and jeans that are versatile and easy to wear.  She feels her best in flowy tops and pieces that accentuate her slim and trim waistline!  Rachel trades in those metallic silver dance shoes for her favorite pair of cowboy boots! Quite the different look and I honestly loved hearing this because I love the idea of unexpected looks; pushing those style boundaries and limits! Rachel is also all about comfort when she dresses for the day and is a big fan of a good Nike tennie! Who isn’t?

So I mayyyy not have these exact ensembles lying around in my wardrobe, but I do own some pretty glitzy jewelry pieces that I feel resonate with and emulate that glamorous look the Rockettes are known for!

1 2 3 And what does one wear when gearing up for a Christmas-inspired Winter Extravaganza? For September, I opted for Fall hues incorporating my go-to play on patterns with a bit of red & green to get me in the Holiday/Rockette spirit!

4 5

And while we all cannot be a Rockette (I mean, in our dreams, yes!), their message is positive, uplifting, and reigns true for any woman who is following her dreams:

If it’s something that you really want to do, never give up on it.  I grew up wanting to do this, wanting to dance.  Work hard and keep going to your dance classes. ” – Rachel

New York at Christmas

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.

Jazz on the Green

A Family Tradition

Written By: Kim Reiner

I’ve been going to Jazz on the Green concerts long before I was an Omaha Performing Arts employee. It was the summer series my friends and I looked forward to the most. It wasn’t really summer until we were outdoors, listening to live music and having a picnic with, what it felt like, half of Omaha.

Jazz-on-Green-8-16-12-Charlotte-3WM-600x450 (1)

2 years ago – my daughter

Now, it’s part of my job to be at some of those concerts, and it’s a good gig to have. I love hearing the great music and the atmosphere is festive. Even if I’m not working, I’m often at the concerts. It’s become a family tradition to bring the kids out to at least one. They love dancing up by the stage.

So, one Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing concert is in the books for 2014 already – five concerts remain!

I’ve been looking forward to July 17 Navy Night ever since I heard about the Leap Frogs landing on the green before the band takes the stage. My kids are going to love seeing the parachute team! I doubt they’ll stay awake for the fireworks after the show, though.

The other four shows in the lineup are Conjunto Chappottin y Sus Estrellas on July 24; Big Sam’s Funky Nation on July 31; Sing, Sing, Swing Orchestra on August 7; and the legendary New Orleans jazz band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band on August 14.

Time to start calling your friends to see who’ll join you on the green, right?

  What’s next?
Cox Music & Movies: Fridays
Holland Center | Courtyard