Young dancers enrolled in RDC’s Summer Dance Intensive program this week will be learning moves from dancers who have made it big in New York, including a Radio City Rockette who grew up in Lacombe.
Dance instructor Lisa Jantzie, 29, will start her fifth season with Rockettes this winter.
She dances in 17 shows per week with the high-kicking cast of 80 dancers in Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular that runs in November and December before audiences of 6,000 people.
Jantzie said for much of the audience, seeing the Rockettes is a holiday tradition.
“It does help me keep my energy up to know they really, really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s something very special to them. The house is always very full,” said Jantzie who is a Rockette with her identical twin sister Kristin. Their younger sister Alison is also a dancer.
Lisa Jantize is an instructor with ID Inspire Dance that has teamed up with Red Deer College to run Summer Dance Intensive.
When she is not on stage at Radio City Music Hall, the rush is on to change into eight different costumes, shoes, hair pieces and earrings.
“We have as much choreography backstage as we do on stage with our costumes changes. We have about 25 wardrobe staff helping us back stage. It’s definitely a science how they get everything done and consistently.”
Between seasons, Rockettes will do special performances. Jantzie was among the dancers who performed live for American’s Got Talent in July and last Thursday kicked off the upcoming season with a routine on 6th Avenue in front of Radio City Music Hall.
Jantzie started dancing at about age five.
“Growing up every year, we started trying more and more different kinds of dance and doing more hours.”
When she graduated high school she got hired after her first ever audition, along with twin, to dance at Toyko Disney. After seven months she returned to Alberta where she continued her ballet, performing with the Alberta Ballet and the Banff Centre’s Festival Dance Company. To mix things up, she danced for Royal Caribbean Cruises before she got the call from the Rockettes.
When she’s not rehearsing or performing at Radio City Music Hall, Jantzie teaches Pilates and for the last four years has taught dance in Central Alberta for a few weeks each summer.
It’s the first time Jantzie and ID Inspire Dance have partnered with RDC to teach students age 11 and up. Classes run until Friday when students will perform on the RDC Arts Centre Main Stage at 8 p.m. Admission to the performance is free and the public is welcome to attend.
Jantzie is teaching along side ID Inspire Dance instructors Eric Coles whose career highlights include Broadway’s Rock of Ages, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Man of La Mancha. He recently premiered in Radio City’s Heart and Lights. Instructor Lauren Gibbs debuted on Broadway in WICKED and has danced for recording artists including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Firehorse and Joss Stone.