When I was 8 or 9 years old, my family made the trek from Orlando to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the dance company's home since 1932. Bundled up in a very non-Florida coat, I watched the toy soldiers march on stage just minutes from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Cue fuzzy, magical childhood moment I'll never forget. Now the Rockettes are coming to you, when the Radio City Christmas Spectacular opens at the Straz Center in Tampa Thursday. And though we'll never know how those Rockettes kick their legs so high, we do have an idea of what goes into making the show so, well, spectacular. Here's the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, by the numbers:
Each Rockettes costume is adorned with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals.
For the wooden soldier costumes, each pair of pants must be so heavily starched that it can stand up on its own without anyone inside it.
The Rockettes wear a 24-inch-tall hat, making a 5-foot-10 Rockette stand almost 8 feet tall.
The double-decker bus in the new "New York at Christmas" scene weighs 7 tons. During the more than two-week run, it will travel about 14 miles onstage.
The show uses more than 300 costumes and 200 hats.
Two of the show's most iconic scenes, "The Parade of Wooden Soldiers" and "The Living Nativity," have been part of Radio City's holiday tradition since 1933.
The Rockettes do 300 kicks per show. On a four-show day, that's 1,200 kicks!
Among the Rockettes, chorus and Santa, more than 1,200 pairs of shoes are worn per show.
Wardrobe goes through more than 3,000 red dots per season to brighten the cheeks of the Rockettes during the "Rag Doll" and "Wooden Soldier" numbers.