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Department Of Dance

Christmas in New York City: Dance Grad Debuts as Radio City Rockette

Emry Wride’s Journey to Becoming a Rockette after Graduating from BYU Department of Dance

Emry Wride
Photo by MSG Entertainment

As a child, Department of Dance graduate Emry Wride loved watching the Radio City Rockettes perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She never imagined that someday, she would become one of the 84 women kicking, smiling and sparkling in the line. However, a year and a half after her graduation from BYU, she was doing just that. Wride made her triumphant debut as a Rockette in the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall on November 17, 2023.

 Wride graduated BYU in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in dance. During her time at BYU, she danced with BYU Athletics’ Cougarettes (2016–20) and Department of Dance’s Contemporary Dance Theatre (2020–21). The wide variety of training she received from the Department of Dance helped her prepare for the work she now does as a Rockette.

 “The Rockettes do more than precision; we do jazz, tap and ballet,” Wride said. While at the Rockettes Conservatory — a no cost, invitation-only training program for auditioning Rockettes — the dancers were taught modern Horton technique, something Wride had learned at BYU.

 Thousands of dancers audition to become a Rockette every year. Although the audition process was strenuous and nerve-wracking, Wride described the journey as joyous.

 “Being a Rockette is the epitome of hard work,” she said. “It is intense and rigorous but also the most rewarding process I've ever gone through. During the holidays we bring people so much joy, which also brings me joy.”

Emry Wride
Photo by MSG Entertainment

 For Wride, being a Rockette is all about community and sisterhood. “I’m surrounded by 84 strong, unique women who lift me up,” she said. She wants to use her platform of being a Rockette to inspire other people to find their community and pursue their dreams.

 “[As a Rockette] I’ve had so many opportunities to share my culture as a Native American on the line and to encourage other people to follow their dreams,” Wride said. “I know for a lot of dancers in Utah it seems scary to move somewhere new to pursue their dreams. I want to share that it is possible and if you surround yourself with a good community, you can accomplish anything.”

 Wride will continue to perform in the 2023 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes through January 4.