New life on the kick-line: Edmonton dancer joins the Rockettes – Edmonton

After a lifetime of anticipation, and two years of sweat-soaked auditions, Katie Forss has earned a place in the Radio City Rockettes kick-line.

The Edmonton dancer will be among the newest additions to the iconic dance ensemble in New York City.

Known for their dizzyingly high kicks and sequin costumes, the troupe has a storied history. Since 1932, they have performed at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, becoming synonymous with glitz and glamour in the city that never sleeps.

 ‘No one could change my mind’

Forss has been dancing since she was three.

“My whole life, I really just recall growing up in the dance studio,” she said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

“I really knew growing up, that this was something that I wanted to pursue professionally. And from then on, no one could change my mind.”

A view from backstage as the Rockettes line up during a song during the 2015 Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

She took classes at Shelley’s Dance Company in southeast Edmonton throughout grade school, and since then her training has gone international.

Offered the chance to attend the University of Arizona on a dance scholarship, she’s been training with their program for the past two years.

Forss fell in love with the Rockettes when she was 12. She travelled to Red Deer for a dance workshop and trained with three Alberta sisters who all danced with the Rockettes.

It was then she realized there was something special about the dance troupe.

‘I need to be up there’

“From that moment on, I was like, ‘Mom, this is what I need to do. I need to be up there.’ This is the company that I want to be a part of, and the legacy that I want to be with.’ So from that moment on, that’s … what I set my sights on.” 

Beyond their taut French twists, candy-apple-red lips and synchronized movements, it was the Rockettes’ place in dance history that struck a young Forss.

She began training with a veteran Rockette in New York every chance she got. 

“The legacy had a huge impact on me personally,” said Forss. “They’ve always been in the city, they’ve always been a beacon of light for the Christmas holiday season.

“It’s almost a hundred years they’ve been in the dance world, and so that was definitely a huge pull for me.”

Katie Forss is joining the ranks of the world-famous Rockettes. (Clara Cecilia Photography)

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