Coca-Cola and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes have been longstanding partners for more than 60 years. In an exclusive interview with Atlanta native turned Rockette, Margaret McPherson talks about her passion for performing as well as her love for Coca-Cola.
What does being a Rockette mean to you?
It is such an honor to be a part of this legendary dance troupe. I am currently performing in my ninth season, and I absolutely love this job. Being a Rockette means that I'm doing what I love every day during the holiday season!
What is it like to perform in such an iconic Christmas show?
The opportunity to perform as a Rockette is my most significant career accomplishment, to date. The Rockettes have been performing since 1927 at Radio City, and it's amazing to be a part of that legacy. The Rockettes are inspiring and, although challenging, I really enjoy training for the season. All around, I absolutely love this job and am grateful to be a Rockette.
Why did you want to become a Rockette?
I saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Atlanta in 2001 while I was dancing at the Atlanta Ballet and was blown away by the production at the Fox Theater. I knew at that point that I wanted to gain the dance skills to audition for the famous troupe. I took a ton of tap classes and prepared for the New York audition. After auditioning three times, I got the call that I was a Rockette!
There are three things in particular that keep me coming back each year: the high level of professional requirements, the people, and performing! I love the high level of athleticism required to perform as a Rockette. The choreography requires you to be in the best shape possible and have amazing dance skills. The actual job is very challenging, and since I am very passionate about dancing, it's enjoyable to be pushed to perform at such a high level. Over the years, I have made so many wonderful friends, and I look forward to seeing all of my old friends year after year, and meeting new Rockettes as well. Lastly, I love to perform. With our schedule, we perform in up to five shows per day, and I have the opportunity to do what I love all day long.
What connection do you feel to Coca-Cola as one of the Rockettes' partners?
The Coca-Cola brand is known worldwide. It's wonderful that Coca-Cola, a global super power, partners with the Rockettes. My favorite historical Coca-Cola and Rockette partnership was the launch of Diet Coke at Radio City Music Hall in July 1982. I am also from Atlanta, where Coke’s headquarters are, so I am proud that Coca-Cola supports the Rockettes!
What makes the partnership between Coca-Cola and the Rockettes special?
Coca Cola’s iconic Santa Claus set the image of how everyone imagines the jolly man. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Santa have brought Christmas joy at Radio City Music Hall since 1933. The partnership is special because both companies bring happiness to people over the holiday season!
Do you have a favorite Coca-Cola memory?
I remember going to the World of Coke when I was younger and then years later visiting as an adult. I look forward to seeing the new display of the Rockette costume, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” there.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Every Christmas for the past nine years, my family has come to visit me in whichever city I'm performing in. We have a big family dinner and enjoy catching up on what is going on in everyone’s life. I have two younger sisters whose careers require them to live all around the globe, but they come home for this special occasion. I'm lucky to have this family tradition as a traveling performer!
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