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Stone Mountain native dances into town with the Rockettes
by LaTria Garnigan
September 18, 2013 01:31 PM | 4467 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Karin Koser / Moonshadow Photography
From left, Joanna Richardson, Francesca Herrera, Jessica Forsstrom and Alina Duncan.
Special / Karin Koser / Moonshadow Photography From left, Joanna Richardson, Francesca Herrera, Jessica Forsstrom and Alina Duncan.
After seeing her first Rockette show around age 9, Joanna Richardson knew just what she wanted to do when she grew up.

Richardson, a Stone Mountain native, began her dance journey at her mother Coby Richardson’s dance studio in Decatur at the age of 3.

“I grew up training with her [mother] and then continued the family business as a dancer,” she said.

Richardson will dance her way into her eighth season with the Rockettes, when they visit the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in November for the Radio Center Christmas Spectacular. Given her tenure with the organization, Richardson added that it was no easy feat to be a part of the team. After her fourth audition years ago, she made it through the rigorous audition process.

“The audition itself is a grueling two days and when I auditioned there were about 400 people wrapped around Radio City,” she said. “And everyone is trying out for only a handful of jobs that are available each season.”

Even with her experience, she said she makes sure to maintain her fitness and dance levels during the offseason for the upcoming auditions each year.

Once a part of the organization, there are many opportunities the Rockettes get to experience. Richardson said they were able to perform on America’s Got Talent and are also godmothers of the Norwegian Cruise line where they teacher master classes and host meet and greets on the ships.

“I would say being part of the Rockettes is about being something bigger than yourself,” said Richardson. “We really are a team. It’s not just about one woman being up there on stage by herself, it’s a group effort.”

During this year’s production of the Christmas spectacular, audience members can expect a 50-foot LED screen that will transport them to Time Square and Santa’s Workshop with Santa and the Rockettes, according to a news release. The show will also feature new sets and special effects to immerse audiences in the magic of Christmas.

If you go:
What: Radio City Christmas Spectacular
When: Nov. 7 to 23, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta
Cost: Prices range from $26 to $97
Information: Ticketmaster, (800) 745-3000 or visit; group sales, (770) 916-2855, email groups@cobbenergy

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