Children’s toys are a popular holiday sight. A clip of one dance sequence in which these toys came to life has gone viral, as a group of toy soldiers who perform in flawless sync have been a YouTube hit for years. The world-famous dance company The Rockettes executes the toy soldier routine, which is truly amazing.
The dancers, all decked out in huge toy soldier outfits with tall feathery hats, stand up and start to shuffle in unison as the music starts. They part to form two lines as they face each other, then turn and march back towards their respective sides.
The dancers return to a single line and smaller groupings are formed before moving to the front of the stage, where they turn and walk to their various groups. The little formations then face forward and circle once again until everyone is in line facing the rear.
Then, two by two, they go back on the stage in two lines, separate into a star formation and walk off to return once again, while continuing to maintain their star form and have a stroll about while the crowd applauds.
The Rockettes’ toy soldiers then break apart, each performing their own little individual movements before dancing in unison as they bend and spin and salute. They then line up across the stage again as the music quickens slightly, marching just a bit faster before executing another crowd-pleasing dance.
When the figures turn and extend their arms forward, the spectators are shocked as the snare drum beats. One toy soldier is in charge of a cannon situated at the end of the stage, which is fired to reveal a flag that says “Boom.”
The soldier at the front leans over towards the dancer manning the cannon, and a perfectly coordinated, yet very slow, fall backwards begins as the initial soldier falls into the arms of the next.
As the line advances, those behind gently lay one atop the other and things get faster until the last dancer drops to the ground. They sit up and salute the audience as soon as all of the soldiers have fallen down, signifying that this act is now over.
Every Christmas Spectacular needs a show-stopper, and the Rockettes’ website describes how this amazing move, which they’ve been performing since 1933, is pulled off. They remark that it “represents the power of teamwork,” with Christmas Spectacular Director and Choreographer Julie Branam noting that “the key to the fall is perfect alignment between the dancers.”
Julie said: “It starts by having someone rock upon their heels and start to go back. You raise your hands up, slide your hands through, and open your arms. Their feet have to be completely lined up because you don’t want the fall to go one way or another because someone could get hurt.”