David Letterman in 1986.

Rockettes Reflections

David Letterman’s Human Chain of Soda

by Dottie Belle

Throughout their 90-year history, the world-famous Rockettes have shared the stage — and unforgettable adventures — with many other world-famous personalities. They have appeared at such iconic events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl and on TV shows like America’s Got Talent and Night of 100 Stars. In celebration of their latest star-studded affair, The New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, the Rockettes are taking a moment to reflect on their favorite stardust memories.

The Rockettes were invited to appear on the David Letterman show. Sixty of us went, and I was chosen to be the spokesperson for the group. Half of us wore the “Dancing in Diamonds” costume, while the others wore white tuxedos.

Dottie Belle as a Rockette. (Courtesy of Dottie Belle)

When it came to our segment, we started out on another floor from David Letterman, and I was standing next to the soda machines. I could only hear him; I could not see him. And his producer was standing next to him.

First, Dave and I bantered a little bit about the Christmas Spectacular — we did not rehearse it or anything. He started getting a little bit off-color, making a joke about the Rockettes and “a lot of chafing.” But we reeled it back in — after all, the Rockettes are family entertainment.

And then he asked me to buy a Coke for him, and they started playing “New York, New York.” I passed the Coke can to the girl next to me, and then it went to each of the 60 women, winding around and up the staircase, actually kicking on the stairs, all the way down to the studio level.

The last group kicked out to him, taking the soda to him on the stage.

That was a lot of fun. We will all miss laughing with Dave at night.

Dottie Belle was a Rockette from 1974 to 2000 and currently resides in New York, NY.

Cover image courtesy of Getty Images.

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