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Rockettes Inspire Peekskill Dancers

Dancers at Dance Expressions practice choreography. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The Rockettes show off some of their famed techniques. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Dance Expressions dancers practice what they learned from the Rockettes. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Dance Expressions dancers are nimble on their feet, Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Students follow the lead of the Rockettes at Dance Expressions in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Dance Expressions dancers practice what they learned from the Rockettes. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The dancers practice some of the Rockettes' famed techniques. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Radio City Rockettes recently visited Peekskill and kicked up a storm.

The Rockettes visited Dance Expressions at 8 John Walsh Blvd. to teach the younger dancers some of their famed choreography as they prepare for the famed Radio City Christmas Spectacular. As they were taught the moves, many of the dancers said they wanted to be Rockettes when they grew up.

Lori Barber, one of the Rockettes who visited, said she grew up wanting to be a Rockette.

"I told these girls that if you want it, you can have it," Barber said. "Believe in yourself. Being a Rockette is amazing. Radio City is such a magical place. To do what you love, there's nothing like it."

Every year, the Rockettes select dance studios in the region to visit. This is the third time they have visited Dance Expressions.

"It gives the girls something to aspire to," Arleen Grayfer, who runs Dance Expressions and lives in Garrison, said. "They were very excited."

Dance Expressions has been in Peekskill for 10 years and offers a wide variety of dance classes, including ballet, jazz, hip-hop and point. Classes are offered for all ages.

Dancing runs in the family with Grayfer's two daughters, Christine and Jessica, dancing for the Nets and Knicks, respectively. Dance Expressions also offers a competitive and performance team.

"We try to expose our dancers to as many performances as people," Grayfer said.  "We love performing, we just don't dance at recitals."

Dance Expressions has performed at the Peekskill Celebration, Cortlandt Town Day and for nursing homes.

Jessica Grayfer said it is important for the dancers to have something to strive for. She said dancing is a good discipline to have.

"It teaches you hard work," Grayfer said. "It's a great way to express yourself. If you're angry, dance it out. If you're sad, dance it out. It's the best way to get your emotions out."

Rebecca Maracich, one of the dancers, said she loved meeting the Rockettes.

"I've wanted to be a Rockette since I was a little girl," Maracich, a Garrison resident said. "I go to the Christmas Spectacular every year. Being a Rockette would be a dream come true."

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