The Toy Soldier Costume:
The Toy Soldier routine, in which the dancers get “shot” by a toy cannon and fall over seemingly in slow motion is one of the most beloved parts of the show. It’s also one of the oldest, having debuted in 1933. The costume recently went through a modern make-over, though the audience probably can’t tell the difference.
The high-waisted pants used to be starched to within an inch of their lives, providing that visually attractive stiff and straight look, but making them decidedly less comfortable for the dancers to wear and move around in. After some experimentation, the pants are now fabricated from a foam material that still has that stiff look, but is much softer and more flexible for dancing in.
The Rockettes we spoke to also deemed it the most fashionable of all their costumes. “Those are super cute pants, actually,” Lindsay Howe, 28, said.