PRESENTATIONS: Meet Hannah Welsh | Community | Savannah News, Events, Restaurants, Music

Hannah Welsh spent most of her childhood in Richmond Hill, so much so that she considers it her hometown.

It was there that at the age of three, Welsh first discovered her love of dancing, and it was there that she began to develop her skills at studios such as Dancing Unlimited and Kelly and Company Dance Studio.

These days, however, 18-year-old Welsh is on a bigger stage, performing as one of 18 members of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

And yes, it is the realization of a childhood dream.

“I always wanted to be a Rockette, even when I was a little girl,” said Welsh, who left Richmond Hill after her ninth year at St. Vincent’s Academy when her mother relocated for a job. “I remember coming to New York and seeing the show with my mom and my grandmother, and it was such a great experience. It’s that kind of immersive, magical vacation experience that you can only live in Radio City. I knew then I wanted to do this.

It meant years of hard work, then auditions, and well enough to be invited to the Rockettes Conservatory program, which is described in as “a three-week, invitation-only opportunity designed to immerse 20 professionals and pre- professional dancers undergoing intensive training in the basics of Rockette precision technique (tap, jazz and ballet), bodybuilding and choreography from the Rockettes repertoire.

Welsh credits the opportunity for leading her to become a Rockette, and one of only 84 since the precision dance company was founded in 1925 and began performing in 1933.

The Rockettes have been seen by some 69 million people and are almost synonymous with the Christmas holidays, performing at events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

They were also role models for the Welsh.

“This is an iconic group of strong, powerful, independent women,” she said. “It’s also gratifying because it brings me so much joy to spread so much joy.”

And with that, Welsh has an invitation to expand to the city she still calls home. The Rockettes will be performing at Radio City Music Hall from November 18 to January 2 this holiday season and one of them knows where Richmond Hill is.

“I hope everyone comes to see it,” she said. “Radio City is the only place in the world where you can experience the magic of a Christmas show like this. It’s really not like any other show.

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Five questions for Hannah Welsh

1. What is your favorite dish? Mexican. And Italian.

2. Favorite book? “To kill a mockingbird.”

3. Favorite movie? The new Hallmark movie “A Holiday Spectacular” starring the Rockettes. It will premiere on November 27. “It hits really close to home (for Welsh),” she said.

4. Favorite sport: Soccer. Favorite team: Notre Dame. “I have family who graduated from there.”

5. Favorite performer: Mariah Carey.

Originally published in the Bryan County News

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