When Amy Rosenblum was 10 years old, she was in a dance studio in Thomasville, Ga., studying under two former Rockettes. They choreographed routines for Amy and her fellow dancers, weaving in their experience with the world-famous dance company.
Earlier this month, the 17-year-old again received instruction from Rockettes, this time at the Rockette Summer Intensive.
More than 500 young dancers auditioned for the week, either live at select locations or in submitted recordings.
Amy, a rising senior at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, was one of 385 dancers chosen to participate in the weeklong program, going to morning classes in jazz and tap dancing as well as rehearsing the Rockettes' signature eye-high jump kicks.
"The Rockettes' style is so unique and precise. It was totally different from what I've done before, so it challenged me in a way I haven't been challenged before," she said. "I think that made the week fun for me. It was an opportunity to learn something I've always been impressed with."
The program culminated with a performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
"It was surreal," she said. "I had a blast. It's something I've dreamed about, and it was amazing to live it out."
Amy began dancing when she was 2. When she was in ninth grade, the Rosenblums moved to Augusta. She was accepted into Davidson and joined the Columbia County Ballet , where she dances four to five days a week.
Dancing at school is not something that most high school students get to do as part of their curriculum, and Amy treasures that time.
"In the middle of the day, when I'm doing math or whatever, and I'm like, 'ugh!' I can just go dance."
She doesn't have a favorite dance style.
"If I had to choose, the Rockettes might be it," Amy said, laughing.
"I love ballet, but it's always fun to get to do something different."
Amy has two friends who went through the Rockette Summer Intensive a few years ago.
"She's talked about (going to the dance camp) ever since," said Amy's mother, Kathy Rosenblum.
Because this is Amy's last summer as a high school student, her parents encouraged her to go ahead and do it this year.
The program is for dancers who are at least 14 and have five years of dance experience.
Amy doesn't plan to pursue dance as a career. She has friends who are preparing to become professional dancers, and she doesn't envy their stressful lives.
"They almost have to give up their childhood," she said.
Amy's mother and 14-year-old sister, Tracy, accompanied her to New York and were in the audience when Amy performed.
"How many people can say that they danced at Radio City?" asked Mrs. Rosenblum with a smile.
Staff Writer Nikasha Dicks contributed to this article.