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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

The Radio City Rockettes TikTok

Entered in TikTok Presence

About this entry

The Radio City Rockettes, the iconic precision dance company, have brought joy to millions of fans from all over the world through the annual Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The dance company’s multi-platform digital content, which features the Rockettes, spreads holiday joy and a love of dance to audiences worldwide. We tapped into the organic and viral nature of TikTok’s vibrant dance community to seamlessly integrate ourselves into relevant social conversation and showcase the strength of our brand in an ever-evolving digital landscape. 

Our goals were to increase our social footprint year over year; drive interest in the Christmas Spectacular and Rockettes brand; and leverage data and analytics to optimize our social content. We successfully produced and posted a regular cadence of dynamic and engaging shortform videos that enabled us to hit or exceed all of these goals. Through our innovative digital presence, we’ve shown it’s possible for an iconic precision dance company with a nearly 100-year legacy to be engaging, relevant, and exciting to a new generation of fans on TikTok. 

Why does this entry deserve to win?

We successfully brought the Rockettes from “The Great Stage” of Radio City to the “clock app” by identifying what creative opportunities within TikTok made the most sense for us to be a part of. This meant finding ways to preserve the essence of our iconic and historic brand, while being digital-first and forward-looking. With agile and nimble video production, we executed multiple shoots with the Rockettes so that we could capitalize on viral moments. This meant choreographing dances with our precision techniques to put a Rockettes spin on timely trends, collaborating organically with TikTok creators like Cost n’ Mayor, and even creating our own challenges to drive awareness of our brand and encourage audience participation. Some of our strategic highlights include putting a Rockettes precision dance spin on AJR’s “World’s Smallest Violin” trend, resulting in 53.2K new TikTok followers; and starting our own #ChristmasObsessed challenge, which drew participation from major celebrities/influencers including Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani and the Ballinger family. 

We strategically utilized in-app features, increased our posting cadence, and tracked which of our videos were outperforming to expand on that success with similar content. We were able to quickly react to real-time insights about our overarching content strategy across all of our digital platforms and make informed decisions about organic pieces we wanted to continue creating, as well as any content we’d want to repurpose and adapt specifically for TikTok. 

While these strategies ultimately proved to be successful for us, there were some challenges along the way. As a legacy brand, we found ourselves constantly weighing the pros and cons of participating in certain trends – Would we be too late? How can we incorporate our brand voice into this? Is this cringe or cool? Because we are a business TikTok account, we have certain copyright restrictions and had to clear and license popular music, which adds an additional layer that can affect participation in timely trends. Ultimately, we immersed ourselves into the world of TikTok to stay abreast of and react to changes to the platform and algorithm in order to stay culturally relevant. 


The Radio City Rockettes added more than 376K followers to our TikTok community. We successfully integrated the Rockettes into trending social conversations with our own precise spin on viral dance trends. Our take on AJR’s “World’s Smallest Violin” trend earned us 53.2K new TikTok followers in one week, before our most-engaged season – the holidays – even began; and our version of “2 Be Loved” was reshared by Lizzo to her 25M+ followers. 

We saw back-to-back weeks that averaged 5M+ views on TikTok due to the opening of the Christmas Spectacular, and excitement generated by the Rockettes’ performance in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We strategically approached partnerships and original content within the TikTok platform in order to expand our audience, and we created our own #ChristmasObsessed TikTok challenge that icons Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani, and influencers such as The Ballinger Family all participated in. 

Our “Wooden Soldier” fall video was the highest performing content piece of the season with 10M views and 1.3M engagements (our highest engagements of all time). 

The community growth, increased engagement, and excited audience all made for an extremely successful year with 93M video views, 8.4M engagements, 376K new followers, and 21 videos surpassing 1M views. 


Video for The Radio City Rockettes TikTok

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.


Entry Credits