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Long Beach dancers high kick with Rockettes

Ten members of Long Beach High School's dance

Ten members of Long Beach High School's dance classes performed with two Rockettes at Penn Station during the Long Island Rail Road's holiday open house. (Nov. 16, 2011)

Dancer Tatiana Summers, 16, says she’s long been a fan of the Rockettes, and last month she not only got to meet them, but even worked with them on a stage, of sorts.

On Nov. 16, Summers and nine other members of Long Beach High School’s International Baccalaureate Dance class got to perform with two Rockettes during a teaching demonstration for commuters at the Long Island Rail Road’s holiday open house at Penn Station.

The performance earned the whole 35-member class tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Dec. 6.

Dance teacher Christianne Donohue, 28, of Carle Place, said the 10 students learned the 65-count routine early that afternoon as the other 25 cheered them on.

Sam Zambuto, an LIRR spokesman, said the railroad was searching for dance schools in its database and discovered that the Long Beach High School class was going to be in Manhattan at the Ailey Extension Joan Weill Center for Dance for a class that morning. So the LIRR reached out to the school.

“We asked them if they’d be willing to perform with the two Rockettes and they, of course, accepted,” he said. “And we’re happy they did.”

Summers said the whole experience was surreal.

“I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl,” Summers said. “It was such a great experience meeting them.”

“Some of it was difficult, but some of it was stuff I knew,” added Victoria Cumbo, another Long Beach dancer who sees the Christmas Spectacular every year.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Rockette.”

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