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Dancer born with one hand makes Radio City Rockettes history

In this Oct. 22, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher center right, takes part in a rehearsal at the Rockette's rehearsal space in New York. Mesher, who...
In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, sixth from left, dances during a performance of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City M...
In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher checks and eye lash extension she has just put on in her dressing room at Radio City Music ...
In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher begins to prepare for makeup and costumes in her dressing room at Radio City Music Hall in ...
In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, right, works out with fellow Rockette Emily King, sitting at left, at Radio City Music Hal...
In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher adjusts part of her Wooden Solider costume backstage during a performance of the Christmas...
In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher prepares backstage in her Rag Doll costume before going back onstage during a performance ...
In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo Rockette Sydney Mesher, first in line at right, takes the stage as a Wooden Solider during a performance of the Ch...
In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, fifth from right, rides a depiction of a sightseeing bus during a performance of "New Yor...
In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, front center, dances during a performance of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Musi...

In this Oct. 22, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher center right, takes part in a rehearsal at the Rockette's rehearsal space in New York. Mesher, who...

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, sixth from left, dances during a performance of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City M...

In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher checks and eye lash extension she has just put on in her dressing room at Radio City Music ...

In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher begins to prepare for makeup and costumes in her dressing room at Radio City Music Hall in ...

In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, right, works out with fellow Rockette Emily King, sitting at left, at Radio City Music Hal...

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher adjusts part of her Wooden Solider costume backstage during a performance of the Christmas...

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher prepares backstage in her Rag Doll costume before going back onstage during a performance ...

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo Rockette Sydney Mesher, first in line at right, takes the stage as a Wooden Solider during a performance of the Ch...

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, fifth from right, rides a depiction of a sightseeing bus during a performance of "New Yor...

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 photo, Rockette Sydney Mesher, front center, dances during a performance of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Musi...

NEW YORK (AP) — A dancer born with one hand is the first person with a visible disability ever hired by New York's famed Radio City Rockettes.

“I don't want to be known as the dancer who has one hand, and not because that's a bad thing," Sydney Mesher, who joined the Rockettes this season, told Newsday. “But because I've worked very hard to be where I am.”

Mesher, 22, is missing a left hand because of symbrachydactyly, a rare congenital condition.

The Pace University graduate from Portland, Oregon, was hired by the Rockettes after her fourth audition. She said she has been “mesmerized” by the troupe, which dates to 1925, ever since first seeing them on TV in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mesher said she started dancing as a child and attended a performing arts high school. In the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, audiences caught up in the show might not notice her missing hand, even where there are minor modifications to the act to accommodate her. In one number where the Rockettes ring a bell in each hand, she rings just one.

Rockettes creative director Karen Keeler called Mesher "an incredibly versatile dancer with a strong work ethic." Keeler said Mesher “is smart and determined, with an eye for detail.”

The annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular runs through Jan. 5.


Updated : 2021-06-15 02:23 GMT+08:00