Lindsey Smith was Utah's Jr. Miss in 2003 and later became Miss Murray in 2007 while attending the University of Utah. She graduated that same year and became one of the legendary Rockettes.
Her Campus (HC): What is your favorite memory from the University of Utah?
Lindsey Smith (LS): I spent 4 years living my life in the dance building and made many wonderful memories as well as lifelong friendships. The perfect ending was graduation, as 22 of us Modern Dance majors walked barefoot to get our degrees!
HC: What made you want to be a Rockette?
LS: Becoming a Rockette was a surprise on the path of pursuing my career as a dancer. When I graduated with my dance degree, I didn’t really know how I would make it happen, but I knew I wanted to dance. Throughout college, I had done some shows at Hale Centre Theatre and had spent my summer working in their box office. A friend from Hale had started working at Disney World, and told me I should audition for them. I took a red eye flight to NYC, arrived at 6:00 a.m. to attend the 10:00 a.m. audition, then flew home at 4:00 p.m. One week later, I got the phone call telling me I had been cast in “Beauty and the Beast” and needed to move to Orlando to start rehearsals the following week. It was a whirlwind that set my life on a path I would have never predicted. I spent 2 years doing the 25 minute version of the Disney classic 5 times a day, 5 days a week. It was here that a friend of mine looked at me and said, “You should audition for the Rockettes, you would be perfect.” Luckily, one of my best friends from the U had moved to Chicago after graduation, so I was able to go visit her and attend the Rockette audition. I have memories of the 'audition line' being wrapped around the building! It was 2 days of dancing several combinations, kicking, tap dancing, and it ended with measuring our height. About a month later, I got the phone call telling me I was a Radio City Rockette!
HC: How many years were you a Radio City Rockette for?
LS: I was a Rockette for 4 years. My first season, I was part of the 31 city East Coast Arena Tour. We started in Canada and made our way down the East Coast. My second season was the 19 city West Coast Arena Tour. That season was special because the Radio City Christmas Spectacular spent Thanksgiving weekend in Salt Lake City. My family had the Rockettes over for Thanksgiving dinner, and then we spent the rest of the weekend doing shows at the Maverick Center. It was so fun to perform for my hometown! My 3rd and 4th seasons were spent living in New York City and performing at Radio City Music Hall. The Rockettes have called NYC their home for over 80 years and it is amazing to be part of that legacy.
HC: What is one valuable lesson you learned from being a Rockette?
LS: Teamwork. As a Rockette, you are 1 of 36 women dancing on the stage, and we are known for our precision. It is inspiring to be surrounded by such dedicated athletes. We push ourselves beyond what we think is possible in order to be the best we can be and the result is a beautiful, effortless looking show.
HC: When you were attending the University of Utah, you were pretty busy. You were serving as Miss Murray at that time. How did you juggle everything?
LS: I thrive when I’m busy. A perfect example was the week I was competing for the title of Miss Murray. I had been cast in a guest artist’s piece for the Performing Dance Company a the U. He was only in town for a short time, so I had to attend those rehearsals...but I also needed to be at the rehearsals for the Miss Murray Pageant. Somehow, I managed to be in school all day, rehearse with the guest artist, then go to the pageant rehearsal until late at night. My friends made me a “survival kit” that consisted of energy bars, hairspray, and princess shaped gummy treats. By the end of the week, I was crowned Miss Murray! I have found that 'the more you have to do, the more you get done!'
HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
LS: I hope to still be working in entertainment. I absolutely love performing and want to do that for as long as I can. When I can’t perform anymore, I want to stay in entertainment in some capacity. The thing that I’ve learned about this business is that you can’t predict where it will take you. If you asked me 10 years ago where I thought I would be today, I never would have guessed I would have ended up doing the things I’ve done.
HC: What advice can you give others about achieving their dreams?
LS: Success comes when hard work and opportunity meet. Always work hard and be your best, because you want to be ready for it when the chance presents itself.
HC: If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
LS: Since we are just coming off the Olympics, I’m going to say Shaun White. I have so much respect for people who do what they love and do it well! I got to dance in the Olympics when they were in Salt Lake City, and I have loved the energy of the Olympics ever since. I would love to experience the rush of the competition at such an elite level and the opportunity to represent our country with something I love.
HC: What is your favorite food?
LS: Chips and salsa
(Editor's Note: Thank you Lindsey Smith for your time! You are truly inspiring!)