'I was supposed to be here doing what you're doing today and I couldn't make it,' she said. 'So here I am today, to see you ladies and hope you all make it.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 28, 2023. It has since been updated.
The Rockettes made one elderly woman's dreams come true. Over 800 dancers arrived at Radio City Music Hall in New York City to audition for The Rockettes in April 2023. The group also included 92-year-old Mary Silvestri of Connecticut, who finally got the chance to meet them after decades of waiting. In a video shared by the world-famous dance company on Instagram, Silvestri shared how she had wanted to audition for the dance company decades ago, but was unable to find a way to New York City at the time. "I was supposed to be here doing what you're doing today and I couldn't make it," she said. "I couldn't get to New York alone and no one could take me. So here I am today, to see you ladies and hope you all make it."
Rockette Amarisa LeBar told PEOPLE that after she heard Silvestri's story, she knew she had to be involved. "We always love making someone's dream come true," LeBar said. Silvestri, who received a warm welcome to the city with her family, got the opportunity to talk to LeBar and some of the other dancers.
The dancers also taught Silvestri to pose for pictures doing the Rockettes' "iconic" bevel. "To see the joy on her face throughout this experience was something that really touched my heart," LeBar said. "I was so happy to be a part of it. We were honored to create this magical moment with her."
Videos from an event show Silvestri attempting kicks as she wore a bib that had the number "183" printed on it. After the auditions, Silvestri also offered some advice to the Rockettes. "Just keep moving, keep going, and keep going to dancing school," she said. "Do your routine and enjoy it. You have to enjoy what you're doing."
LeBar also shared that meeting Silvestri served as a reminder of how "lucky and grateful" she is to be a Rockette. Seeing the senior's dream come to fruition, LeBar said, "is something that meant as much to us as it did to her. I loved making Mary's dream come true. It's always an honor to see the impact we have on people all over the world."
Meeting the Rockettes is not just the dream of 92-year-old Silvestri. An 8-year-old who shared the dream, saw it come true when she met the Rockettes after getting a heart transplant. "Scarlett always loved dancing, even when she was sick," her mom told PEOPLE. "Her doctors tell me they are not worried about her, but I always will be as her mom."
"I'm really excited to go dance with the Rockettes and watch their performance," said Scarlett before meeting her heroes. "Spectacular was the theme of the week," added her mom. "During the show, I kept watching her face, and, oh my gosh, she had the biggest eyes and smile. It was my favorite part. She felt so special. After the show ended, they had these snowflakes falling from the ceiling, and she and her brother opened their bags to collect them as a sweet memory of the best day. Scarlett kept saying, 'They are so perfect.'"