Disclaimer: I participated in a Rockettes Kick Class through a partnership with GoGo squeeZ and the Tampa Bay Bloggers. I was awarded a dance class, tickets to Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes and dinner as compensation. The opinions shared in this review are my own.
Every girl dreams of being a ballerina or standing tall in a Rockettes’ kick line. Thanks to GoGo squeeZ, my sister and I lived out a bucket list dream when we were invited to attend a private 45-minute Rockettes Kick Class (valued at $99 per person) prior to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Our personal Rockette instructor, Stacy, led an intimate dance class on the second level of the Morsani Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. From high above the lobby, visitors could watch us stepping in time like wannabe Rockettes.
Much like season professional athletes, an athletic trainer travels on tour with the Rockettes and prescribes ice baths and other preventive measures to keep the Rockettes kicking. Prior to each performance, each dancer will warm-up for about 30 minutes with such activities as running or yoga.
In true Rockette fashion, we also did some simple deep stretching to warm-up our hamstrings prior to beginning our kick class. Once we were limber and nicely stretched, Stacey showed us some basic Rockette dance steps to Happy Holidays.
In one show, the Rockettes will perform 300-400 kicks per show with typically 3-4 shows per day while burning up to 750-1000 calories in each performance. Between performances, the Rockettes will refuel their bodies with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because they are easy on the digestive system (The same reason why triathletes eat PB&J sandwiches.)
Then, Stacy showed us how to perform the famous wooden soldier routine that the Rockettes have been performing since 1933. As we turned together, the six of us locked arms and moved in time to a 16 count march to “open the gates”. With each synchronized step, Stacy shared a few additional facts about the heavily starched wooden solider costumes which can stand alone. Much like the dance numbers, each costume change is choreographed. In one performance, there are over seven costume changes with the fastest change about 90 seconds long.
For our final kick class task, we locked arms once more while lightly caressing each other’s back to perform the world famous Rockettes high kick line.
As much fun as it was to learn all the traditional Rockettes dance steps, I truly enjoyed learning how to stand like the Rockettes. The secret to this stance is to place your hand on your hip with your thumb outward. This elongates your body making you appear taller and thinner. I think I hit a whole 5’1” with this stance. I’m ready for the big time now.
Although I had already seen the show less than a week before, my sister and I sat in orchestra and had the most amazing seats for this GoGo squeeZ sponsored performance. We were up close and personal to Santa and the Rockettes.
To discover the magic and wonder of the Radio City Music Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, read my full review of the performance here.