The Radio City Rockettes are spectacular. It’s right there in the name of their world-famous holiday show: “Christmas Spectacular.” They are talented, they are coordinated and they have smiles that can light up a Christmas tree.
I would never be mistaken for a Rockette. I am neither talented nor coordinated, and I’d rate my smile as just OK. Also, I’m barely tall enough to be a Rockette. (At 5 feet 6 inches tall, I just make the minimum height requirement.)
In spite of all of that, the Rockettes were gracious enough to host me and two male colleagues in a rehearsal room at Radio City Music Hall — the home of “Christmas Spectacular,” just a stone’s throw from 30 Rock — where they put us through several exercises and taught us their signature high kicks.
The Rockettes we met are all veterans of the precision dance company and have diverse performance backgrounds. They know what they are doing, and they’ve been doing it for years.
They are also in top shape. They need to be, given the rigorous schedule for their performances: several shows per day, every day, through the holiday season. (Thirty-six of the 80 Rockettes perform onstage at a time.)
My goal was just to keep up with them — and not embarrass myself too much.
I felt a little pain in my quadriceps and a whole lot of soreness in most other places. But the important thing is that I maintained my smile like a true Rockette!
For the grand finale, my colleagues and I lined up with the Rockettes to perform eye-high kicks. At least, the Rockettes’ kicks were eye-high. Mine were waist-high, if that. Also, my timing was off. Way off.
You can see the Rockettes for yourself in their “Christmas Spectacular” show through Jan. 1.
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