I can officially say I’ve danced with The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.
Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s technically true.
A few weeks ago, BlogHer opened up sign-ups for The Rockettes Experience, sponsored by Centrum and Caltrate. I was so lucky I was able to get one of the spots because there were very few it seems (maybe 100?). It was for an hour-long session at Radio City with ACTUAL, REAL LIFE, LONG-LEGGED ROCKETTES!
I’ve already told you this was a dream come true for me.
It met all of my expectations and more.
Bright and early, at 7am on Friday, we all headed across to Radio City Music Hall and stood in line outside the stage door. I hooked up with my friend Kate from The Guavalicious Life. I was so excited to have a partner in crime to hang with (and knew she would take me to the ER if I broke my body).
Of course, we got goofy with the sign inside at the desk when we checked in.
I can’t tell you how exciting it was to simply walk down the hallowed halls of the back areas of Radio City. This is where all the magic happens. The classes, the training, the choreography for the amazing performances… it all happens right there where we stood.
These mannequins were obviously (I assume) showcasing costumes from years past. Of course, I had to touch them.
Here I should tell you that Kate and I were giggly and giddy the whole time. Maybe it was the time of day, though.
They put us all in a room and then split us up into two groups. Kate and I were in the pink group. From there we headed to the studio rooms for our Experience.
Dumb me didn’t get our beautiful Rockettes’ names. I was too busy noticing their legs that were as long as my whole body, their toned bodies and the way they held themselves as if to say, “I’m a Rockette.”
Both of them were very humble about their position in the group. They were 6 and 8 year veterans, having to try out every year. They don’t take it for granted, and even admitted they get weepy at different points of their performances.
They taught us how to march like they do in the Parade of The Wooden Soldiers. I can imagine them with their pink cheeks and heavily starched pants. That’s one of my all time favorite routines of any group I’ve seen perform. In high school, I choreographed a routine for our dance team that had sections of this routine in it.
The Rockettes have been performing this routine since 1933 in their Christmas Spectacular. The girls shared an interesting tidbit with us. During Q&A time, I asked how do they change so fast between songs. They said they have a whole process back stage that is nearly as elaborate as what we see on stage. Some costume changes are as little as 80 seconds. At the end of the Wooden Soldiers, when they slide down on each other, as they get up, they unzip the person in front of them so their costume change is faster. SO COOL!
Later, we did high kicks. Sadly, I can’t kick very high anymore. In my mind, I can still “kick my hat” like the Rangerettes and way back when, kicking at eye level was no big deal.
It was exhilarating just being in the same room, in the same building where some of the most amazing dancing and performing has gone on, dancing… even if I’m about 30 pounds overweight and so not limber anymore.
For an hour, I felt like if I HAD been an inch and a half taller in my younger years, I truly could have been a Rockette. I could have tried out and maybe made the group. I could do everything they do and I did it well. They didn’t call me Miss Dance America for nothin’, y’all!
The giddiness Kate and I felt, will last a lifetime. It was truly an experience I’ll never forget.
Thank you to Centrum and Caltrate for sponsoring this Rockettes Experience and to BlogHer for affording us this opportunity.
ps: I didn’t cry until I got in the shower.
pps: I totally should have shown up in a Wooden Soldiers costume.
ppps: I didn’t break any bones or rip any muscles.