"Right leg in pivot position, and on my count. One, two, three and hit it," shouts a Rockette over the music.
My right leg kicks out, then I turn and throw up my left, right, left, right as I keep my back ramrod straight and my sweaty palms nestled in the smalls of my neighbours' sweaty backs. This kick clinic is the highlight of an hour-long dance class taught by members of New York's famous dance troupe on board Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship. I'm sweating buckets as I bounce, completely aware of how ridiculous I must look, but it's too much fun to care. Plus, I'm getting a great aerobic workout.
Earlier, we'd gone through a slow stretch warm up and then a mental workout as we tried to master some of the famous choreography in Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, a routine the troupe has performed since 1933 in their Radio City Christmas Spectacular show. It was surprisingly hard to move in precise lines and patterns, and we weren't even wearing pumps.
But if you need a heartier workout, take the Rockettes fitness class. It's a masterful mix of dynamic stretches that focuses on your glutes, legs and core. "Dynamic stretches protect against injury, they increase the heart rate and blood flow to muscles just enough so they're ready for quick firing," explains Elaine Winslow, the troupe's head trainer and a former Rockette.
There's no chance of getting bored in this 45-minute class, but you may lose your balance.
"We'll have to modify it for the sea," grins Winslow as ocean swells continually move the floor beneath our feet during a session on the inaugural cruise in May. It's a true core workout that you'll feel for days afterward – make sure your first after-class stop is the hot tub on Deck 17.
Norwegian Breakaway offers Rockettes dance and fitness classes on the first cruise of every month. Rockettes-themed stretch classes are taught by the ship's fitness staff on all itineraries.
The writer sailed courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.