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Professional dancers with crazy high leg kicks inspire young girls: Don't forget to smile!

Professional dancers with crazy leg kicks inspire young girls

Classy, elegant and inspiringly precise . . . those are words that accurately describe the women who comprise the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. The dance troupe has been dazzling audiences with family-friendly choreography and impressive dance kicks that encourage viewers to ask, how are you not falling on your tuches while doing so? And while wearing heels?

A select few lucky dance students received a behind-the-scenes preview of just how it's done when two Rockettes visited Houston, hosted by Theatre Under the Stars, ahead of the upcoming show Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, which plays at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts from Dec. 5 through 28.

It may appear as though the dancers are locking arms while slinging their legs high up in the air, but that's not the case at all. The perfectly synchronized kick line feat is executed with each Rockette keeping their arms and hands within inches of each other to avoid direct contact.

Can you just imagine a domino effect if one dancer suddenly miscalculates? It happens, though very rarely.

 "Each of us is very different. But when we come together in front of six thousand people, we are the same dynamic force."

"It's important to keep shoulders back and your center of gravity secure," Rockette dancer Sarah Grooms tells the group of young ladies. "Not too forward, and not leaning back, and of course don't forget to smile."

But while this intimate dance workshop may have given students a feel for what it takes to be a Rockette, the talk that followed revealed more about teamwork than about dance itself.

"We're a precision company so everything looks the same," Rockette dancer Jessica Osborne says. "But what I love sharing with young girls is that each of us is very different. We are mothers, nurses, astronauts.

"But when we come together in front of six thousand people, we are the same dynamic force."

Watch the "Up to Speed" video, sponsored by Cadillac, as host Nicole Hickl interviews these two nurturing performers about life as dancers, education and their role in inspiring young girls.

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Theatre Under the Stars presents Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes from Dec. 5-28. Tickets start at $35.50 and can be purchased online or by calling 713-558-8887.

TUTS Radio City Rockettes Education
Lucky dance students learned about life as a Radio City Rockette during a workshop at Theatre Under the Stars. Photo by Joel Luks
Radio City Rockettes up to speed
Jessica Osborne, left, with Nicole Hickl and Sarah Grooms. Photo by Joel Luks
TUTS Radio City Rockettes Education
Radio City Rockettes up to speed