Entertainment

The Rockettes Are Teaching Free Online Dance Classes This Holiday Season

This looks like fun!

For many of us, the interest in keeping our at-home exercise routines fresh and fun has all but evaporated over the many months (or has it been decades? Millennia?) since the pandemic first forced us all indoors in the spring. Instead of doing another set of push-ups against the kitchen counter, it’s much easier to curl up on the couch with any of the million amazing TV shows that are at our fingertips at all times.

This month, however, to combat both the holidays-at-home blues and pandemic-induced anxiety, the Radio City Rockettes are taking to Instagram Live with video instructions on how to do the choreographed dances from their annual holiday show, “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.”

New live video lessons are held every Wednesday in December (through Dec. 23) at 3 p.m. ET on the Rockettes’ Instagram page (and the videos remain available to view on Instagram after the live session ends). Each session is typically around 50 to 60 minutes long and includes a Q&A segment at the end.

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

The classes are a great way for the dancers to keep in touch with fans during this unusual holiday season when live performances of the classic Rockettes show have been canceled. Rockette Danelle Morgan spoke to Shape about their efforts to keep the holiday joy alive — even if it’s just over Instagram.

“With everything going on in the world right now, it became apparent that we needed to throw a little holiday spirit into the social media world,” she told Shape. “It’s been so rewarding that, despite not having the Christmas show this year, we’ve been able to bring some holiday cheer and joy to our fans.”

Some of the classes are more advanced than others. The “Christmas Dreams” instruction led by Morgan is one of the more complex dances, though it starts with a good warmup to help ease you into learning the routine. You’ll find a much quicker and simpler lesson on how to rock the Rockettes’ eye-level high kicks — as performed in their iconic kickline — in this short instructional video.

In addition to getting in some exercise, the classes can provide a happy distraction from the current doom and gloom of the world.

“Times are tough right now, and it’s important to take a moment to yourself,” Morgan told Shape. “You have to find that joy, which may mean dancing by yourself in your apartment, pretending to be a Rockette. You have to step away mentally and live a little sometimes.”