Work Out With the Rockettes on Norwegian

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During a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, Onboard contributor Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon worked out and high-stepped with the ship's godmothers, the Rockettes. The good news: She lived to tell the tale.

Work up a sweat with The Rockettes

This is harder than it looks.

In my mind, I'm a statuesque, perfectly poised Rockette, all feathered headdress, high heels and fishnet tights, gliding gracefully across the stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The reality: I’m a four-foot-nine-inch, less-than-svelte journalist clad in sweats and sneakers, grunting my way across the dance floor in a dining room on Norwegian Breakaway.

About 30 of us (including a few brave men) are here for a dynamic stretch class led by four members of the iconic 85-year-old dance troupe, godmothers to the 4,000-passenger ship. Class begins with head rolls, shoulder shrugs and arm circles — comfortingly familiar stretches to a runner like me — and I smugly think to myself, "I got this." Until I realize this is just the warm-up.

Our lithe instructor goes on to teach us a series of the same moves the Rockettes use to prepare for as many as five daily 90-minute performances during their September-to-January season. We lunge, bend, strut and pivot — or at least try to, mimicking our lean and leggy leaders with varying levels of success. My earlier pride does indeed come before a fall — or rather, a slow-motion sideways topple to the hardwood floor. But I'm not the first passenger to falter (after all, it's much harder maintaining your balance on a moving ship than on terra firma), and the arms of neighboring classmates quickly scoop me up and put me back into formation.

By the end of the half-hour class, I've alternately strutted and stumbled, pranced and plummeted, high-kicked and hit the floor, not to mention worked up quite a sweat. I feel physically humbled yet mentally energized by what I imagine must be a dancer’s endorphin-powered high, visions of glittery costumes and matching dance shoes spinning in my head. Yes, working out with the Rockettes is harder than it looks. But it’s also way more fun than you’d imagine.

Lose as You Cruise: The Rockettes' Top 10 Onboard Health and Fitness Tips

  1. Take a Rockettes' dance or stretch class. Duh!
  2. Slip some cardio into your day by allowing extra time between onboard activities to take the stairs instead of the elevators.
  3. Beat the Caribbean heat (and power your workouts) by staying hydrated; pack a reusable water bottle and refill frequently.
  4. Turn workout time into playtime with a fun hour on the ropes course, waterslides, rock-climbing wall, jogging track or at the bowling alley.
  5. Alternatively, the gym's open round-the-clock, so join a class, pump some iron or hop on a cardio machine. Even if it's just for 20 minutes, every bit counts.
  6. In port, choose active excursions such as kayaking, hiking and walking tours.
  7. Never underestimate the power of SPF! Slap a shot-glass-full all over your body before you leave the cabin, and reapply frequently throughout the day.
  8. When at the breakfast buffet, go with light and fresh fare. Choices such as fresh fruit and yogurt are a great start to the day.
  9. The rest of the day, scout the menu for healthy choices, designated with an icon. With 27 restaurants aboard Breakaway, you'll be spoiled for choice!
  10. Last but not least, remember that you're on vacation. Don’t feel bad about treating yourself once in a while to the calorie-bomb you crave. The Rockettes' favorite splurge: gelato.
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