Eye-high kicks are the iconic kicks that we Rockettes are known for! We kick to the height of our eye, with the leg slightly crossed in towards the center line of the body. In eye-high kicks, our legs are parallel. Even though our heights range from 5’6″ to 5’10 ½”, doing our kicks in this way gives the illusion that we are all kicking at the exact same height.
So how do we get our legs all the way up to eye level? Any dancer knows that maintaining and improving your flexibility through stretching is crucial to any dance training. Dynamic stretching prepares the whole body for exercise by using controlled movements that increase heart rate and overall blood flow to the muscle while also increasing flexibility … all of which we need to support our stamina and endurance when performing our eye-high kicks. In the Christmas Spectacular, we perform about 300 kicks per show!
How-To: Traditional eye-high kicks are done straight ahead, but we have a few different variations (did you see our edgy “Welcome to New York” kickline from the creative genius of Mia Michaels?!).
Piano KicksThe kicking leg comes down and crosses in front of (and slightly to the side of) the supporting leg. The foot comes down with a light tap and pops back up again for another eye-high kick.
Angle KicksThese are eye-high kicks, aimed on an angle. Our gaze and our torsos shift slightly to the angle, and the toe of the kicking leg is aimed on the same angle.
Rond de Jambe KicksThe kicking leg loops up and around, with the leg making a rond de jambe that ends in a passé.