Dance Academy

Dance Academy
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Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Tara Webster’s dream of dancing comes true when she gets into a top dance academy. She soon realizes dancing is only half the battle.

Dove Review

This show will appeal to a variety of viewers, including people who love energetic dancing, ballet, and a bit of romance.

In episode one, titled Learning to Fly, teenager Tara Webster of a small town of 300 in Australia, is attempting to get into a dance academy to pursue her love of dancing. Xenia Goodwin plays Tara. The show opens by showing a young Tara, looking as if she has just passed the toddler stage, positioning herself on a bale of hay in order to leap off and “fly.” “When I was young, I wasn’t so clear on the gravity thing,” we hear her say in a voiceover. “Then I landed and I broke my wrist,” she says. “From that day on I’ve always known that in another life I could fly. That’s why in this one, I dance.”

Jumping to present day, we learn that Tara had auditioned for a dancing school and has been waiting for a letter to arrive to learn if she is accepted or not. “I thought I was ready for anything,” she says in the voiceover. “I didn’t have a clue.” She is accepted and her adventures begin.

Her first experience is a girl sending her to the locker room to change but she purposely sends her to the boys’ locker room! Tara, having removed her shirt is surprised by a boy when he enters. She still has her bra on, but she accuses him of coming into the ladies’ locker room. “The girl’s locker room doesn’t have urinals,” he points out. The guy teases her about stripping in front of strangers.

Dancing at the National Academy of Dance is a dream come true for Tara, but she faces some bumps while adjusting to her new life. Some of the girls are quite critical of other girls, making statements like, “She can’t turn,” or “She has low extensions.” And on the first day of class the students, including Tara, are told that the school only has room for a few. It will be their job for the next few days of audtions to make sure they’re among the ones who get to stay.

Tara meets a guy named Ethan and there seems to be sparks between them. She wonders where that might lead. Tara is invited to a party where alcohol is seen being poured into a drink, and one person bumps into Tara, spilling a drink on her blouse. Tara quickly excuses herself from the party.

Miss Paine, one of the instructors, challenges Tara, saying that she doesn’t think she will make it-but Tara rises to the occasion and ends up impressing her. During her performance she said, “In that moment I forget about everything, just dancing. In the end, dancing is all that matters, and no one can take that away from me.” Episode one ends with her opening the letter to see if she’s been accepted to permanently attend or not.

In episode two, titled Week Zero, we see Tara releasing a baby kangaroo that she nursed back to health. Freeing the kangaroo is symbolic of her flying the coop herself. She has been accepted into the school. But adjustments lie ahead for her.

Tara has a friend invite her out on a dare one night when she can’t sleep due to her roommate’s snoring. They jump into a lake from a building and Tara is on the verge of being kicked out for it when a friend says she had Tara stay with her because Tara’s roomie was snoring. Tara begins to learn who cares about her and who doesn’t.

The episodes feature peppy and energetic music, even hip hop, as the girls and a few guys build up their energy by dancing to the music, while at other times focusing on ballet. Tara was the best where she grew up, but does she have what it takes here at the academy? Her teacher challenges her to be better.

The shows feature some typical teen behavior, including a few characters breaking the rules, and making others look bad. The pursuit of a dream and learning to adapt to various situations and people is nicely handled in the shows. We think a variety of people will like it due to its energetic music, dancing, and touch of romance. It has procured our Dove seal for Ages 12+.

The Dove Take:

The likable actors, music, and dancing make this a fun watch!

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: None
Sex: A couple is seen kissing; a boy is set to dance a number which usually only girls do and a girl acts like she is with him to impress the other boys so they will leave him alone.
Language: Crap
Violence: None
Drugs: A student is seen pouring alcohol in a cup; one student seems to be a bit inebriated as he bumps into a girl.
Nudity: Cleavage in a few scenes; shirtless boys; girls in bra and panties.
Other: A girl lies to get her friend out of trouble; tension between characters; a few characters attempt to make others look bad in front of their dancing instructors.

Info

Company: Cinedigm
Producer: Joanna Werner
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 24 min.
Reviewer: Ed C.