Like a lot of other people, I fell in love with the tv show Dance Academy when it first came out in 2010. For those of you who don’t know, its a drama filled show that follows the life of a girl as she enters a formal dance school. I remember watching this while I was still dancing ballet and actually being able to apply some of the things she was doing to my own corrections. I guess you can say watching this show helped me in the final years of my ballet life.
The show has three seasons (they call them series), each one for Tara’s year at the academy as she works to enter a professional ballet company. At the end of the 3rd season I (and others) felt like I wanted to know more and thankfully they made a movie to continue the story!
First of all I loved seeing the characters again and to see ballet again. To catch up on everyone’s lives was refreshing and I felt myself sigh early on in the movie as the familiarity set in. The dancing in the show was always top notch and the movie certainly did not disappoint. I find that the movie dealt with a lot more mature themes as Tara had to make more difficult decisions. When she finally had her breakdown while she danced the piece she was working on when she broke her back I was a wreck. I love how the imagery was done to show that she was drowning in the memories of the last time she danced with a goal. I’m sure she was dancing without the pressure and was able to handle the flash backs but to dance towards a goal is different. To put yourself back out there to be judged is different from dancing for rehab. To see her break through that was even cathartic for me.
Another thing I loved was the timing for everything. To get her back into shape and to push her, she had Abigail and Christian. Abigail instills discipline and Christian reminds her that there’s another side to all the hard work. I guess he shows her that it’s not all hard work and that it can also feel good to just dance. When everything turns to hell and she doesn’t know what else to do, there’s Kat to cheer her up and to support her no matter what, even if her ideas are horrible and she seems a bit obsessed. When she’s at her lowest and she needs a quiet push to get back up and try again, Ben reminds her that her problems are small and that there’s always another way and something else to get excited about.
I feel like I related a lot more to this movie than I would have expected because of where I am in my life right now. I understood her determination to make her comeback work and I felt her frustration when it just wasn’t working. I loved watching her come to the realization that she was trying to make something work that she didn’t even really want anymore.
Anyways, I loved the movie. It showed maturity and that inner conflict you get when you have to be a grownup. Tara isn’t the naive girl from the country anymore and even though she’s timid and shy about almost everything, she knows her body and herself better because of what she’s been through. She’s so strong in who she is that she can even reign in Kat and Abigail from their spiraling. So yea, it was an awesome movie!