Los Angeles

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dance Academy

It's true that I have an affinity for teen TV shows.  The boy teases me that my taste in television shows hasn't changed much since I was about 14.  And basically he's right.   I enjoy watching shows like Gossip Girl, Switched at Birth, Glee and the Secret Life of the American Teenager.  I know, I'm a total nerd.  But I'm really fine with it...No, really!

Anyway, always on the lookout for a good teen drama, I recently discovered a new show on Netflix from Australia called Dance Academy.  It follows the daily trials and challenges in the life of Tara Webster, a typical 15 year old girl...But here's where it gets good:

Tara is a ballerina who just got accepted to the National Ballet Academy of Australia!  It is a full on teen drama show about dancers - ballerinas - and it's surprisingly good!  I watched the whole 1st season in a matter of days.

I was expecting it to be a full-on television version of Center Stage, and it certainly has it's moments of stereotypical bunhead issues (ie: one extremely competitive student starves herself the week of finals till she faints.)  But the majority of the time, I find the show paints a very realistic portrait of a young dancer's life.  All the students have personalities and interests outside of ballet...They all seem to be playing their age, their actual dancing level, and I found it refreshingly old fashioned.  Each episode has a sort of theme and moral that addresses some common issue we all face growing up.  And I love that! 

The characters act stupid at times -- like teenagers.  In fact, Tara's crush on an older dancer boy is so pathetic, it hurts to watch at times.  But the show also really addresses what young ballet dancers give up in order to train the way they do, and how they don't always enjoy it.  And how they sometimes do.  

It's a sweet and simple show, but suffice to say it reminded me quite a bit of my summers dancing at ballet company intensives, and those first few years of being in a company.  As silly as it can be at times, I think it's a wonderful show for bunheads and cool kids alike.  If you have Netflix, check it out!    

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