My daughter nearly jumped out of her skin.
Dance Academy!? A Movie?!!
Ms10 was dancing around the kitchen herself, absolutely thrilled to hear that a movie based on the three Dance Academy TV series was in production.
When I told her we were going to visit the film set and meet the stars, she practically pirouetted in mid-air.
She was just as excited when the big day arrived and we walked into the Opera House.
Being on a movie set is a thrill at the best of times. When the film is based on a TV show you love and when the stars you meet are very welcoming, it’s a massive treat.
Now many readers will be familiar with Dance Academy which ran for three series between from 2010 – 2013 and is often repeated still.
Four years on, the main cast are all back, Xenia Goodwin plays Tara Webster, Dena Kaplan plays Abigail Armstrong, Thomas Lacey is back as Ben Tickle and Jordan Rodrigues as Christian Reed.
The movie’s plot has themes that will resonate with children and teenagers, and with parents too.
Without giving it all away, our young dancing stars have to get through many setbacks as they struggle to earn a place in the adult world of dance.
And although dance is the theme, the core messages of the movie are relevant to all young people.
The film is about struggle and grit and determination, and it’s about friendship too.
Meanwhile back on set, we have one of the stars of the show as our guide. Thomas Lacey:
“Dance Academy doesn’t shy away from tackling big life issues, there’s been illness and death, passion, commitment and energy, all seen through the lens of dance.”
The filming has needed a lot of passion and commitment too, with the dancers at a higher stage in their careers. Thomas says: “Ben is now a principal so the dancing has to be up at that level too.”
A huge thrill for Ms10 was meeting Dena Kaplan and watching Xenia Goodwin do take after take of a particularly demanding scene.
Film sets are funny places, all sitting around waiting and then all intense and active… and QUIET, please.
Dance Academy is bound to be a hit because of the passionate followers of the TV series. But this is an Australian film whose message will spread further too. It’s not just about dance and not just for dancers.
This is a story that will resonate with all young people, particularly the core audience of 10 – 18 years.
Dance Academy is also one of those films that mums and dads will enjoy watching with the kids, and then chatting through afterwards. Its themes of growing up and finding your place in the world are universal… we all need to talk so much with our kids as they grow.
Ah, life can be so tough for teenagers, and for us mums and dads as we parent them through it. Trust me I know.
The more opportunities we grasp to have open discussions about life’s tough moments, about confidence and self-image and about friendships, love and the whole damn thing… the better.
Meanwhile, we’ve watched a big scene with hundreds of extras, and the crew is setting up for their next shot. My young daughter has had a very special behind-the-scenes look at the making of a movie she’ll love.
And this ex-showbiz showoff has loved smelling the greasepaint and watching the producer and director hard at work. We’ve met the lovely writer Samantha Strauss too and chatted to many of the cast and crew in between takes.
And we all managed to stay quiet after the clapperboard clacked and we heard the words: “Action!”
And here’s the trailer for the movie – enjoy!
Dance Academy is now showing nationally. Find showtimes at the Dance Academy website here.
Are you and the kids fans of Dance Academy already?
Can you think of other films which inspire conversations with kids?
Take it easy