A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Center Stage: On Pointe is the latest installment in the dance movie franchise. It contains some sexual innuendo, competitive behavior, and LOTS of dancing. There's an injury, a fistfight, and the words "a--hole" and "bulls--t" each uttered once, but the overall content is pretty mild as far as teen movies go, lacking the raciness of the original film. Music by popular artists including Adele and Rihanna is featured. Dance-loving teens will enjoy this most.
What's the story?
CENTER STAGE: ON POINTE, a sequel of the popular 2000 film Center Stage, stars Nicole Muñoz as Bella Parker, a young modern dancer trying to find her place in the dance world in the shadow of her sister's ballet legacy. When American Ballet Company (ABC) director Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) realizes that the classical ballet company is going bankrupt, he's forced to expand the dance repertoire to include contemporary styles to increase ticket sales. After auditioning for Reeves, dance veteran Cooper Nielsen (Ethan Stifle), instructor Tommy (Kenny Wormald), demanding instructor Frances (Sarah-Jane Redmond), and ABC-dancer-turned-lead choreographer Charlie Sims (Sascha Radetsky), Parker is accepted into the American Ballet Academy's six-week summer-intensive training program. Joining her are classically trained dancers such as Allegra (Maude Green), Richard (Thomas L. Colford), and Damon (Barton Cowperthwaite), along with contemporary dancers such as-year-old phenom Gwen (Chloe Lukasiak), all of whom are vying for four spots in the junior company. While some of them struggle with the cultural and technical differences between the two schools of dance, others, including Bella, struggle to find the self-confidence they need to get through their final auditions and realize their dreams.
Is it any good?
This entertaining, melodramatic, and ultimately predictable movie does deliver by providing the storylines, characters, romance, and dance sequences that you're expecting from the franchise. The return of some characters from the original gives it some charm, while the combination of ballet with contemporary dance also makes for some creative choreography.
It does a fair job of explaining the differences between the two kinds of dancing styles and uses lots of slow-motion sequences to highlight both the creative technique and emotion in contemporary dance. As a result, CENTER STAGE: ON POINTE lacks some of the high-energy, explosive style featured in other Center Stage installments. But if you're a dance fan, this will be sure to please.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what being a professional dancer is really like. Is it as competitive as they make it out to be here? What are the sacrifices people have to make to be dancers? What are the risks that come with the job?
What kind of dancing is "your style"? How does dancing make you feel?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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