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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Models empathy and understanding.
Artistic expression is important for everybody. People with disabilities or neurodiversity have the same feelings as people who are non-disabled or neurotypical. Everyone deserves opportunities to learn how to express their feelings through art. Learning a classical art like ballet not only allows people to express themselves, but also teaches skills that transfer to other aspects of life like school, work, and social interactions. There are no barriers to being a dancer.
Positive Role Models
Teaching staff and the mostly teen volunteers at the ballet school model communication, perseverance, and teamwork. They work well with each other and with the ballet students not only during class, but also in putting on the all-important recital. Students model courage, perseverance, and self-control both in class and as they perform in the recital in spite of frayed nerves and stage fright.
Students come from a wide range of ethnicities and have different disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Everybody Dance is a documentary about students at a ballet school that offers classes to a wide range of people, including those with physical or neurological disabilities. There's no content of concern for little kids, but some of the interviews with adults and older kids may not hold their attention. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a touching and uplifting documentary ultimately about the power of artistic expression and why we all benefit from opportunities to learn an art form. Everybody Dance also gives a lot of information about disability and neurodiversity, especially autism, that may encourage empathy for some viewers and provides a lot of food for thought about a wide range of subjects like arts education and being a more inclusive society.
Taking the students and staff through the process of preparing for a big recital adds a story-like flow and a lot of suspense to the documentary. Viewers get to know the students and staff as individuals, and their joy and pride in their accomplishments are infectious.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.