Gotta Dance

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Gotta Dance Movie Poster Image
Upbeat docu about senior dance team has mild swearing.
  • NR
  • 2009
  • 93 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's never too late to get fit. Age is just a number, and you can be fabulous at any age. Themes include courage, perseverance, and teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All the members of the NetSational Seniors dance team show that it's never too late to follow your passion, be fit, and try something new.


Reference to WWII and having to hide in the jungle from soldiers.


A lot of talk about still feeling sexy as you age. Cheerleaders wear short shorts. Some song lyrics have suggestive lyrics, such as "You know I got it, if you want it, come and get it." Talk about slapping your butt and other mildly suggestive choreography. Reference to the memoir The Happy Hooker. A few mildly suggestive jokes that reference pole dancing and being a virgin, and a reference to a woman's husband running off with a Playboy bunny.


"Hell" many times. "Heck."


The NetSationals Senior Dance team is affiliated with the New York Nets basketball team. A lot of mentions of TV shows such as Good Morning America and The Early Show. The team goes shopping in Macy's.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine and beer at dinner. Fans drink beer at basketball games.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gotta Dance is a documentary about the first season of the NetSationals Senior Dance team, a group of dancers age 60 and up who performed at New York Nets basketball games. This inspiring film champions the idea that you're never too old to be fit or attractive and is a fun watch for parents. Kids may find the subject matter and lack of action boring. There's also some swearing ("hell" is used frequently), some drinking (adults drink wine and beer many times), and a lot of adults talk about relationships, feeling sexy, and looking good.

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What's the story?

GOTTA DANCE tells the story of how, to liven up their game entertainment, the New York Nets decide to add a senior dance team made up of members age 60 and up. Many people try out, but only 12 make the team -- 11 women and one man. Although many of them have dance experience, none of them is prepared for the amount of hard work in store. With hip-hop music and dance moves out of their comfort zones and mounting pressure to perform, the seniors have to push their bodies to perform and keep their spirits high, even when the going gets rough.

Is it any good?

Uplifting and inspiring, this fun documentary is a great mood booster, especially for an older crowd. Each dancer in Gotta Dance is hardworking and persistent, and it's wonderful to watch their personalities and confidence bloom. It's also refreshing to see a film that champions older women and their bodies and shows that age really is just a number. 

But younger viewers will most likely lose interest in this film fairly quickly, as there's not a lot of action and the same themes are repeated throughout. Even some adult viewers may tire of the film's messages, which aren't very complex. But parents and grandparents looking for a fun and frothy watch should give it a try.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about courage. How do the NetSational Seniors show courage? What fears did many of them have that they had to overcome in trying out for and performing with the dance troupe?

  • How do the NetSational Seniors show teamwork? How did they work well together? What did they do separately to benefit the team?

  • How does the team show perseverance? Why is this an important character strength?

Movie details

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