Born to Dance

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Born to Dance TV Poster Image
Dance contest pushes contestants with positive messages.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show emphasizes mentoring and training as a means to improve a dancer's technique -- and their life. Competition is important, but it isn't cutthroat. Dancing is presented as a positive way to manage stress and exhibit power.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The dancers who've made it this far are talented, but above all they've worked hard and competed with passion. Many have inspiring stories that help them stay focused. As a mentor, Laurieann models genuine compassion and concern, along with a desire to help dancers become even better than they already are.


Some dancers have a penchant for skimpy costumes, and the choreography is sexy and powerful.


Rare use of words like "damn," etc.


In one episode, the dancers do a commercial for the Kenmore Intuition vacuum. They also compete to dance with Lady Gaga on her "Monster Ball" tour.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this show stresses the positive side of competition and downplays conflict with minimal language slips. That said, the choreography tends to be sexy (but with an emphasis on powerful movements), and some dancers wear skimpy clothing. There's also some consumerism when dancers do a commercial for a Kenmore vacuum cleaner and compete to dance in a Lady Gaga tour.

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What's the story?

After whittling down a pool of hopefuls to just 20 dancers, celebrity choreographer Laurieann Gibson is putting each to the test with her trademark tough love to see who was BORN TO DANCE. Ultimately, one dancer will win $50,000 in support of her professional dance career and be chosen to join Gibson's \"Team Boom Kack\" dance group.

Is it any good?

Laurieann Gibson is well known in the dance world for her tough-love tactics and snappy catch phrases, including the audible "Boom-Kack!" she uses to punctuate her choreography. She entered the realm of reality TV in a supporting role to P. Diddy, whipping would-be pop stars into shape on Making the Band, and eventually launched her own mix of dance and behind-the-scenes drama with The Dance Scene.

But with Born to Dance, she makes far better use of her considerable talents as a teacher and her palpable desire to mentor young girls who seem to remind her a lot of herself.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the world of professional dancing and the qualities you need to succeed in the business. According to Laurieann's criterea, what are the most important traits a dancer should have? What separates a good dancer from a stand-out star? What do you think makes a good dancer?

  • Why does the dance world tend to favor slender body types? Is the bias merely aesthetic, or do dancers who are "thick" (as Laurieann describes them) have physical limitations that smaller dancers don't have?

  • Do you prefer reality TV with a more cooperative edge, or do you miss the conflict? What's the appeal of watching people get into heated arguments on camera?

TV details

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