Everybody Dance is a documentary film talks about the everyday challenges of kids with differing abilities and how ballet has changed their lives.
The documentary focuses particularly on five of these kinds and their instructor as they prepare for a recital.
What is most commendable about this film is that all the special-needs kids are shown in a positive light. You are not made to feel sorry for them in any way. They are bubbly and full of energy as they go through each day. The focus is more on their strengths and their determination. You might be moved to tears a bit but you will smile twice as much. These kids a delight to watch and their energy is radiant.
The dance studio is founded and run by Bonnie Schlacte. She reveals in the film that she found joy and fulfillment working with the kids and that has been her motivation to keep going.
Schlachte doesn’t do it all by herself. She has a group of equally committed volunteers at her side to keep things together. They also share their experiences with the kids in this documentary. One of them talks about how he only volunteered
We also get to see the families of some of the kids. They talk about their challenges and how happy they are to get to see their kids dance regardless of everything. The families are equally as inspiring as the kids themselves. They all acknowledge how ballet has changed the lives of the kids and made them more confident.
The film itself is very well done. Beautifully edited and paced with a soothing score that in many interesting ways rekindles your spirit and gets you in high hopes.
The film also does great at giving some insight on the various spectrums of autism and how they can be diagnosed.
In the end ‘Everybody Dance’ might not be a film that everyone would enjoy but it is certainly a film that needed to be made. It is inspiring. It sends a strong message that isn’t for only special-needs kids but for everyone. We all have a role to play in making sure that these kids have the best of lives and like Ballet For All Kids we all just have to do our part.
I will score this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. It doesn’t come off as a cry for help but rather a celebration of victory. For a documentary film it doesn’t have to try to be fanciful or over intelligent. The focus is on the power of dance in the lives of these kids and you can’t help but appreciate it.