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Dance Baby Dance Review

Dance Baby Dance is a 2018 drama about a man chasing his dream, even as it seems more and more impossible to achieve.

There’s a dancer in all of us, or so they say, and while for most, that’s limited to the living room a pair of headphones and list of guilty pleasure songs we only play when no one is listening, for others, it is a lifelong passion. This lies at the heart of Stephen Kogon‘s latest Dance Baby Dance, an independent, low budget drama that hits most of the marks in a family film that for fans of dance ought to satisfy.

Jimmy Percer (Stephen Kogon) is heading into his mid-30s and feeling the weight of time creeping in on his dream. He wants to be a tap dancer, but ten years earlier, a knee injury knocked him out of the game. Now he wants to give it one last shot before it’s too late, however, it’s not so easy. His loving and supporting wife Tess (Beverley Mitchell), who works at the studio as an aerobic instructor, urges him to try even as the owner Hector (Carlos Alazraqui) isn’t convinced he’s got the chops for the upcoming showcase he’s sponsoring. Meanwhile, Tess’ sister Lanie (Lisa Brenner), going through a divorce, shows up with Kit (Hayley Shukiar), her 9-nine-year-old daughter, needing a place to stay. Guess who shows some talent of her own, and as Kit, distraught over the breakup, and Jimmy bond, things might just turn themselves around.

Keeping things safe, Dance Baby Dance isn’t a film meant to offer much challenge, its conflicts and setbacks minor, kept simple in favor of showing off its cast’s skills on the dance floor. Jimmy is an impossibly upbeat and positive guy who wears only a cheerful smile no matter the hurdle, even when the road to the showcase is blotted with some admittedly rough corners. What the film is really about of course is building the relationship between Jimmy and Kit, as Lanie crumbles. This means lots of moments where the two share tap time together, forging ahead as they both try to find their way.

If you like tap dancing, or have even a passing interest in it, then Dance Baby Dance will surely offer plenty of things to get behind, with lots of sequences of Kogan and Shukiar doing their thing. There’s a few side characters as well who do some more modern interpretations, however most of the film centers on tap. And it’s all pretty darn good. The movie is limited of course by its small budget, but is ambitious enough with plenty of earnest performances (and some talented dancers) to make it a pleasant watch, even as it offers few surprises. 

As a family film, Dance Baby Dance is certainly a safe bet, with enough of the show on little Kit to keep younger ones interested, even as it puts most of its attention on Jimmy. It’s nothing but positive energy and while it sticks to the plan, does what it sets out to do. If you have a dream, movies have long worked to inspire, and surely, Dance Baby Dance has its place among them.

Dance Baby Dance Review

Movie description: Dance Baby Dance is a 2018 drama about a man chasing his dream, even as it seems more and more impossible to achieve.

Director(s): Stephen Kogon

Actor(s): Beverley Mitchell, Jim O'Heir, Clare Grant

Genre: Drama, Comedy

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