By Renee Collins

Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5)

I had to choose between seeing FIRST POSITION and BATTLESHIP.  Not too hard a choice since I heard terrible things about BATTLESHIP but to be honest, I was more interested in seeing FIRST POSITION.  This film is a fascinating look into the lives of six talented young dancers (ages 9-19) who want to pursue ballet professionally.  Each year, dancers from five continents compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.  They all desperately want to land a job or get a scholarship to dance at some of the best ballet companies.

We are taken into the lives of Aran Bell, Gaya Bommer Yemini, Michaela Deprince, Jules Miko Fogarty, Rebecca Houseknecht and Joan Sebastian Zamora who are all dreaming of become professional ballet dancers.  As we get to know these young dancers the filmmakers paint a clear picture of the enormous amount of work, dedication and pain that they go through striving to become professional dancers.  Some have an easier road financially while others are struggling to keep their dreams alive.  No matter what their situation is personally it is all about dancing the best they can in that all too crucial moment in front of the judges. 

 This film is technically very made well because the audience becomes a fly on the wall watching their day to day struggles as well as life changing performances.  I am and always will be fascinated at how much pain and anguish these children, and they are children, go through to become great dancers and I admire them for it.  This film is a wonderful look into the world of dancing and I would recommend it to anyone.  As good as it is I don’t see any reason why it needs to be seen at the theater, rent it.


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