Movie Reviews

Dance Baby Dance

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By: Robert Warren



In a quirky huge smile way, Dance Baby Dance is a film that entertains with upbeat momentum, and extreme optimism, following lead character Jimmy Percer (Stephen Kogon) in his relentless pursuit to tap dance in the showcase. The film is excitedly enjoyable in its inspirational feel good way of portraying the timeless message of pursue your dreams. It`s moving, its warm heated and it’s a bit predictable, but it is extremely loveable.

In a passionate, goal-chasing, feel-good film we see character Jimmy Percer (Stephen Kogon) at first overlooked, not being considered the talented one (as Fred Astaire was when he performed alongside his sister). However, he has a dream to ignite his passion of tap dancing truly to be like one of the greats. Percer wants to be like Astaire, Sandman Sims, Bill Robinson (who performed alongside Shirley Temple) and Gregory Oliver Hines, but to be chosen for the showcase he has to push through a series of challenges including people who may not support him.

Goal-driving, Dance Baby Dance is a movie that is nearly impossible not to smile at, as Jimmy just carries this wickedly upbeat warm friendly inviting smile pushing towards a goal as though this is the biggest thing that matters in his to-do achievement list of life. Jimmy has to make the dance showcase, the film makes that clear, there is not a thing that Jimmy will let stop him in his journey to try to achieve that. Jimmy is admirable in how goal-driven, confident, and forceful he is to achieve his goals. It is definitely a feel-good inspiration of a movie.

Written, directed and starring Kogon, film lovers can be excited to see some big names in the cast such as Beverley Mitchell (“Seventh Heaven”), Jim O`Heir (“Parks and Recreation”) and Carlos Alazraqui (Despicable Me 3).  It`s definitely a lighthearted film, very loveable and part of what makes this film very enjoyable are the interactions between Kit (Hayley Shukiar,) a 9-year-old who is sad after her parents’ divorce and Jimmy, the goal-driven dancer. In the film the interactions of Kit, are witty and sarcastic which pairs well against Jimmy`s optimistic go-get-them attitude for some hilarious interactions between the two.

In Dance Baby Dance, Kit is a character that really is reluctant to speak, but her shyness builds a desire for audience members to know what she is going to say when she does finally open her mouth. After getting her to talk, the witty remarks, the stubborn attitude and the sassy demeanor she shows Jimmy is all comical in its great delivery. Kit is a notable character in this movie, by the great acting, sassy delivery and stubborn remarks.  Anytime Jimmy and Kit talk you almost can’t help but laugh.

So much positive energy in this film is well complimented by many talented dancers that perform throughout it. While the film focuses on tap, there are different dancers from ballet to contemporary. There is one dancer that stands out in this movie notably aside Jimmy, that being the ballet dancer, Dex, played by Jim Nowakowski. Nowakowski, who competed on the 2015 season of “So You Think You Can Dance” on Fox, owns the role of Dex handling his ballet steps with ease and quiet grace – stepping into air swiftly in ease and spinning like a spinner on a table. Dex is captivating in his performance and indeed makes competition tough for Jimmy.

What makes this film work so well is the comedy that derives from the optimist versus pessimist situations that Jimmy lands himself in. It is funny just watching the interactions of Jimmy, in almost a Mr. Bean character type of awkward, funny and persistence in achieving his objectives.

The characters are very forward as to their thoughts, which push this movie along quickly. There is not much of wondering what a character is thinking because they just tell another character. The good part about the direct nature of this film is the fast-paced energy behind it, which works in the way that Jimmy needs pushing in order to have a desire to do better. Yes is not an easy target for Jimmy as he needs to hear a no or two to be inspired to push himself to greater limits.

Jimmy persistence in practicing his dancing in this film should be inspirational to any dancer or creative artist in the work they put into their craft. Jimmy takes a hard piece of flooring and brings it to different places where he can stand with his tap shoes on and practice. Practice, practice, practice. Jimmy pushes very hard to achieve his goals with this movie. Even practicing outside he continues to push himself to practice through the rain—and he enjoys it.

There is a plan with Jimmy since he knows what he wants and is willing to push through anything to get it. He is not going to give up just because someone else told him to. This is the reason this movie is so heartfelt and Jimmy`s character has a lot to do with it.

Upbeat, this film is definitely a good movie for the family to watch. It is both heartwarming and pleasing. Watching Dance Baby Dance you will get a burst from Jimmy’s passion as he competes with high levels of energy. This film definitely makes tap dancing exciting again and there are lots of steps to be seen in this film.

Released on January 19, 2018, Dance Baby Dance has a lot to offer from extreme optimism to the timeless message of follow your dreams. It is a silly film with high levels of energy that are just extremely likeable in nature. With Jimmy’s talent for dancing truly memorable, this movie will put a smile on your face.

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