‘First Position’ – For the Love of Dance

FirstPosition.jpgAudiences at the Dallas International and Portland International film festivals gave First Position filmmaker Bess Kargman a first place in the audience awards, as did the staff at the San Francisco Docfest. In her review, below, KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Julia Chestnut (age 11) shares many reasons why people connect with this film and how it inspired her.

First Position
Reviewed by Julia Chestnut
(See more about the film on the
First Position page on the KIDS FIRST! website.)

I think the IFC film First Position is great. It is an award-winning documentary that is inspiring and captivating.

The actors play themselves as the film shows the audience what a life of ballet is all about. Each of the six dancers is completely dedicated to their sport as they prepare for a chance to enter one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix.

The six young and very gifted dancers all want a contract to go to the Youth America Grand Prix. They work hard to become one of the very best young dancers in the world. They work through bloody feet, horrible injuries and relentless exhaustion. The dancers are Aran Bell, Gaya Yemini, Michaela Deprince, Miko Fogarty, Rebecca Houseknecht and Joan Zamora.
 
Aran Bell has been dancing since he was four years old. He loves dancing and doesn’t care what other people think. He puts aside the pain and dances through it. Gaya, an adorable dancer from Israel, was inspired by Aran’s graceful dancing. She can really make dancing come alive! Michaela is incredible as she dances through excruciating pain in the finals. She is so inspiring to watch and graceful as a swan. The entire audience is cheering for her. Miko is willing to give up everything to dance. She doesn’t have much time for school, friends or outside activities. Rebecca is known as “Barbie.” She is extremely flexible and beautiful, like Barbie. Joan’s family lives in Columbia while he dances his heart out in another country. His passion and motivation is inspiring to watch.JuliaChestnut.JPG

My favorite part is when Michaela dances through so much pain in her Achilles tendons. Despite the pain, she is flawless as she floats across the stage. I love feeling like I was living their hard-working life right along with them.

First Position is a great movie for people who love dancing and for people who are dedicated to any sport. The incredible talent will inspire you to try anything! If you want to find out who advances to the finals and wins a scholarship or $50,000 contract, find this movie at a theater near you.

Photos: First Position poster (top), Julia Chestnut (bottom)

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