#She Reviews Film – The Red Shoes: Next Step

April 13, 2023

Many children dream of being a dancer but only a rarefied few possess the dedication, talent and work ethic required to reach the top. In The Red Shoes: Next Step, the character of Sam is one of those dancers. So it is even more poignant when a life changing event transpires which derails her dancing career. This lovely new Australian movie shares Sam’s story and is one of the best dance films I’ve seen in a while.

Set in beautiful Sydney , we meet Sam as she is about to go on stage in a lead dancer role. The next time we meet Sam is at a party and she is getting mixed up in all sorts of trouble. What has happened in between? Sam has walked away from ballet, but the art form is in her blood and she can’t resist the temptation to return when fate intervenes. 

In this coming-of-age teen drama, life eventually leads Sam back to her old dance school – but not as a dancer. An old rival, a long-time crush and her exacting former dance teacher guide Sam back to what she loves most. Ultimately it’s Sam’s own emotions and fears that she must confront to ignite her deep passion for dance. The red shoes of the title are key throughout. 

From the creators of box office hit – The Legend of the Five, The Red Shoes: Next Step stars two–time gold medallist American – Australian ballet dancer, Juliet Doherty (High Strung: Free Dance, Driven to Dance) as lead character, Sam Cavanaugh. The Conjuring 2’s Lauren Esposito is her rebellious best friend, Eve. 

A talented cast including professional ballet dancer, Joel Burke and the formidably talented Carolyn Bock as Miss Harlow ( Neighbours, Never Tear Us Apart) are joined by a wonderful ensemble cast. Choreography and music is excellent and keeps us riveted to the screen. It was obvious that many in the cast were all professionally trained dancers of the highest calibre. Juliet Doherty is a talent to watch and was mesmerising on screen in the role of Sam.   

The Red Shoes: Next Step has stepped into selected cinemas these school holidays and is a terrific teen drama for the dance lover in your life. Rated PG, it’s a beautifully constructed family film which is sure to inspire. It was great to see a dance movie that had been filmed here in Australia and I enjoyed it immensely. It is showing right now here in Queensland and in all other states and territories from April 13. You’ll be pirouetting down the aisle after this one.

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