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Center Stage

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Center Stage, released by Columbia Pictures in 2000, is the film which best exemplifies my experiences in life. Center Stage allows you to live vicariously through a group of young dancers with tremendous ambition, trying to make it in a tough industry. They have many physical, psychological, and social obstacles to overcome in order to make it to the top and be accepted into various dance companies.

Although it takes a lot of work and commitment, the benefits and fulfillment dancing can bring to one’s life are unbelievable. Center Stage helped me realize that there are people out there who share my same dreams and passion for the art of dance; people who have some of the same struggles that I do.

The characters often feel they must compromise their relationships and normal lifestyles in order to realize their dance dreams. This film is of tremendous importance to me for the fact that I can relate to many of the characters. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to choose between activities with friends or at school, and dance. So often have I encountered individuals who do not understand the time and dedication required to dance.

For the past two summers, I’ve had the honor of being accepted into the Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive program. This has given me the opportunity to meet many of New York City’s performing artists, and experience similar situations to those of the characters in Center Stage. Myself and about 60 other girls were brought to Radio City Music Hall with a common interest and goal. Just like in the film, there was a performance. We all worked together to put on a show at a Broadway theater. Our families and friends were there to share in our success. At the same time, I built bonds and a support system for the future.
This film also made me aware that it is easy to get caught up in classes, rehearsals, and accomplishing my goals. If you forget those who have been there for you as you make your dreams come true, everything you have worked for will be meaningless.

The dancers in Center Stage eventually prove that you can have a life as a dancer, while still maintaining relationships with the people who matter most. Upon watching this film, I not only learned valuable life lessons, it also affirmed to me that my life would not be complete without dance.





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