Dancing in the Movies: Save the Last Dance

save-the-last-dance.jpgThe 2001 movie Save the Last Dance follows Sara Johnson, who is played by Julia Stiles, as she moves to an mostly Black neighborhood in Chicago to live with her father following the tragic death of her mother.

She was a ballet dancer who was auditioning for Juilliard on the day her mother was killed in a car crash and she gave up dancing as a result.

In Chicago she meets Derek Reynolds, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who helps reignite her love for dance. He helps her learn more modern dance so that she has a more well-rounded portfolio for Juilliard, and so she can fit in at the local dance club.

The movie deals with a lot of serious issues such as interracial dating, the loss of a parent, and the importance of living your dreams.

One interesting thing about this movie is that although the character of Derek is supposed to be teaching Sara how to dance, the actor did not know how to dance before the film and had to go through a lot of training prior to the film. Unlike Center Stage, this movie was fairly well received critically and I have seen it more times that I can count. I think that the acting is very good and it is not as cliche as other movies of the genre.