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At Sydney's National Dance Academy, a few talented youngsters are recruited for the excruciatingly tough course. Jewish long line of doctors' heir Samuel 'Sammy' and minor juvenile offender Christian are the outsiders but gradually fit in, making new kinds of friends. Star ballerina's daughter Kat also introduces them in the circle of last-year brother Ethan, who already aspires a career as choreographer. Written by
Dance Academy is a series about a girl named Tara Webster who wants to be a principal ballet dancer. To chase her dream she auditions to and gets accepted into the prestigious National Academy of Dance located in stunning Sydney, Australia.
The show is predominantly built around cute romantic story lines, though it never succumbs to fluff and is surprisingly complex at times for a show of its genre. And there's enough dancing (ballet primarily as well as some hip-hop) to satisfy the most hardcore dance fan.
Newcomer Xenia Goodwin perfectly embodies the innocence and wide-eyed wonder of Tara Webster. Tara is a girl who is a natural dancer but anything but natural when it comes to dealing with boys. Her dorkiness trying to come to terms with the opposite sex forms much of her story arc.
Alicia Banit plays Katrina "Kat" Karamakov, Tara's fun loving and rebellious BFF with some deep reservations about whether she wants to be in a ballet school. Katrina takes the Academy for granted as just another school to attend rather than a lifelong dream come true as Tara does.
Dena Kaplan portrays Abigail Armstrong, Tara and Kat's frenemy. Abigail is an overachieving ballet student who is obsessed with being a principal dancer and is willing to do anything including back stabbing and sabotage to become one.
Abigail's perfectionist personality forms much of the angst as well as the humor of her character. Kaplan expertly plays a girl who is a conniving bitch yet displays enough vulnerability and gentleness that she remains sympathetic to the audience.
Other characters include Samuel "Sammy" Lieberman; a boy who wants to dance despite objections from his father, Christian Reed; the bad boy of the Academy with a mysterious past and Ethan Karamakov; Kat's older brother and target of Tara's affection.
Finally Tara Morice is a pleasure to watch as the strict and unyielding ballet instructor of the Academy.
Dance Academy is a show that fuses teen romance with some very beautiful dancing in a very entertaining way.
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