I love Center Stage. There I said it. And I’m not ashamed to admit it either.
It is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. If I pass it on TV, I can’t stop watching it until I see everyone clapping around Jody to the piano version of “We’re Dancing.”
I can’t explain why I love this movie as much as I do. Maybe it’s how quick it moves, the intentional comedy, the unintentional comedy. Maureen and her Mom, Donna Murphy, “Just Dance the s*** out of it!” I don’t know.
May 12th, 2020, was the 20th Anniversary of this film’s release and it has always bugged me that Center Stage isn’t given the credit it deserves. You might not initially think it, but the film launched the early 2000’s dance film explosion, launched the careers of future stars, and highlighted(ever so lightly) the actual plight of professional dancers.
That’s Sergei, that’s Jody, that’s Eva, I’m Erik, and you’re cute…
Remember, there really wasn’t a movie like Center Stage before it. Sure there were fantastic dance movies but for anyone born in the ’80s and ’90s, we had Dirty Dancing and Footloose. So when Center Stage came out we finally had our dance movie. A year after the movie was released, came Save the Last Dance and we were off to the races. Within the next couple of years we would get Step Up , You Got Served and even a sequel to Dirty Dancing. Then TV jumped on it with So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars and Dance Academy. I’m not saying that any of this wouldn’t have happened without Center Stage but it was certainly the first of its genre in the new century.