Welcome fellow Dance Academy addicts. I say addicts because let’s face it, none of us are mere viewers or even fans of this show. We are OBSESSED. It happens to all of us so if you’re questioning your sanity, you can stop now. Once you’ve hit S2, you’re a goner. I wrote one review of Dance Academy and it has become my most popular post, getting dozens of hits every day. (For me, dozens of hits is a big deal. Shut up.) Anyway, I’ve been wanting to do recaps so now I am. I’ve seen the entire show but my plan is to do the recaps as if I haven’t. Still, a little of my Tara disgust or unadulterated Sammy love might creep in. Fair warning and all.
I’ve decided to go with a play by play reaction style so that I can discuss more in some areas and skim others. Then of course I have a few tidbits to include. Hopefully you like it and if so, please comment on the recaps! Comments are currency for unpaid bloggers like myself. So let’s get to it!
We kick off with the opening credits in this first episode and what’s interesting is that there are scenes from all the way up until the end of the season. A lot of shows don’t do that anymore and I miss it.
Tara’s Opening Voiceover: “When I was young, I wasn’t so clear on the whole gravity thing. And my imagination got me in a lot of trouble. But there was this one moment when time stopped. And everything made sense. Then I landed and broke my wrist. But from that day on, I’ve always known that in another life I could fly. And that’s why in this life, I dance.”
We’re introduced to Tara as she dances in the fields on her parents’ farm. I love Tara’s passion for dance early on. The scenery is gorgeous too.
Tara meets Kat, who gives her directions to the dressing room. Except it’s the boys dressing room and Christian (so hot!) walks in while she’s in her bra. I have to admit, I get confused by this. I think it’s supposed to be played as Kat accidentally gave Tara the wrong directions but it seems like Kat would know that. But at the same time, Kat is so sweet that this seems out of place. Regardless, I’m going to chalk it up as being a miswrite in the pilot that just didn’t have time to get adjusted.
Christian is such a skeaze about watching Tara change for a minute. But I love how closely Tara has to look at the urinal to determine that it is in fact a urinal.
Ethan’s pretty nice about the whole affair. He could just be like not my problem.
For some reason Abigail’s leotard makes me miss dancing. When I took ballet, I always wanted a leotard in that style and my mom always bought the plain ugly black ones.
Abigail’s so sneaky in getting Tara to think she’s nice.
First, that really is a horrible line on Tara’s part and like Abigail, I’m kind of shocked that Tara hadn’t done a lot of the moves before. Even at a small town studio, there are things she should know.
I was starting to wonder why they dropped Abigail’s minion so fast after the pilot but I forgot she was injured.
Tara using nerves as an excuse bugs me. But in fairness it bugs me no matter who uses that. I don’t like excuses. Get better or get out. Plus this is dance. Nerves in the middle of a show can break your career. I definitely get that things can be scary but if you want to be the best, you have to work at it, not make excuses for why someone doesn’t just “see” your greatness.
SAMMY!!!!!!!!! Poor Sammy is having a downer moment too.
Okay see Kat’s attitude and earlier excuse do clear up that she just messed up the directions for Tara. Still, I think it would have been better if that was made more obvious.
“Training bra.” Haha! The first of many times that Christian will use this nickname.
Tara does look cute in that outfit. I totally get that she feels weird since Kat is talking to other people and not her but Tara’s also being a total loner. She could try talking to people.
I know that I know who actually spread the story about Tara in the dressing room but even without knowing it, she’s still unfair to Christian. Blaming him when she has no clue is rude. Plus (and okay yes I’m spoiling with the fact that Ethan did it) who would Christian tell? I mean really? He’s auditioning like her and is a complete outsider. No one would listen to him.
Oh gosh this sequence of the Ugly Duckling. So, I like that they show Tara dancing it at home on the farm to emphasize how much she just loves to dance. But it bugs me that every time they flash back, she’s off from the other dancers. It’s fine for her to do her own weird little finish but she really should be on target with the other dancers. (Well okay it’s not fine but whatever, she was in the moment). I wouldn’t be so picky but as a dancer I know that being off by a single second can throw off the entire performance.
And Abigail’s pissed off. I’d be touchy too if I got criticized to be more like the girl I’d been helping. Plus Tara’s clueless about it.
I definitely get wanting to get outside and enjoy the fresh air but if I was Tara, I’d sit on the front steps of the school. That kind of risk isn’t worth getting in trouble. Not when you haven’t even gotten into the school yet.
See, and now she’s in trouble. But Kat is here!
I didn’t notice before the video camera. Nice to see the continuity.
End voiceover: “Somehow I forgot everything. All the things I didn’t know, how there’s way more to surviving in the academy than just ballet. I forgot about my audition and what would come next. I forgot everything but dancing. Because in that moment I remembered that just to dance is all that matters. And no one can take that away from me. I’m ready, for the Dance Academy. At least, I think I am.”
Whew! So I think the pilot, for being only 20 minutes, does a really good job of introducing us to our characters and giving us a feel for who they are. I also like that we don’t really get into life at the academy, focusing only on audition week. Hints of these characters are shown but they will be a bit different once we’re around them on a more permanent basis. I still remember my first impressions were that I thought Ethan was icky and that Kat was fantastic. I actually liked Abigail in the beginning (and I have the tweets to prove it) but she really is a total bitch. Finally, I was dying to comfort poor Sammy on those stairs. I LOVE HIM.
Sammy Says: “I need to be genetically reprogrammed”
Favorite Moment: Kat swooping in and saving Tara. I absolutely adore Kat and I love that she uses this moment, even though Tara’s been a bit off-putting towards her, to still save the day. Plus she’s very clever in simply saying Tara switched rooms. No one can prove that wrong.