Dance Academy Recap: Episodes 2 & 3

10 Jun

Episode 2:

These credits make me want to visit Sydney so bad. It’s on my before I leave 30 behind bucket list so I’ve got about 2 years.

Opening Voiceover: “So I got in. To Dance Academy. And life is about to become spectacular. The only downside is leaving home and mine is pretty special. Everyone is known for something. You might be the best footballer or the fastest cheerer or…me.”

For student housing, those rooms are really cute.

Y’all Sammy has a lot of stuff with him. Like so much stuff. HEE. I had completely forgotten that Sammy got stuck in Kat’s room initially. We should also note the fact that Sammy tried to protest having a girl as a roommate. Just saying.

I find it rather interesting that whereas Sammy isn’t a typical teenage boy in some ways, Sean goes out of his way to prove he is. Also for anyone who watched Instant Star, doesn’t Sean remind you of Spiederman?

What’s funny is the way Abigail actually is right that Kat’s reputation could cause problems for Tara. I absolutely adore Kat but she is lazy about dance and the teachers know this. It’s not the smartest decision for Tara. But then this is the same Tara who seems to ignore Abigail ratting her out and saying she doesn’t care about whatever the deal is between Kat/Abigail and just wants to be friends with everyone. I love Kat’s response.  “Aw honey and I just want a unicorn but they keep telling me it’s not possible.”

Huh. Interesting that Tara’s the only person not in black in the jazz class.

Sammy’s so cute in his glasses. Also for non-dancers, while boys on pointe is a legitimate way to help strengthen weak ankles (which are different from bad ankles. You can fix weak.) it is really embarrassing. Poor Sammy.

Mermaid sighting!

Tara gets so lucky that the chicken ran into her so she didn’t end up completely humiliating herself in front of Ethan. But then she totally just goes on and sticks her foot in her mouth anyway. I’m cringing for her.

Here’s the thing. I know Abigail can be a total bitch. But at the same time she’s really trying to be friends with Tara. And for all Tara’s talk of starting over with both, she ditches Abigail really fast and doesn’t invite her along. I think it’s only understandable that Abigail gets pissed off.

I think this jumping off and flying through the air moment marks the first real bonding moment for Kat & Tara. Like beyond just casual friends.

I swear Ethan and Kat have a way too familiar relationship. It’s all very Cruel Intentions.

Okay dancer rant. See again, I know that Abigail telling Tara to dance on pointe anyway is a very bitchy thing to do. I’m not denying that. But the fact that Tara listens! Y’all there is country innocence and there’s just stupid. It would be one thing to spend some practice time in the studio doing pointe work. Yes that would be breaking the rules but not so badly. But for Tara to blatantly throw Miss Raine’s edict in her face by dancing on pointe and then being confrontational about it is the height of stupidity.

Furthermore, Miss Raine is absolutely right to go beyond and rip into Tara. While there will be a different issue in S2 with Saskia, in this case she’s spot on. It’s not just that Tara was defiant and insubordinate. Her lack of proper technique means she’s prone to injury. To jump into a dance sequence with girls who are clearly better trained is a chance for Tara to be seriously injured. Miss Raine was doing her job as a teacher to prevent that from happening. She’s absolutely right to rip Tara a new one.

Aw Kat stands up for Sammy and now they get to have a special bonding moment. I absolutely adore what their friendship becomes.

Abigail is so bitchy in this scene. But she absolutely does not deserve to get slapped with a shoe. I’m sorry but you will not convince me otherwise. Tara has a crappy attitude and is fairly stupid. Yelling back at Abigail fine but slapping her? So uncalled for.

This little picnic on the hill outside the school is so sweet.

In Summary:  Alright folks I am quickly realizing that I just can’t get over Tara. Even judging her on these episodes alone, she’s still bafflingly stupid. There’s naïve and there’s idiotic and she crosses the line. So here and now I promise you that I will call out other people for being mean or stupid. I can’t be nice to Tara when she doesn’t deserve it but I can be critical of Abigail. (Or others). But enough of that depressing nonsense and on to other depressing stuffs. We learn through the first week that these kids are going to form some very tight friendships but that they will also be very stressed out. This isn’t dance class anymore. This is training for their future and half-hearted just won’t cut it. And sad-face, no Christian in this episode.

Favorite Moment: I adore Sammy & Kat’s bonding moment in their dorm. She is so delightfully perceptive in realizing that his reason for lashing out at her is the treatment from the boys.  And Sammy totally gets what she’s doing for him. Seriously love them.

Episode 3

Opening Voiceover: “Back home I dance and instantly feel free. If I had a bad day at school or a fight with a friend, dancing is the place I’d escape to. But here it’s like everywhere I turn is a dead end. I’m still dancing. But it’s behind bars. I might as well be in a cage.”

And now we really meet Christian. Who is entirely too cute for a 16 year old boy! And he’s got such a Pacey thing going on with his me against the world and nobody wants me attitude.

Kat’s little crochet hat shows up a lot in these early episodes. It is a really cute hat though. I totally understand Kat’s obsession.

For all of Tara’s crap about starting fresh, she sure isn’t willing to give Christian even half a chance. She’s still on the let’s blame him for the dressing room incident kick which is totally unfair. And y’all I’m sorry but it just makes me cringe every time Tara keeps on about something. Anyone else in the world would be thrilled that people had forgotten about the training bra incident. Instead she just keeps on hammering it home until she ends up more embarrassed!

Sammy’s so observant. Totally catching Tara’s moony grin after Ethan. And he still noticed Kat was upset and tells Tara not to go there. This really is important. Although really Tara, as pissed as Kat was and you think she’d be cool with you dating her brother? Oh you naïve little twit.

I like the little moment where Tara’s naturally doing a little dance move as Sammy writes the pro/con list. It’s such a dancer thing to fidget by dancing. This is however the only good moment as like Sammy, I have a little vomit in my mouth over her gushing over Ethan. “He smells like Christmas”? REALLY?!

“That is not the face of someone who can hate me.” So says Tara as Kat walks up in rage. Yeah you need to read people better.

Okay this little prank war with Abigail is totally why I identify with Abigail (I also identify with Sammy a lot). My friends will often do prank wars and I’m always called in when things get serious. I don’t do light-hearted things like decorate the room with creepy dolls. And I love that Abigail uses a trick they started with in sharing toiletries.

Are they supposed to end this dance by falling on the floor or is that just Tara’s thing?

Kat could not be more clear in this moment. She tells Tara and Sammy exactly why she doesn’t like her friends to date Ethan and why she refuses to be friends with them afterwards. Kat’s reasoning is also completely fair. And while Tara at least FINALLY clues in enough not to bring Ethan up right in that moment, most of it still clearly went over her head.

I want Kat’s bathing suit so bad.

I am fairly positive that we never see Ethan dance. EVER. Which is just kind of funny. Not even barre work.

That’s pretty daring of Christian to take the wallet while the blinds are open and Ethan could see him. But then he is pretty good at the whole theft thing. Still Christian if you’re going to steal from someone, I’d maybe steal from someone who isn’t my mentor and can’t immediately trace it back to me.

Ethan listening to Tara’s rant is hilarious. I like that Tim Pocock plays Ethan as clearly seeing Tara as easy pickings and not so much that he genuinely cares. I think Ethan can be a nice person but at this point in the series, he likes to be seen as the best and to have his fans and he definitely sees Tara as another one. Note that we also don’t see Ethan dance.

That’s so mean to lock Abigail in her room. I get it, you want to move and she’s being shirty about it. But that is her right. She doesn’t have to sign the form. Hell, Tara could just put some stuff in Kat’s room and stay there half the time anyway. But to lock Abigail in the room just for not signing a form is uncalled for. And won’t get the solution you want because Abigail will just get more pissed off.

I like the headmaster handing the phone to Christian. All of these adults clearly know that Christian’s brother isn’t interested in looking out for him. But unfortunately Christian can’t move forward if he still thinks he has an out. It’s not the nicest thing to do but it is the best for Christian’s sake.

See Christian. I told you it wasn’t smart to steal from someone who could trace it back to you. I like that Christian got the better of Ethan in terms of strength and while Ethan was brutal with his words, it was justified. Christian stole from him. I’d be pissed too.

Y’all I know I said I would at least call Abigail out on her shit. So yes, it is a horribly mean thing to send out that pros and cons list. But I really can’t be that pissed. Like I said before, locking her in the room is a bad move. Not only because it makes her rage but it leaves her with only what’s in the room as a way to strike back. Also, not password protecting your computer in any situation is fairly stupid but especially if you have sensitive items on there. Word of warning: NEVER SAVE IMPORTANT FILES TO THE DESKTOP. BURY THEM IN SEVERAL FOLDERS. So suffice to say, I can’t be that angry with Abigail for sending out the list. Sorry Tara but you asked for it.

Let me clarify really quickly. I don’t think Tara just asked for it in terms of locking Abigail in the room. The way she kept ignoring what Kat wanted and harboring that crush was also asking to get screwed over. I get that it’s hard to just let go of a crush but Tara could have tried.

I like that Sammy tells Tara what happened but doesn’t jump to take her side. He knows she was hurting Kat with that choice and he’s supporting her too.

In Summary: I feel like I should clear something up for those of you who might be reading these while you’re just getting started with Dance Academy. The show can be frustrating at times and Tara is always infuriating. And in the beginning (really the first half of S1) you’re thinking that it’s a good enough show but it’s not like blowing your mind or anything. That’s totally fair. But can I tell you to stick with it? Because trust me, this show will capture your heart like nothing ever has before.

Now as for this episode, while it gets a little frustrating, we do learn a few key things about people. We get that Sammy isn’t the type to take sides in a mean way but he will call someone out for making stupid choices. Kat tells and shows us that loyalty is important to her. It’s not that her friends can’t like Ethan, it’s that they dump her until they need her when they do and she wants to be her friends first choice, not a means to her brother. Christian gives us a flicker of a guy who could be better if he had a real family but as it is he lashes out. Abigail demonstrates that she is the type to retaliate, not strike first. While she escalated the situation, she was striking back against the actions of Tara & Kat. And Tara shows that she prioritizes herself first and will keep talking long after she should shut up about it. I do wish I could find something nice to say about Tara but in this particular episode, it’s just not happening. Still, it is very impressive that in a 20 minute episode of teen TV that seems fairly predictable, we get a staggering amount of character development.

Sammy Says: “You’re going down in flames.”

Kandid Kat: “Don’t dump your toxic waste on me.” “I need to go eat my feelings.”

Favorite Moment: Even though it is totally ripped off from the opening of Step Up, I really love Tara’s dance in the beginning. Angry dancing can be so therapeutic. Plus the great thing about dancing about your frustration is that you don’t have to be good at it. Other emotions can be harder to dance to. But anger, in any form, is easy to express through dance. And when Tara dances, I really do like her so much better.

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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Let's Talk TV


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3 responses to “Dance Academy Recap: Episodes 2 & 3

  1. Kevin Murray

    July 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Just a quick note with a hope that I can add more later. One possible take in reading the Tara character (and I have seen both seasons) is the fact her community is basically 300 people. In one episode she mentions that everyone is known as “something” and this may be a key. Or a stretch. Something to consider in the self-awareness catagory. I agree completely with your frustration with this character but another thing I think about is the age of the actress playing this part. I know nothing about her but having started summer stock at 15 myself I find it difficult to believe that she would question direction in a meaningful way if she felt her character was being abused. Just a thought. A have a more cynical reading as well but really haven’t thought it through. Given how consistently dense the character is written it was obviously a choice made by the writers….so maybe the real question is why they did so….does her inability to read other characters and provide guidance for us leave the ball in our court? I don’t know. While I agree with your assesment of the character I feel a bit more……tolerant.
    I’m watching this show a second time with my daughter who is watching for the first time…..always interesting. So far I have to say you could have her write your comments and they would be identical. Her critique of the applique sweatshirt in one of the early episodes was biting. I tried to defend on character grounds but she would have none of it.

  2. Tayla

    March 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I don’t think Tara should choose her friends on how it will make her look. That’s not what friends are for.

  3. Meryln

    March 16, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    You are way too hard on Tara. Stop over thinking it.


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