First Position is a documentary about the Youth America Grand Prix, a prestigious dance competition for dancers ages 9-19. This is a terrific movie, and you don’t have to know anything about dance to enjoy it.
Director Bess Kargman follows five dancers as they prepare to compete for scholarships and internships with international dance companies.
The featured dancers, both male and female, come from a variety of backgrounds. Aran is an army brat, Michaela a war orphan from Sierra Leone, Rebecca, a statuesque, blond “princess,” Joan (male) a Columbian immigrant, and Miko a tiny, fierce Japanese-American.
With this cast, the movie could easily be maudlin or creepy (think “Dance Moms”), but Kargman manages to keep the story authentic.
How do our dancers fare in the final competition? You’ll have to see the movie to find out!
I highly recommend this movie.