Review: Breaking Through, the Dance Movie for a New Generation

Here at UDO, we love to be able to give you an insight into what’s going on in the dance world. Even in the build up to our World Championships this August - and with our final Regional Championship Qualifiers fast approaching - we still want to keep bringing you the latest in street dance news! We were thrilled to be offered an exclusive preview of 'Breaking Through', and we wanted to share our thoughts with you all...

 The docu-drama “for the YouTube generation”, Breaking Through is a refreshingly diverse representation of what it takes to make it in the commercial dance world. From Step Up: All In writer John Swetnam, with 9-time Grammy Award winner John Legend as Executive Producer, the coming-of-age film follows Casey Wright, played by the flawless dancer Sophia Aguiar. Casey, A young dancer, is desperate to escape her mundane job and find commercial fame through dance. Dancing with her crew, she uploads dance videos to YouTube day in, day out: the group want to show the world what they can bring to the dance industry.

When Casey’s page is discovered by an up and coming YouTube producer, she has a tough decision to make. Will she be able to cope when thrust into the glaring spotlight of internet fame?


Through the combination of found film and dance genres, the audience can’t help but feel drawn into the production, as though they are sitting beside Casey’s tight-knit group of friends as they upload their next video. The dance routines in the film blend styles seamlessly; from popping and locking to pirouettes and acro, it presents a range of styles to suit any fan of dance. The cast of dancers is a talented, dedicated group, and each routine is delivered in perfect synchronization. Sophia Aguiar manages to take center stage without dwarfing the rest of her crew, which adds to the overall sense of solidarity they promote in each performance.


Although clearly centered around the cut-throat L.A. commercial dance scene, the film deals with much more than what it takes to break through to stardom. Casey’s relationship with her mother adds an extra level of nuance to the performance, and the tumultuous friendships (although a little heavy handed at times) give the plot a dynamic, relatable depth. What’s more, it gives young audiences a reason to go with friends from outside of dance class!


Each dance montage – featuring cameos from world-renowned dancers Les Twins and Poreotics – amalgamates styles with ease, showcasing the talent and diversity of the international hip hop world. Raising the issue of self-identification and integrity during the digital age, Breaking Through is an ultimately feel-good movie for the generation of aspiring dancers. It raises genuine, poignant issues, and allows young dancers an insight into what it takes, and what it costs, to make it in the dance world today.


Join in the conversation with the hashtag #BreakingThroughFilm, and it will be in cinemas 27th July. Why not watch the trailer here?