Lights, camera, leotards? As my boys would say ‘aww heeellll naw’ (yup they love coming over all American, thanks to watching various YouTubers).
Streetdance Family brings urban dance centre stage… no sparkles or jazz hands in sight. Entity Allstars are kids from east London with guts, talent and attitude to match. They put everything they have into their performance as they strive for gold at the Hip Hop World Championships in Germany.
But don’t expect your typical linear tale in the fashion of Step Up or Save the Last Dance. This is a fly-on-the-wall style documentary that takes us behind the slicked back hair and tough choreography, right into the dancers’ homes and family lives. We meet proper characters: feisty mums, passionate coaches, shy kids who come alive on stage. We follow the ups and downs of one boy, caught in a tug of wills between his parents.
Co-directors Debbie Shuter & Adam Tysoe started filming the group after their son Ethan joined Entity.
‘Two years in the making, Streetdance Family is a passion project in every sense of the word. When we first met Entity, we had a hunch they were embarking on an epic journey but we could never have predicted the emotional rollercoaster ride that it would become. It was completely intense.’
Streetdance Family is shot in a naturalistic style and has a deeply intimate feel. At times the subjects seem to have forgotten the cameras are there, leading to some jaw-dropping moments. The star of the show is undoubtedly instructor Tashan, a gentle giant with a warrior mindset. He’s like Papa Bear to the troupe and his investment in the work gives new meaning to the phrase ‘labour of love’.
The story’s all factual, but the amount of challenges and curve balls thrown at the team lead to a high-drama, nail-biting finish.
I felt like cussing at the screen when a certain figure nearly forces them out of the competition. And I found myself wiping tears away at the film’s emotional high notes.
Streetdance Family shows the amount of drive and dedication needed to be the best at your game, not just from the main players, but from all the support crew not least mums, dads and siblings. It’s inspiring, entertaining and full of heart. A great watch.
Streetdance Family is playing at selected Odeon Cinemas from Fri May 27. Advanced booking required to secure your tickets. Visit www.streetdancefamilymovie.com to find your local screening.