Feel the Beat (2020)

April Dibrina (Sofia Carson) is a young dancer who wants to make it on Broadway. On her way to an important audition she steals a cab from an old lady while it’s raining. April performs well during the auditions, and a big sponsor, Ruth Zimmer (Pamela MacDonald) shows up to meet the potential dancers. Ruth Zimmer turns out to be the old lady April stole the cab from. Ruth states that she will make sure no one will ever hire April on Broadway. While trying to explain her motives, April accidentally makes Ruth fall off the stage. One of the other dancers films the incident. Afterward she tries to impress Broadway producer Welly Wong (Rex Lee) by dancing in front of him in the streets but fails as well. She is also evicted from her apartment and decides to return to her hometown New Hope in Wisconsin. 

She encounters her ex-boyfriend Nick (Wolfgang Novogratz), whom she left to pursue a career in New York City; as well as her old dance teacher Barb (Donna Lynn Champlin). Barb offers an opportunity to coach the town’s dance team New Hope, for a competition. Jaded by her experience in New York, April declines the offer, but later discovers that the competition can give her a chance to perform in front of Welly Wong, who could save her career. April reluctantly accepts Barb’s offer, and begins a harsh training regimen that alienates the young dancers in Barb’s class.

The New Hope dance team advances through several rounds of the competition; their dance moves improve as April bonds with the girls and becomes a better teacher, including learning some sign language for a student who is deaf. One day, the ceiling of the dance studio collapses; the team moves practice to the football field before eventually moving to April’s father’s barn, which Nick has helped her repair. April and Nick begin to rekindle their relationship as the dance team advances to state, where other dancers taunt April about her failure in New York, reminding her that she is ultimately using the New Hope dancers to revive her career.

After passing state finals, New Hope begins practicing their new routines in the barn, and April calls her New York friend Deco (Brandon Kyle Goodman) to help make costumes. The dancers’ families manage to raise enough money to send the team to Atlantic City for the final round. April is finally able to reconnect with Nick’s younger sister Sarah, who felt abandoned when her mother died and April moved to New York. Once in Atlantic City, the team prepares for their final performances. After a performance, Welly Wong is so impressed with April that he offers her a role in his new show on the spot. April and Welly leave the competition immediately for rehearsal in New York, which devastates the team’s morale. The next day, April realizes her mistake and abandons the rehearsal, proclaiming to Welly that she wants to honor her commitment to New Hope. She calls Deco again to drive her back to the competition just in time to encourage the team before performance. After reconciling with her dancers, April and Nick kiss, and Welly lets her retain her role in spite of leaving rehearsal. April performs in Welly Wong’s show in New York, and continues teaching her dance class in Wisconsin via video chat. After the show’s opening night, Welly surprises April by bringing the New Hope team over to New York for a dance party.

I’m a sucker for dance movies. A really good one with a good plot. This one hits the spot. Not only was it funny, it was heartfelt and you could really capture the struggle of being a performer in New York. I absolutely loved the ending and its another film I hope they create a sequel for.

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