Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is inspirational but not sensational

Three of the main dancers dancing in the fairy dance.

Three of the main dancers dancing in the fairy dance.

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is a documentary that follows the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and how they prepare to perform the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker–another version of the original nutcracker but with a few twists.

The documentary begins in October with Debby Allen and her team holding auditions for the numerous positions they have open for the show. We get to see the progress the dancers make throughout the strenuous few weeks they have to put together their show. 

In the movie, it focuses on a few extraordinary dancers who are trying to follow their dreams and get into their dream colleges to study dance for a living. 

It was incredible to see how Debby and her team put together such an amazing show. Seeing all the dancers work together so well, while involving different age groups–which vary from four to eighteen–was so astounding to watch. It is truly inspirational to see people as young as four follow their dreams and achieve them.

The movie changes from week to week, featuring a new dance every week. The exhibition of all the different styles of dance they perform in their final performance truly amazed me. Most of the dancers who acquired a role typically participated in at least two of the many different dances that they had in the performance. It was mind-boggling to think of all the work being put into just one show.

The story was truly inspiring, but the way that they put the storyline together confused me. What was most confusing was the way that they jumped between Debby and the struggle she went through to follow her dreams in the midst of being discriminated against for being black, to the students training for their final performance, and then adding the random interview with the stars of the show. 

I absolutely loved the story, but the way that they presented it wasn’t my favorite. 

Throughout the entire process, you can see how much she truly cares for her students and only wants the best for them.”

One of my favorite parts of the documentary, though, was listening to the story of Debby Allen and how she struggled to flourish a dancer while being discriminated against due to the color of her skin. Thankfully, she prevailed and became well-known for her dance skills and decided that she wanted to open a dance studio.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Debby from the start, especially at the beginning when they were auditioning people for the roles. My first thoughts were about how rude she was being, but, through the rest of the documentary, she showed a new side of herself.

Throughout the entire process, it was evident how much she truly cares for her students. She pushed them to be the best they could be, and it payed off in the end.

It was spectacular seeing all the different styles of dance that they incorporated into the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker; the dances varied between ballet, hip hop, tap, and much more. I loved seeing the end result that all the young dancers worked so hard to accomplish. 

I may not be a huge dance enthusiast, but it was so amazing seeing all the different age groups following their dreams. It was nice to see kids so enthusiastic about being involved in such an amazing production that is the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. 

The way that they put the entire documentary together I think could’ve been a lot better. But other than that, I honestly loved the entire story and seeing the behind the scenes of how they put on the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.