If you're looking for a film to stream that will both lift your spirits and make you want to dance, Center Stage is the one movie to watch before it leaves Netflix in June 2020. Not only does the 2000 dancing hit have what many consider to be a star-studded cast, but it also has phenomenal dancing, and a moving story about following your dreams. Not to mention it has a killer final performance that will have you dying for a pair of red pointe shoes.
The movie focuses on a group of dancers at the American Ballet Academy in New York City as they try to navigate both their professional and personal lives. It helped launch the careers of Zoe Saldana and Amanda Schull, who starred as Jody Sawyer, but what really stands out is that the film also featured a young cast of actual professional dancers, including Sascha Radetsky, Ethan Stiefel, and Julie Kent.
In fact, Schull had actually been dancing for her entire life before being cast. She even attended San Francisco Ballet School. "I didn’t have film acting experience. It was my first film job ever, so I could relate to her more than if I was playing a boxer or something," she explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly celebrating Center Stage's twentieth anniversary. "I was in the right place at the right time when I got cast to be Jody Sawyer."
Schull also said that she formed true friendships while filming the movie, just like Jody did at the ballet school. "It was just a gift," she gushed to EW. "You had to say lines that people wrote for you that made sense, that weren’t forced, that were easy, and then you laughed and chatted and spent time with your new best friends between takes. It was a lot of fun."
Even though you won't be able to stream the beloved dance movie on Netflix after June, there is good news. A Center Stage series is being developed for TV being and will be a modern-day follow-up to the film. Besides Cooper Nielson, it's unclear if any other characters will return, but at least Center Stage fans have something to look forward to.