#TBT: Happy Birthday "Center Stage"
No matter how many years it’s been, it’s impossible to discuss dance movies and not mention Center Stage. Now 18 years since its premiere (May 12, 2000, FYI), the movie was the talk of the ballet studio for months after it hit theaters, and it even had our non-dancer friends excited. Plus, it starred some of ballet’s biggest names—American Ballet Theatre’s Ethan Stiefel, Julie Kent and Sascha Radetsky (and a few brief appearances from dancers like Gillian Murphy and Janie Taylor). It also, of course, starred San Francisco Ballet apprentice turned actress Amanda Schull as the movie’s beloved Jody Sawyer.
Not only is Center Stage still one of our fave movies after all theses years, but its stars have since gone on to do many more amazing things in dance (often collaborating together, in the case of Stiefel and Kent). Which is exactly why we’re dedicating today’s #TBT to our favorite scene. While there are undoubtedly multiple dance moments to choose from (like Jody crashing Cooper Nielson’s jazz class or even the opening of Cooper’s piece to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”), the very best moment also happens to be the movie’s very last dance sequence.
We’ll never forget how Jody completely commanded the stage, transforming from a long, blue dress and loose hair to a bold red costume and an updo—all without ever leaving the stage (ah, the magic of movies). Seeing Jody nail her performance to Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat” after all of her studio struggles was a moment every bunhead cheered for. It also provided us with plenty of choreography to play with in the studio, as we tried to recreate the scene with our friends.
Rewatch it for yourself above (then go ahead and watch the whole film). Happy #TBT!