DVD Review: Dance Academy: Season 2 - Volume 1 and 2

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Dance Academy, the Australian teen drama that gained a U.S. audience when it began airing on TeenNick, found its way to DVD in May, 2013. Season one and two were released as two separate volumes per season. I took a look at the first season and concluded it was a harmless soap opera, perfect primarily for teen girls. After scoping out season two, I haven’t changed my mind. But I must admit to getting more caught up in the saga of Sydney’s National Academy of Dance the second time around.

This season finds the same primary cast in their second year at the academy. Tara (Xenia Goodwin) is still fighting to prove herself worthy of the prestigious school. She’s a little too involved with her boyfriend Christian (Jordan Rodrigues) and less concerned with serious practice. Former dance phenom Saskia (Brooke Harman) begins instructing at the academy, riding Tara unnecessarily hard. Shockingly, she goes so far as to seriously injure Tara, which throws her future into jeopardy.

Dance Academy season 2 volume 2 dvd (150x250).jpgMeanwhile, Kat (Alicia Banit) begins the season as a normal high school student, having relinquished her spot at the academy. She auditions for a spot in the Moulin Rouge in Paris, but blows the opportunity when she doesn’t take the commitment seriously. She winds up begging Miss Raine (Tara Morice) to be readmitted to the academy. The headmistress agrees, with one stipulation: Kat must repeat first year. “But all my friends are in second year,” Kat protests. Miss Raine reminds her she is there for dance, not socializing. Quite frankly, Banit is the show’s breakout star. Not to take anything away from Goodwin, who plays Tara very well as a na├»ve everygirl, but Banit is quite impressive as Kat moves more to the forefront in season two.

As I noted in season one, there really isn’t as much actual dancing as I would’ve expected for such a show. And the music (particularly whenever the kids try to get “street” with hip hop dance) is, at times, unbearably cheesy. The male characters are not nearly as interesting as the females. I’d say this is largely due to the show’s producers obviously knowing what demographic they’re targeting. If you’re already a fan, you already know you want both these seasons in order to be fully prepared for the forthcoming third season.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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