Netflix's 'Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate NutCracker' Reminds Us of Our Inner Strength!

12-14-2020 by Tyler Bey

  ( © Netflix)  

 

Netflix just keeps the Christmas festivities coming with their most recent dance documentary. Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcrackerfollows Debbie Allen and her children’s dance company in L.A. as they prepare for their annual take onThe Nutcracker, an international holiday dance classic. 

 

 

 

Debbie Allen is an American dance icon. Possibly most known for her role inFame, the movie musical about the New York Academy of Performing Arts (now known as Fiorello Laguardia High School), Allen spends a lot of her time directing, producing, or teaching as she’s seen in the documentary. 

 

Allen’s version of The Nutcracker is told through children of all ages; some of her young ladies grace her studio as young as 4 years old! Many kids stay long into their high school careers and even come back to teach. While a child-led Nutcracker would already make Allen's rendition unique, she takes originality and inclusivity to the next degree, including a slew of numbers with a vast collection of different styles and cultural homages, making Allen’s Nutcracker something special. 

 

 

 

The documentary is about empowerment. In an industry that favors highly specific body types and eurocentric beauty ideals, Debbie Allen is raising a powerful ensemble and giving them the tools they need to give the professional world their all (if they so chose to take it on). 

 

She leads with tough love (and I mean tough!) as her teaching style is definitely a rigorous one. While sometimes it may seem Allen is too strict, not only does she always come from a place of deep love, but by being intense she’s showing children the value of hardwork, discipline and artistry.

 

 

 

Going strong for a decade now, we first became aware of Allen's annual show when none other than Raven-Symoné made an appearance at the gala back in 2011.

 

 

While Allen is a national treasure, it’s the kids that make the Netflix original sparkle. A majority of the youngsters are on scholarships, and Allen emphasizes how vital it is for kids of all backgrounds to be able to find their voice in the dance studio. 

 

The dance world is evolving. Pioneers like Allen and the late Alvin Ailey are beacons to the ever-blooming American dance industry. If you’re an artist of any kind, or simply have an appreciation for hard work and passion, watch Netflix’sDance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker and be reminded of how much power we have in our youth!