Adolescence, particularly as experienced by girls, has long been portrayed as a battleground, where well-drawn strategies are necessary to navigate continuously shifting alliances and undercover work is an everyday requirement. The war is waged in quiet and shielded ways as well as through cutting dance battles and auditions. Every whisper and well-placed glare a piercing and scarring bullet. Battle lines are drawn through glances and secret conversations. Earning a place in the ‘us’ category instead of the ‘them’ is elusive.
Conformity is a shield, something Toni quickly discovers. To disappear into the crowd, to perform each move perfectly in time is to disappear, to become something else. The team, despite being of varied outward appearances, doesn’t exist as individuals but as a unit. In dance, it’s the key to breathtaking group performance – the ability to no longer look like soloists competing for attention, but instead fusing together to become a living, breathing single organism that becomes finely attuned to the movements of its separate parts.