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Take the Lead/Save the Last Dance [2 Discs] (DVD)

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Overview

Synopsis

Save the Last Dance
In this romantic drama, two teenagers in love struggle to look past their differences. After the unexpected death of her mother, Sarah Johnson (Julia Stiles) moves to Chicago to live with her father. Knowing no one at her new school and not at home in a gritty, inner-city high school, Sarah has trouble adjusting, but she soon becomes friends with Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), who has talent and street smarts but a checkered past. Sarah was an avid student of ballet before her mother's death sidelined her studies, while Derek has some serious hip-hop moves, and their mutual love of dance leads their friendship into something deeper. However, since Sarah is white and Derek is black, they have more to contend with than the average high school couple; Sarah gets static from Nikki (Bianca Lawson), Derek's former girlfriend, while Derek has to deal with his friend Malakai (Fredro Starr), who is still deep in the thug life Derek is trying to avoid. Save the Last Dance was directed by Thomas Carter, who previously examined the sociopolitical side of dancing in Swing Kids. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi, Rovi

Take the Lead
A teacher and his students open up new worlds for one another in this urban drama inspired by a true story. Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas) is a prize-winning ballroom dancer and instructor from Manhattan who volunteers his services to a high school in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the Bronx. Principal Augustine James (Alfre Woodard) in turn gives Dulaine a tough assignment -- a detention class with some of the biggest troublemakers on campus. When the kids learn that Dulaine intends to teach them how to dance in the classic style, they're incredulous at best and dismissive at worst -- until Dulaine demonstrates his moves for the class. While Dulaine's charges -- including Rock (Rob Brown), LaRhette (Yaya DaCosta), Ramos (Dante Basco), Eddie (Marcus T. Paulk), and Sasha (Jenna Dewan) -- respect his talent, they have their own way of dancing, and as they mix hip-hop moves with ballroom discipline, they create an exciting new style. Dulaine also strives to instill self-confidence and a work ethic in his kids, insisting they can make their way out of the ghetto if they're willing to try. Screenwriter Dianne Houston based Take the Lead on the real-life story of Pierre Dulaine, who taught dance as a volunteer to at-risk students at New York elementary schools. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi, Rovi

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