Sisters, Annie (Daniele Clements) and Sam (Juliet Doherty), were born to dance. Both are students of the famous Harlow Academy, until Annie gets an opportunity to dance in New York. When Annie is gone, Sam is offered the solo dance in her sister’s place. Just as she is about to perform, a terrible tragedy occurs. Unable to deal with her grief, Sam quits dancing and pulls away from her family, choosing instead to spend time with her best friend, Eve (Lauren Esposito), and Eve’s misbehaving friends. When Sam and Eve are arrested for shoplifting, they both receive 200 hours of community service. Sam soon finds herself back at The Harlow Academy, though not as a dancer. As she struggles to attend classes and complete her community service hours, Sam is drawn back to the stage. When the lead ballerina, Gracie (Primrose Kern), has an accident, Sam steps in to take her place. Determined not to let Ben (Joel Burke), the male lead, and the rest of the ballet company down, Sam works hard to meet the strict expectations of Mrs Harlow (Carolyn Bock), Head of the dance academy. As the night of the performance draws closer, Sam struggles to come to terms with the role she must dance; the role she should have performed the night her sister was killed; the role that forces her to confront everything she is trying to hide from.
Death of a family member; grief and loss; dysfunctional friendships; family breakdown and neglect
The Red Shoes: Next Steps has some violence. For example:
- A character says that she stabbed a barista with a fork.
- The ballet of The Red Shoes is based on the story of a girl who is cursed to dance until she dies.
- Sam is video calling her sister when her sister is hit by a car and killed.
- Eve slaps a boy in the face.
The Red Shoes: Next Steps has some sexual references. For example:
- A boy implies he would like to hook up with Eve, saying suggestively, ‘Maybe you and I could…’
- Eve tells Sam how a boy has a crush on her and thinks she is hot.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no substance use in The Red Shoes: Next Steps.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Red Shoes: Next Steps has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Ben and Sam kiss.
The Red Shoes: Next Steps has some product placement. For example, references are made to TikTok and Instagram.
The Red Shoes: Next Steps has some coarse language and behaviour. For example, ‘screw this’, ‘you’re such a butt’, ‘your face is a butt’ and Eve gives other characters the rude finger.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Red Shoes: Next Step is an Australian drama. The movie is well cast, features excellent choreography, and clearly demonstrates how hard work and determination can pay off. It’s a family movie that is best suited to tweens and older children.
These are the main messages from The Red Shoes: Next Steps:
- You can’t stop living just because you have lost someone.
- Happiness cannot be truly appreciated without sadness.
- Everyone has a story to tell.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include persistence, courage, friendship, compassion, tolerance and teamwork.
The Red Shoes: Next Steps could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of:
- shoplifting and other poor choices.
- walking away from your dreams and refusing to acknowledge who you really are or what you are capable of.
- the effect of neglect on young people.
- failing to be a true friend.