Yes, First Position is a documentary about ballet. Specifically, it’s a documentary about kids who are sacrificing damn near everything so that they can realize the uber-hard dream of becoming a dancer. For those who think ballet is some weak sauce stuff, we recommend this trailer. These are some hardcore individuals here.
The film follows young dancers at the Youth America Grand Prix — one of America’s most prestigious ballet competitions. Hundreds compete for a handful of positions to get scholarships and contracts. These kids have to practice and show extreme amounts of discipline in a competition where perfection is expected.
Bess Kargman followed six of these dancers as they prepare for a shot at becoming a professional dancer. The kids struggle through bloody feet, exhaustion, debilitating injuries, all while still trying — with some failure — to be adolescents.
First Position will be out on a limited release through IFC film starting on May 4.