Title: Breaking Through
Released: 2015

Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

She’s got the moves to make it big, but it means leaving her crew behind. This young dancer’s got a major dilemma.

FYA Summary:

First of all, the official description dropped the ball by not using “She’s got the skills to pay the bills.” Secondly, Netflix using the still of dancing ladies in hot pants is terrible, because it features literally none of the main characters, WTF.

(Well, we obvs know why TF. But stop being so basic, Netflix. Even if I 10/10 would watch a movie about an all-female dance crew, regardless of how hot their pants are.)

ALSO. You can see from the screencap that Netflix thinks that this movie wouldn’t be in my wheelhouse. Only 1 star?! HOW DARE YOU, NETFLIX? It’s like you don’t even know me at all!

Now that I’ve aired my grievances: RIGHT, PLOT. Try as they might, Casey’s dance crew is still waiting for their big break. But once they catch the eye of a talent scout, things appear to be looking up — for Casey, anyway. Because he only wants to sign her.

Familiar Faces:

Sophia Aguiar as Casey

Casey is a serviceable dance movie heroine, but she is, like, distractingly beautiful à la Missy Peregrym in the teen gymnastics classic Stick It. Even her perfectly tousled hair has its own subplot! Sophia reminds me of Rumer Willis for some reason, even though they don’t really resemble each other, so I kind of want her to play Demi Moore’s daughter in a movie.

Jordan Rodrigues as JJ

OH HAI JORDAN. I know he’s had recurring roles on The Fosters and Faking It, but you’d be mistaken in thinking that I’m fancy enough to have those channels. It took me far too long to figure out if JJ’s supposed to have an American accent or not (he does) and he’s certainly not as swoonworthy as Christian Reed, but dance hotness absolves much drippiness.

Robert Roldan as Drew

HOLY SHIZZ, IT’S ROBERT?!?!? I totally did not recognize him until I saw his name in the credits. His was a great season of So You Think You Can Dance, even if I’m still not over being denied a healthy Alex Wong for the full run.

D-Trix/Dominic Sandoval as himself

HOLY SHIZZ, IT’S DOMINIC! (This is not the most flattering screencap, but he really is making ALL THE FACES in his one close-up scene.) I never watched America’s Best Dance Crew, but there are other familiar faces from that here, too.

There are also cameos of a few dance celebs (like Les Twins and Poreotics) and a Brazilian pop star (Anitta), but what I was really hoping for was a celebrity-judge-for-a-dance-competition cameo of executive producer John Legend. Or OOH, WHAT IF HE BROUGHT CHRISSY? But alas, opportunity missed.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

Let me put it this way: the opening minutes contain dancing and zero dialogue, so this movie knows exactly what it’s about. You can definitely get away with only paying attention during the frequent dance scenes, as my personal experience can attest to.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Moderate

The very first frames (some self-serious text about Youtube dance channels) had me concerned that there’s not enough alcohol in existence to watch this movie, but its potential danger to your liver is at least at manageable over its entire duration. There is some cringeworthy dialogue and mediocre acting for sure, but not quite to the point that they cross over to unintentional comedy — aside from a particular scene that I choose to interpret as a Backstreet Boys homage.

I mean, how else would you explain these outfits?

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good

Look, my tastes are not particularly discriminating when it comes to dance movies. All I ask is for some good dancing, which this movie delivers, and anything beyond that is just a bonus — like FYA Boyfriend Jordan Rodrigues and the super diverse cast of characters. (Like, I’m struggling to recall even one straight white guy speaking role.) If you’re in the mood to vicariously get your dance on, this is one of the better options that Netflix has to offer.


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.