Into the Beat Parent Guide
This better than average dance film has honest emotions to go with its driving beat.
Parent Movie Review
Katya (Alexandra Pfeifer) is the daughter of a famous ballet dancer (Trystan Pütter) and feels an enormous amount of pressure to follow in his disciplined footsteps. When a freak stage accident ends his dancing career, the pressure ratchets up, and Katya is determined to win an upcoming audition to attend a prestigious New York ballet academy. Then a minor mishap introduces Katya to street dancers who up-end her world. Throw in a handsome young hip-hop dancer (Yolany Marschner as Marlon), and Katya feels her heart and her loyalties divided. Now she has to decide whose dreams she wants to achieve…
Into the Beat is a dance movie, which means it’s not groundbreaking cinema. Geared at teenage girls, these movies at their best have a coherent plot and clean romance. At their worst, they’re cliché-ridden and lazy with toxic messages about relationships. So, where does this film fall on that spectrum?
The good news is that Into the Beat lands on the better end of the genre for two reasons: plot and acting. Don’t get me wrong – the story is predictable, with plot points that precisely hit their beats. But this script avoids the easy trap of giving Katya a binary choice – follow Dad’s plan or rebel and cut him out of her life. The screenplay honestly addresses Katya’s heartache and her desire to both please her father and follow her own dreams. Her decisions are wrenching and painful and she waffles back and forth as she weighs the potential consequences of her choices.
The laurels for the film’s acting go to Alexandra Pfeifer for her heartfelt portrayal of Katya. Frankly, this movie is all about Katya and everyone else is a secondary character so it’s a good thing Pfeifer shines. She’s able to project both the young dancer’s radiant joy when she loses herself in hip hop dancing and her despair, which comes pouring out in a gut-wrenching “ugly cry”. We don’t just see her emotions; we feel them. Even if you, like me, aren’t a dance fan, you’ll still be able to sense Katya’s exhilaration as she hits the dance floor – and that’s what makes the movie come alive.
If you’re planning on watching this film with tweens or teens, you will be relieved by its relatively light levels of negative content. There’s no sex, beyond some kissing and and a scene of teens sleeping fully clothed in the same bed. Swearing is minimal, with a single sexual expletive. (I was following the English subtitles; the dub for this German movie might have a slightly different swear count.) These negatives are balanced by the movie’s positive themes, particularly those of hard work and commitment. The most important motif, though, is that of the power of family ties and the clear message that it’s worth struggling and empathizing to preserve them. This film’s solid emotional core grounds it and the lively, energetic dancing lets it fly.Directed by Stefan Westerwelle. Starring Alexandra Pfeifer, Yalany Marschner, Ina Geraldine Guy. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release April 16, 2021. Updated April 16, 2021
Watch the trailer for Into the Beat
Into the Beat
Rating & Content Info
Why is Into the Beat rated TV-14? Into the Beat is rated TV-14 by the MPAA
Violence: A man is injured when stage equipment falls on him; no blood is visible. Teenagers trespass on a cargo ship. Teenagers jump off a ship. An angry teenager throws pictures off walls.
Sexual Content: A man dances shirtless as part of a ballet performance. A teenage boys and girl kiss on several occasions. A teenage boy and girl sleep in the same bed but there is no indication of sexual activity. A teenage boy kisses another on the cheek in jest.
Profanity: There are fewer than a dozen profanities, including one sexual expletive and a smattering of scatological curses, terms of deity and minor swear words.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A secondary character smokes a cigarette in one scene.
Page last updated April 16, 2021
Into the Beat Parents' Guide
What are your dreams for your future? Do your parents support your plans or do they have other ideas? Are you able to discuss your different perspectives? What can you do to have productive conversations about your differences?
Psychology Today: How to Have Difficult Conversations
Center for Parent & Teen Communication: Talk to Parents About Something Important
Teens Health: Talking to Your Parents – or Other Adults
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Street dancing takes center stage in Stomp the Yard, a story about two campus fraternities which try to capitalize on a young man’s hip hop skills. Step Up also recounts the exploits of a street dancer whose community sentence for vandalism lands him in a fine arts school where he has the opportunity to hone his talents.
A teenage girl persuades a dance champ to help her establish a competitive dance team in Work It.
In High Strung Free Dance, a young dancer has a choice to make between the choreographer and producer of the Broadway show she’s dancing in and the show’s pianist.