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How She Move - drama DVD / suspense DVD review
HOW SHE MOVE Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Rutina Wesley, DeRay Davis, Dwain Murphy, Brennan Gademans, Conrad Coates
Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid   Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 29 April 2008   Runtime: 91 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround; Spanish), Subtitles (Spanish, English), The Characters Of How She Move, From Rehearsal To Film, How She Move: Telling Her Story, Theatrical Trailer, Previews

"It's funny isn't it, how one moment can change a million after it."
Raya Green (Rutina Wesley) is forced to leave the comfort of private school to return to her Caribbean-immigrant neighborhood, and the public school she left three years earlier, when her parents' savings run out in a futile attempt to save her drug-addicted sister. Desperate to return to the private school on a scholarship, Raya focuses on doing all she can to ace the exam. While Raya struggles to remain invisible and temporary, she is drawn back in to the world of Step - a world her sister got lost in.

Raya, convinced she has bombed her scholarship exam and drawn to her third-grade friend, Bishop (Dwain Murphy), desperately tries to convince him to bring her into his Step team and attempt to win the Monster Step competition. Tension ignites both with Bishop's boyz and the girls of the 'hood as Raya continues to upset the equilibrium. Raya, however, is focused so much on getting to where she needs to be she continues one desperate attempt after another to Step her way to the money she needs.

As Raya gets drawn deeper and deeper into the neighborhood that buried her sister, her mother fights desperately to pull her back, terrified of losing another daughter. When she learns from another parent that Raya is at a dance competition instead of a college fair, she tracks Raya down, frantic to bring her home. Raya finds herself torn between the dreams and goals she believes in and her connection to the community she has rediscovered: "Just because I'm moving ahead doesn't mean I have to leave everything behind."

DVD features include clips of the nine dancers telling the story of their characters, clips of the writers, directors, producers, and choreographers giving background on the story, and an appreciation for the grueling rehearsals that resulted in the astounding dance scenes. This extensive background and additional insight into the movie adds understanding and appreciation to what the movie stands for and how it came to be. The features also include a brief history of Step, where you are most likely to find it today, and the unique integration of hip hop and break dancing that you see in the movie's choreography.

Shot documentary style, How She Move is a story about loss, a story about love, and above all a story of one girl's journey to rediscover herself among all she has lost and found along the way. What the movie lacks in depth of storyline it definitely makes up for in its poignant messages and amazing dance choreography (Hi Hat). While I'm not one who usually watches movies over and over, this is definitely one I will return to on the shelf.
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reviewed by Regan Windsor
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