Dan Watt is bringing some new stars into the spotlight. The filmmaker will be debuting his first documentary film, Everybody Dance, on October 7th to On Demand formats. The release will coincide with Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Spina Bifida Awareness Month, both of which are in October. The trailer for the film can be viewed below.
Everybody Dance tells the story of six children with varying disabilities as they prepare for a big dance recital. All the children take lessons from the studio “Ballet for All Kids.” The film follows the children’s journey, starting from when the teacher announces the recital, and up until the big day! Dan spoke with us about his inspiration for the story below, stating that it was his own history in dance that led him to “Ballet for All Kids” and thus the impact of the arts.
Watt, a Cleveland native, started out early in the world of dance. His journey began with ballroom dance lessons as a child, which led him to dancing with the Cleveland Ballet. From there, Watt continued to dance his way up, and was eventually choreographing and producing musicals in Los Angeles.
“As a former dancer, dance teacher and choreographer, I have always been fascinated on how studying the arts could be applied in every day life. How the dedication, commitment and determination of arts education could be applied to daily life experiences, so I set out in a journey to find out. As I did my research, I stumbled across “Ballet for all Kids” and was so impressed that the studio actually did what the name says, they teach dance to ALL kids, it doesn’t matter if you are atypical, have autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, everyone is welcome there.”
The Arts Are For Everyone!
Everybody Dance was filmed over a ten-month period. But the stories aren’t limited to just the studio, we also take a peak at their home lives and see the daily ups and downs of these inspiring children. Watt explained that the ultimate message of the film is to show that deep down inside, we are all the same. He hopes that the film will not only raise awareness of the special needs community, but will also offer messages of empowerment.
The film made its official debut at the Santa Barbara Festival earlier this year and later at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The film screened at the Keybank State Theater. Once upon a time, the young Watt worked at the theater as a waiter for the VIP section. Years later, he would return to screen his directorial debut. Watt told Cleveland.com that it was a “full-circle” moment for him.
“It’s a full-circle moment like that, to think this young boy chasing his dreams, working there, being able to see these amazing performers – and now, my film is back there showing.”
On October 7th, Everybody Dance will be available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, iTunes, and Google Play. Along with directing, Watt is also writer and executive producer. Also joining him as executive producers are Howard Barish and Michael Nell.