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Save the Last Dance

            Save the Last Dance was released in 2000 by MTV Films which grossed $91 million at the domestic box office. Save the Last Dance features a strong female character thrust into a new setting where her sexuality emerges in response to learning a new kind of dance. It tackles the ideological issues of: race, class and women's sexuality. .
             Sara is a high school age young woman who has pursued a dream of becoming a prima ballerina. Her mother is killed in a car accident on her way to give Sara emotional support during a Julliard audition, and Sara has to leave her comfortable middle-class, Mid-Western upbringing to live with her estranged father in the Chicago inner city. Sara must now attend a predominantly black high school in Chicago "in fact there are only a handful of white teenagers there. Sara is idealistic and sees no reason not to be friends with the other black students as she approaches them first before being relegated to the white table in the school cafeteria. Sara is befriended by a young black woman named Chenille, whose brother Derek is a straight "A- student, headed for Georgetown and headed for a life outside their inner-city existence. Sara is invited to come with them to Steps , a members-only hip- hop dance club. At Steps Sara is introduced to hip- hop dancing, a form she is entirely unfamiliar with, as seen by her clumsy dance steps with Derek. Sara does know how to dance, but her form of expression is ballet, a dance normally associated with upper and middle class whites. Hip- hop is an expression of black youth and while Sara is no stranger to performance, this form of dancing is nothing like she has seen before. Derek senses that Sara is uncomfortable and teaches her hip-hop steps. While the scene does not contain raw sexuality, it is clear to the audience that Derek is interested in Sara. His teaching her to dance hip-hop is a metaphor for teaching her about her sexuality, but Sara's sexual status is ambiguous.

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