How She Move

Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid
Screenwriters: Annmarie Morais

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


Raya, a teenager with medical-school aspirations, can no longer afford the tuition at her private high school. When she returns to her tough neighborhood, she dreams of returning to her school, but she needs money. Opportunity knocks when she learns about a step-dancing competition with a top prize of $50,000. She dances her way onto her friend Bishop's all-male JSJ crew and shakes things up as the only girl. The other guys are wary, and the girls are jealous, but Raya only has eyes for the prize and tries to stay above the drama. When she breaks rank and shows off during a preliminary competition, Bishop ignores the chemistry developing between them and throws her out of the JSJ. Raya must either find a new crew or win back Bishop's trust.

Set under the oppressive gray skies of a Toronto winter, How She Move is a well-drawn portrait of a girl who learns that winning always comes at a price. The energizing hip-hop soundtrack fuels exciting and inspiring step-dancing sequences, where characters connect, let aggressions out, and find the strength to escape their bleak surroundings. Authentic performances help turn this coming-of-age story into a gritty, realistic, urban-dance film.

— Matt Anderson

Screening Details

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