How to Dance in Ohio


How to Dance in Ohio (2015)



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Movie Info

A first kiss, a first dance. These are the rites of passage of American youth that hold the promise of magic, romance and initiation into adulthood. For kids from all walks of life, these first steps toward intimacy are at once exciting and terrifying. For some teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum, the transition can be nothing less than paralyzing. In Columbus, Ohio, a group of young people with an array of developmental challenges prepares for an iconic event - a spring formal dance. They spend 12 weeks confronting and practicing their social skills as they prepare for the big event, to be hosted at a local disco. Working with their trusted psychologist, they deconstruct fear and larger-than-life social anxiety one step at a time by picking dates, dresses, and, ultimately, a King and Queen of the Prom. How to Dance in Ohio is a story of the universal human need to grow, connect and belong as uniquely dramatized by individuals facing the deepest struggle toward social survival. In How to Dance in Ohio, we get to know three girls transitioning into adulthood. The film takes us inside their group therapy sessions, their relationships with their families and their private thoughts as they struggle to understand and navigate the social rules that surround the suspenseful and heightened experience of a first date. Through their stories, and a chorus of other young women and men confronting similar issues, these girls reveal the hard work, perseverance and resilience it takes to be a part of contemporary society, along with the extraordinary challenges of being different. Entertaining, funny and heartbreaking, How to Dance in Ohio challenges us to question and celebrate the path to human connection and to rethink the definition of normal.


Critic Reviews for How to Dance in Ohio

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

How to Dance in Ohio, a piercing documentary... might from its pocket description seem to be a variation on this evening-news staple.

Oct 27, 2015 | Full Review…

It's a bit shapeless in terms of filmmaking, but this is a "character documentary," a study of people that you won't soon forget, and it works on that level.

Oct 23, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A touching, gentle-hearted look at teenagers on the autistic spectrum preparing for their first formal dance, How to Dance in Ohio offers a refreshingly upbeat, even cheerful look at people and their families coping with the condition.

Oct 13, 2015 | Full Review…

While the tale is nothing flashy, there is compassion and sincerity for each subject's unique story.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Shiva's intimate approach captures moments of triumph and pain along the way, making the struggle of autism accessible to families and communities coping with the affliction.

Feb 22, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Inspirational, heartwarming doc about living with ASD.

Nov 3, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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