Empowering and Heartfelt as Everybody Dance Movie Inspires the World

Disability affects 1 in 7 people worldwide. This includes over 90 million children.

An impactful statistic and introduction in the movie trailer for Everybody Dance. One that definitely sparks our interest as we are always inspired by people breaking barriers to those with special talents and abilities.

We were recently introduced by The Baby Spot to the film’s producer and director, Dan Watt and we were very excited to be able to secure an interview with him. We were able to dig right in and get to know Dan and how Everybody Dance came to be.

About Everybody Dance Documentary Movie

Everybody Dance is a heartfelt film that explores the everyday life of kids with different disabilities and how ballet has changed their lives. The film lets us in the lives of five kids, and their incredible dance teacher, as they prepare for an emotional dance recital. Dance is an empowering and equalizing force that offers children a way to feel capable and in control, teaching them discipline, focus, and social skills. EVERYBODY DANCE explores the daily lives of a group of remarkable children—the challenges, obstacles, and exhilaration that all kids feel–as they prepare for a dance recital. This film follows these children as they embark on an inspiring journey of self-discovery, dedication, achievement–and dance!

The Arts is an amazing equalizer.

Interview with Dan Watt

1. What is the inspiration behind “Everybody Dance”?

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 typical, have autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, everyone is welcome there.  Once I watched a class and met the kids, I knew this was my story.

2. In this beautiful documentary, there are five families’ journeys you share with the world. How were these five families chosen?

I actually started out following 11 kids and families just seeing how their story unfolded.  At the end of the filming, I was so attached to these kids that I knew I couldn’t make a decision without being bias so I had my editor, Isaiah Camp, who didn’t have a personal relationship with the kids narrow it down.  HE could look at the footage with clearer insight into the story arcs and pick the right footage to help convey the stories of each kid.  He narrowed it down to seven and then we played around with the editing to see what was the best representation of these kids, their families and the school.

3. We believe that everyone is unique in their own special way and each person has a unique ability. This documentary, feels like a great reflection of highlighting special abilities. What do you hope people gain from this going forward? Any hopes you believe it will inspire other children who may feel that they may not be accepted in dance?

These kids changed my life.  I was able to spend weekends at the studio, even taught a few classes – when you are surrounded by such love on a weekly bases you become more aware and enlightened.  This then changes your outlook and perspective – if others can walk away with just a new outlook on the importance of inclusion and accessibility, I have done my job.

4. Breaking barriers and stigma is amazing! What is a highlight that has already happened since the release of your documentary, “Everybody Dance”?

I must say I am humbled by the responses from the critics and a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes this is all good on the theatrical side – more touching to me are the people who have reached out to me via social media who have a family member/members who are neurodivergent or have a disability and thanking me for sharing these stories, those messages touch my heart and soul.

5. We love the coverage you have already received such as interviews on The Baby Spot and on The Kelly Clarkson Show, how were these experiences?

THE BABY SPOT has been so supportive from the beginning and they are a great place for parents to go to find resources, articles, ideas and insight.  Having them understand the purpose of my film and embrace just gives parents an option as a possible resource.  Just like you interviewing me, it offers parents a tool they might need (Or just a good family movie).  Having KELLY CLARKSON and her show endorse your film was an amazing experience.  One of the things that sets her show apart is she does stories based in community and for them to bring awareness is awesome and touching. And Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland was on the show with us and having someone in the dance community support my documentary helps show the importance of the arts, arts education and inclusion.

6. Since filming the documentary, how have the families been doing? Any special updates from the inspiring children?

I followed these families for 10 months and was so lucky to actually develop many lasting friendships.  Sarah and her mom actually came to the taping of the Kelly Clarkson show.  Liam, Dakota and Ailieh are all still taking ballet every week.

7. Have you seen more positive impact within the dance community and schools in offering more inclusive classes? If not, what do you recommend is the best steps to take to make it more inclusive?

Every  school/organization has to decide for themselves how they want to approach their methods.  Reflecting too when I taught, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the parents and the child who wants to take class and might need a different approach in class.  All kids (and frankly adults) want to fell apart of – to be included and if we approach life and do our best to not make someone feel less than, we can all make a difference.  I also know that Bonnie and Ballet for ALL Kids offers accreditation classes where you can be trained in her method and given the tools she uses.  Check out the website under “get involved.”

8. Thank you so much for your time and sharing your remarkable impact to our world. Would you like our readers to know anything else? 

The film EVERYBODY DANCE is available on Amazon Prime, AppleTV, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo and Vedu.
You can continue to follow these kids stories on:
Twitter:  @EveryDANCEdoc
I can be found on IG at:  @dancindanw

Momma Braga’s Final Note

We are incredibly thankful to have had this opportunity to interview Dan.  He is a remarkable person and we hope to meet him in person one day! We are also thankful to share this wonderful documentary with our worldwide audience as everyone should be seeing this movie. The reviews have been spectacular and it truly tugs the heartstrings! To be honest, I needed a tissue just for the trailer alone as you can’t help but feel part of these children’s lives through their story being told.

Inclusion, acceptance and love is something that we should all strive for in our every day life. We strongly feel that this movie is a step in the right direction. It isn’t about a disability but about people’s abilities. To all the wonderful dancers, keep dancing and shining bright as you are all stars in our eyes!

Everybody Dance is definitely a movie to watch together as a family and one that shows dreams can come true!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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