Born to Dance (2015 film)

Born to Dance is a 2015 New Zealand feature film. It was written by Steve Barr, Hone Kouka and Casey Whelan and is the feature film direction debut by Tammy Davis, best known for his role as Munter in Outrageous Fortune.[2] The film was released on 24 September 2015 in New Zealand. Born to Dance is choreographed by Parris Goebel, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Cirque du Soleil, as well as recently acting and co-choreographing in the fifth installment of the Step Up franchise.

Born to Dance
Directed byTammy Davis
Written bySteve Barr, Hone Kouka, Casey Whelan
StarringTia Maipi, Stan Walker, Parris Goebel, Kherington Payne, John Tui
Release date
  • 11 September 2015 (2015-09-11) (TIFF)
  • 24 September 2015 (2015-09-24) (New Zealand)
  • 5 November 2015 (2015-11-05) (Australia)
CountryNew Zealand
Box office$828,304[1]


Coming of age tale told through the eyes of 'Tu', an ambitious young man from Auckland who dreams of being a professional hip-hop dancer. His unwillingness to adhere to a university education or that of a productive member of society coupled with his lack of ambition for a cognitive challenge has his father give him the ultimatum of a conclusive answer or Army-enlisting.



In October 2014, it was announced that production on the film commenced in Auckland. It was also announced that film newcomer Tia Maipi would play the lead role of ‘Tu’ alongside Kherington Payne (who had starred in So You Think You Can Dance and Katy Perry’s California Dreams Tour) and Australian Idol winner Stan Walker. Eight-time world hip hop champion Parris Goebel served as choreographer on the film.[3]


The official trailer was released on 21 July 2015.[4] The poster was released on 28 July 2015.[5] The film was released in New Zealand on 24 September 2015.

The film was released in Australia on 5 November 2015. [6]


The official soundtrack for the film was released on 18 September 2015 through Sony Music Records. New Zealand DJ and Producer, P-Money curated the tracks synonymous with kiwi culture. Included on the album are songs from David Dallas, Sid Diamond, Scribe and lead single “Start Again” by Stan Walker and Samantha Jade.[7] On 2 October, the soundtrack reached number 38 on the New Zealand Albums Chart.[8]


The film opened to mixed reviews.

Graeme Tuckett of rated Born to Dance four out of five stars and praise the dancing ability of the actors, especially considering the lack of "wires, stunt doubles or even much camera trickery".[9] The New Zealand Herald's Francesca Rudkin and 3 News' Kate Rodger praised P-Money's work on the soundtrack.[10][11]

The film's "cringe-worthy" dialogue was criticised by Alice Harbourne from Metro.[12]


  2. "Movie: Born to Dance". Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  3. Jeremy Kay (13 October 2014). "Born to Dance begins New Zealand shoot". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  4. "BORN TO DANCE Official Trailer". 21 July 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  5. "HERE IT IS the final #BORNTODANCE theatrical poster". 28 July 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  6. "Movies 2015: Born to Dance". Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  7. "Music News - 'Born To Dance' Movie Soundtrack Details". 31 July 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  8. "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  9. Tuckett, Grame (23 September 2015). "Review: Born to Dance". Archived from the original on 27 September 2015.
  10. "Movie review: Born To Dance". The New Zealand Herald. 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  11. Rodger, Kate (26 September 2015). "Born to Dance review". 3 News. MediaWorks New Zealand. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  12. Harbourne, Alice (5 September 2015). "Born to Dance – review". Metro. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

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