It's been over three years since the first High Strung was released, and fans of the dancetastic movie have been itching for more ever since. Thankfully, the film's sequel, High Strung: Free Dance, is set to premiere tomorrow, October 11.
The new story follows Barlow, a young ballet dancer longing to break into the Broadway and commercial scene. With opposition from those closest to her, however, she knows the road ahead will be difficult. Two-time Dance Spirit cover girl Juliet Doherty plays Barlow in the film.
One of Doherty's favorite aspects of High Strung: Free Dance is the variety of dance genres featured, from classical ballet to jazz to hip hop to musical theater. "I grew up doing a lot of different styles—not only ballet—so it brought me back to my roots, and reminded me why training to be as versatile as you can when you're a young dancer is so important," she says.
Juliet Doherty (right) with co-stars (from left) Kerrynton Jones and Nataly Santiago (Jo Bee, courtesy Sicily Publicity)
The movie's stylistic diversity is largely thanks to its head choreographer, Tyce Diorio. Along with associate choreographers Myles Thatcher, Phillip Chbeeb, and Nakul Dev Mahajan, he wove multiple styles into High Strung: Free Dance.
"Sometimes in dance films, I feel that the movement and the dance get introduced to a storyline and it doesn't seem organic," Diorio says. "But the theatricality of this film makes total sense."
Both Diorio and Doherty hope that High Strung: Free Dance inspires the next generation of dancers to never stop chasing their dreams. "Of course it's important to get other people's perspectives, but listen to your inner voice and chase your own passions," Doherty says. "If you have a strong feeling about something, try not to get swayed by other people."