Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts on “Take the Lead”

This past Sunday, I watched the 2006 movie "Take the Lead" starring Antonio Banderas as Pierre Dulaine. The scene I found most fascinating was near the beginning. Dulaine witnesses a teen destroying a car. His immediate thought: This kid needs dance lessons!

Through some nice detail work in the plotting, Dulaine figures out that the car belongs to the principal at the teen’s school. He goes to the school and chats up the principal without revealing the identity of the teen who destroyed her car.

The kids are hostile to learning ballroom dance, but Dulaine persists.

He’s on a mission. He KNOWS he has an answer to teen violence. It’s an answer that would never have occurred to me.

I prosecuted the teen who mugged me at gunpoint and shoved me to the sidewalk. Yes, afterwards, I went to court and helped one of my muggers get into the auto-body repair program. But it would never have occurred to me to skip the legal system and go straight to an arts program.

According to the movie, Dulaine’s program caught on, and is now popular at many schools in New York. Dancing is keeping children out of trouble.

I doubt things were this simple. Years of work are portrayed in a little over an hour.

Nevertheless, I am in awe. I wish I could think of effective solutions like Dulaine is portrayed as doing in this movie.

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