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Amy's Victory Dance (A Movie Review)


Featuring Amy Jordan, Chita Rivera, Dr. Robert David Baum, Christopher Jackson, Gary Lewis, Kyle LeMaire, David Shenton, Karen Niceley, Danilo Silvestre, Erica Johnston, Larah Pamplin, Aika Takeshima, Saleem Abdullahi, Tiffany Mellard, Dr. Gaetano Barile, Dr. Austin Fragomen, Dr. Palmer Bessey, Dr. Barry J. Hartman, Dr. Jason Spector, Alison Gritz, Dr. Joshua Dines, Dr. Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, Robyn D’Angelo, Corey Wright, Hayley Fridenstein, Jefferson Pierre, Joshi Martinez, Marissa Graham, Martell Ruffin, Petra Duskova, Rachel Neitzke, Scott Schneider, Ty Evans, William Briscoe, Ricardo Zayas and Rosie Fiedelman.

Directed by Brian Thomas.

Distributed by Spinkick Pictures. 74 minutes. Not Rated.

Screened for the 2020 ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York.

The first thing she discusses is the shoes.

Dancer Amy Jordan’s leg was crushed by a New York City bus. It was a horrible loss for the woman. It took away her mobility. It took away her lifestyle. It took away her career. It took away her passion.

And it took away her shoes. In the opening of this documentary looking at the inspirational journey that took Jordan from the Broadway stage to becoming an author and inspirational speaker – and eventually, having a triumphant return to the boards – Jordan admits it first all became real to her when she had to get rid of her shoes.

The kiss-ass boots, the glam heels, the strappy sandals, the slinky stilettos, the sneakers, the fuck-me pumps; giving them up was much harder than she would have ever imagined. Particularly, because she was stripped of the choice – she didn’t want to have to clear out her closet, she just couldn’t use them anymore.

It’s a surprising, slightly cheeky and strangely intensely personal look at sudden loss.

Which makes sense, because Amy Jordan is a surprising, slightly cheeky and intensely personal woman. She is not going to mope through her own tragic story – although she may have every right to do so. She is going to triumph over adversity, and always try to keep a smile on her face, even when she could be crying.

According to the press release for this film: Professional dancer Amy Jordan is run over by an NYC bus. Her first thought is “Am I ever going to dance again?” Her second is “If I survive the night, there will be a victory dance.”

This film is the story of that victory dance, and the long, hard road which led to it.

Sadly, the accident was not the beginning of her problems. She had eating disorders in her past, for years had ignored undiagnosed diabetes, had lost the sight in one eye. She also has severe arthritis. As one of her doctors points out, she really should not be able to walk. The fact that she can walk must mean that she must be in severe pain on an ongoing basis, though he feels she probably downplays the agony she is experiencing.

He credits this amazing resilience to her positive attitude in life. Which doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel the pain, frustration and doubt that comes with her disability. However, she tends to power through it, with a joke, or a laugh, or by throwing herself into her art.

It was that positive attitude which caused her to start and become the artistic director of The Victory Dance Project, a labor of love professional dancers’ company in New York. It was formed to let young dancers – like she once was – embrace their talents and their passions, and to give them an outlet for their hard work.

From the evidence on screen, the Victory Dance Project is a terrific success, though Amy works constantly fundraising and finding benefactors for the group. Through a benefit performance, she can finally make her triumphant return to the stage.

Amy’s Victory Dance is much like its subject, smart, funny, determined, enthralled by the arts and most of all inspirational.

(Ed. Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 annual ReelAbilities Film Festival New York has been changed to a virtual festival. All films and Q&As will be available for streaming. You can get information on the festival at their website

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2020 All rights reserved. Posted: March 30, 2020.

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