So You Think You Can Dance All-Star and Step Up Revolution lead actress Kathryn McCormick has partnered with her husband Jacob Patrick and Amalgamation Pictures to create a powerful documentary entitled Like Air, available now on iTunes ® and On Demand. Distributed by The Orchard, the documentary follows three teens who are immersed in dance competition season and reveals all of the fears, insecurities and desires that come along with the lifestyle. [Watch the trailer below.]
Directed by Jake Viramontez, Like Air follows “The Individual” Alyssa Gaines as she struggles with her overbearing coach who will settle for nothing less than first place; “The Fighter” Montserrat Roberts, who battles a herniated disk in her back but will not let it stop her; and “The Artist” Kayla Sameski, who, in the midst of not having a home dance studio, looks within herself to find the inspiration she needs. The three girls participate in DanceMakers Inc., a dance competition that tours to regional locations across the country each year.
The competition is incredibly fierce, and the pressure that these young boys and girls put on themselves is unprecedented. In a landscape of trying to beat each other, the art of dance is nearly lost completely. At each competing city, these girls come in contact with a mentor and teacher (McCormick), and her voice of inspiration and hope begins shifting the perspective of these girls until they come to the ultimate realization that dance is not about the competition but about finding the beauty in who they are and who they are becoming.
“Dance is from the soul,” explains McCormick. “It is an energy that seeps out of our being in our most unaware and connected moments. Not many dancers have actually felt that, and I truly believe it is because from a young age we are taught competition. Not competition to inspire like it is intended for, but competition to point out all of the flaws in ourselves. We already spend an excess amount of time dwelling on these flaws, and this experience of competition convinces us that we are not enough. It limits our ability to access our artistry, as we are too aware of ourselves to allow our soul to enjoy the process. Watching the heart transformations throughout Kayla, Monts and Alyssa were a gift and reminder of what success through dance truly is.”
Her husband, Jacob Patrick, shared the vision of Doug Shaffer, executive director of DanceMakers Inc., to break the negative mold that surrounds competitive dance, and shed light on the inspiration and artistry that dance was designed to be – and thus, Like Air was born.
“Growing up dancing in the studio that my mother owned played a huge factor into the message I wanted to tell to young dancers,” Patrick explains. “My mom owned a non-competition school specifically to avoid the stresses that competition can put on children at such a young age. I think her mentorship to her students over the years, helping the younger generations feel beautiful as opposed to ‘winning’ something, was engrained in my soul. This film is an opportunity for my wife and I to leave a legacy in the industry that we both were raised in. After meeting with DanceMakers and hearing Doug’s heart, it was a perfect match. From there, Jake was hands down the perfect fit. To be able to take a journey in filmmaking with this amazing team and share these stories is something I will always be grateful for.”
For more information on Like Air, visit www.likeairmovie.com.