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Movie review: ‘Dancin’ It’s On’ short on acting

It’s tempting to say “Dancin’ It’s On” gives the impression it was conceived and written by sixth-graders. But that would be unfair … to sixth-graders. Kids that age are pretty sophisticated these days, what with all the stuff they see on TV and the Internet. And “sophistication” and “Dancin’” are two words that don’t really belong in the same sentence with each other.

“Dancin’ ” seems like a throwback to 1950s-style Disney-fied juvenile entertainment: bright colors, bright smiles — So many teeth! Blinding in their whiteness! — half-bright plotting.

Boy meets girl. Their eyes lock. The world stops. It’s love!

But there are complications. Or at least what pass from complications in something so simplistic. She (Witney Carson) rich, blond and vapid, is the only daughter of a Florida hotel owner. He (Chehon Wespi-Tschopp), poor with he’s-a-rebel tousled dark hair, is a lowly dishwasher in the father’s hotel. Uh-oh. “I will not have you dating a kid who’s a dishwasher in my hotel!” daddy declares to his darling daughter.

Uh-oh. We have entered the cliché-speak zone. Older and wiser dance coach to the so-in-love birds prepare to show their stuff in a big dance contest finale: “It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about dancing.”

What’s clear is that in this picture it’s not about acting. Every single member of the cast speaks — no, recites — their lines as though seeing them for the first time on cue cards as the camera rolled.

The major players all are veterans of TV dance shows. Carson, for example, appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

No one who sees this will think anyone in “Dancin’” can act.

“Dancin’ It’s On”

out of 5

Cast: Witney Carson, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, Jordan Clark and Matt Marr.

Director: David Winters.

Running time: 1:30

Rated: PG for some suggestive material.

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