Countries: France

Director: Thierry Demaizière, Alban Teurlai

Genre: documentary

114 minutes; French with English subtitles; 2021

About this Film

“Dancing is drive. You have it or you do not.”

In the heart of Paris, a prestigious high school takes an audacious bet: integrate students from working-class districts and make them break the circle of school failure through dance and hip hop.

ROOKIES tells their story.

Everyone brings his or her own story: complex family relationships, problems in the social environment and in school. Through dance, the students learn to translate their experiences into physical energy. The intimately immersive camera interweaves explosive movement with moments of reflection. There are injuries and deficits, but also hopes, dreams and inner transformations.


Bursting with joyous energy, the uncertainty of adolescent dreams, and a desire to push beyond one’s limits and social boundaries.
Fabien LeMercier, Cineuropa

A testament to the power of embracing raw talent and turning it into potential.
Lisa Foreman, Variety

Energetic, hopeful and exhilarating – ROOKIES vibrates with passion, for life, for the art of dance, for finding one‘s way, but not for school (who hasn’t been there).
Fly, LetterBoxd

Reveals simple truths about the realities of teaching and reaching young people through the power of dance.
Rose Finlay, Kino Critics