‘Dancing Queen’ (2018) | Netflix Original Series Review

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 5, 2018 (Last updated: November 8, 2023)
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Netflix's Dancing Queen - Alyssa Edwards - Review - Dancing Queen


Dancing Queen shows RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Alyssa Edwards putting in the work at his competitive dance studio for young people.

It’s difficult to comprehend a show like Netflix’s Dancing Queen; I feel torn and uneasy at the pressure put on children to perform. It becomes bizarrely uncomfortable with the parents, who seem more invested in the competition than their own child. Like Dance Moms, this high-stakes reality culture for the young is the norm, but all it does is represent the growing pressure we put on our next generation. It cannot be healthy.

Once I elevated myself above the concerns, docuseries Dancing Queen is profoundly entertaining. The concept embellishes the drama of it all, forcing the viewer to become stimulated by the next confrontation, mostly by a mother standing by ready to seeth at the studio leader. The dance studio is run by RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Alyssa Edwards, otherwise known as Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson.

Netflix’s Dancing Queen gives viewers an insight into the life of Alyssa Edwards. He is a dance studio teacher during the day and a famous drag queen at night. His transformation is compelling and uniquely impressive. I obviously have no way of relating but I could only appreciate the effort it must take to portray two sides of your personality at a magnified level. Dancing Queen shows Alyssa as a respected teacher at the dancing studio, giving his students motivational quips and admiring their skills, and at night, Alyssa is applauded by his audiences as he becomes the full drag.

Netflix's Dancing Queen - Alyssa Edwards - Review - Dancing Queen

As expressed earlier in this review, Dancing Queen partakes in the pressure-cooker culture laid onto our children, however, Alyssa Edwards provides a different take in the Netflix documentary series. There are determining moments where a young performer looks downbeat and strained by the experiences brought on by the dance studio, but Alyssa always reminds them they are good and chances will come. There are lessons to be learnt in Dancing Queen and the main message is that failure is fine, as long as you do not give up; Alyssa Edwards respects performing arts as long as there is an effort, the series makes that clear.

The core motive of Netflix’s Dancing Queen is to show the journey between Alyssa Edwards and his studio, amalgamating an elite dance group that can become champions. The drama comes but then it is repeatedly cooled by Alyssa’s nightlife, where he transforms, entertains and on one occasion, weds a gay couple at a dazzling wedding. This is really Alyssa Edwards’ show more than the young performers but that cannot be helped with the utmost respected directed at him.

Dancing Queen is wildly entertaining and although you won’t learn anything new, the energy that shines through will immerse you into a competitive world of dance studios.

Netflix, TV, TV Reviews
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