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West Van filmmaker’s Christmas tale blends ballroom dance and holiday cheer

dancing with the stars - (L to R) Actor Ralph Macchio, filmmaker Christian Bruyère, actress Karen Olivo and choreographer Paul Becker. - Anne Cronin
dancing with the stars - (L to R) Actor Ralph Macchio, filmmaker Christian Bruyère, actress Karen Olivo and choreographer Paul Becker.
— image credit: Anne Cronin

West Vancouver filmmaker Christian Bruyère was on the hunt for a Christmas dance movie when he came across a promising script. After rewriting certain sections, Holiday Spin was ready to go.

The heartwarming story about boy who is reunited with his long-lost father centres around ballroom dance and holiday cheer.

Filmed in Langley and Abbotsford, the made-for-TV movie stars Ralph Macchio (Karate Kid, Hitchcock) and local actress Allie Bertram, who was voted top female dancer on So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s first competition.

“I always saw Ralph Macchio as the father,” says Bruyère, who has lived in Caulfield with his family for 11 years.

Roles like Macchio’s lead in early-’90s classic My Cousin Vinny drew the filmmaker to the actor.

The movie features “traditional Christmas carols done to the ballroom beats,” explains Bruyère, adding father-son movies are in demand right now instead of typical scripts centered around mothers.

The film is about 17-year-old Blake (Garrett Clayton, Disney’s Teen Beach Musical) whose mother dies in a horrible car accident, forcing him to live with his estranged father who works as a dance teacher in Miami.

Blake is anxious to continue his promising MMA career, but things get complicated when he meets his father’s prized pupil, 18-year-old Pia (Allie Bertram), who is training for the upcoming Holiday Spin, an annual ballroom dance contest on Christmas Eve. When romance emerges between Pia and Blake, it threatens to derail the fragile reconciliation between father and son.

“The movie speaks to both family and forgiveness,” Bruyère tells The Outlook.

The veteran filmmaker has created over 100 documentaries and dramas over the past 20 years, including the long-running TV series Champions of the Wild and CBC television movie Scorn, which won a 2001 Gemini award for Best Television Movie.

Holiday Spin will be on CTV on Dec. 21 at 9 p.m. and CTV Two on Dec. 25 at 7 p.m.


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