Films

How to Dance in Ohio

Alexandra Shiva
2015 | 88 minutes | U.S.A.
New York City Premiere | Director in Attendance

A first date, a first dance, a first kiss—these rites of passage for young people from all walks of life in America and around the world distill the excitement, embarrassment, and trepidation of the transition to adulthood. But for some teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum, the first steps towards social intimacy are a far more daunting proposition. This moving and entertaining film focuses on a group of young people as they prepare for an iconic event: a spring formal dance. Working with their psychologist, they bit by bit deconstruct fear and larger-than-life anxiety as they pick dates, dresses, and, ultimately, a king and queen of the prom. How to Dance in Ohio dramatizes with extraordinary poignancy the universal human need to grow, connect, and belong.

Co-presented by HBO Documentary Films and New York University Council for the Study of Disability

Thresholds, My Perspective

"Our culture seems to have difficulty accepting those who are different and don't adhere to prescribed boundaries. Pushing past limitations can be complicated for those who fit in, and even more so for those who don't. The young adults living with autism in How to Dance in Ohio struggle to connect socially, a challenge, which is riddled with thresholds - for everyone."

- Alexandra Shiva | Director, How to Dance in Ohio