Shonda Rhimes Takes On Christmas With a New ‘Nutcracker’ Netflix Documentary

It follows choreographer Debbie Allen as she preps for her annual 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.'

Shonda Rhimes is dropping a new documentary on Netflix that will become a staple in your annual holiday movie rotation. Netflix and Shondaland’s Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker follows legendary dancer, choreographer, and actor Debbie Allen as she prepares her dance academy for their annual performance of Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.

If you’re not familiar with Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, in a nutshell, the show is Allen’s unique take on The Nutcracker ballet. “As a young girl, The Nutcracker was so important to me,” Allen explains in the trailer, which dropped yesterday, November 12th. “But I decided to take it on with different styles of dance and music and make it fun.”

The dancers in the documentary range from children to teens, and some of them have been part of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker for several years. And while it looks like they put in a ton of hard work, overall the whole thing just feels joyful and inspirational.

This is about woman power, Allen says in the doc. Women rule the world. I don’t care what they say.

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is the first in a series of Shondaland projects that will be released on the streaming platform as part of Rhimes’s new deal with Netflix.

“Getting to tell the story of how powerful a force Debbie Allen is in the lives of kids is incredible because when I was a kid I got to see somebody who looked like me, doing all these amazing, powerful things and it made me feel like it was possible,” Rhimes told People. “She was one of the women, one of the female forces in the world out there who made me feel like I could be whatever I wanted to be.”

We’re ready to cry into a cup of hot chocolate right now. Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker premieres on Netflix on November 27th.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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