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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Movies: Mad Hot Ballroom

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DD and I attended this movie last night as a kick off to our home studio's SI that starts today. Here's the "mini-review" I wrote and emailed to all the dancers' families. Do take your dancing offspring to see this movie, or by all means, go alone. It was well worth the price of the ticket!!




This is a "must see" movie for any dancer, parent, or supporter of the arts today!! I was completely moved by the movie, admittedly, at times, to tears, at the pure joy of dancing instilled in these inner city kids from New York.


The premise of the movie lies in the fact that part of the 5th grade public school PE curriculum in NYC includes a mandatory 10 week introduction to ballroom dancing. The children depicted in the movie are all poverty-level (as described by a principal at the school) and have had no exposure to the arts, in general, much less to ballroom dancing of any kind. After the children attend classes, the top five couples from each school are invited to "The Competition". From there, the top dancers move on to Semi-Finals, and lastly Finals where the coveted Grand Champion trophy lies at wait. The MC of the competitions my DD remembers as one of her ballroom instructors at SAB, she thinks, (although I forget his name), and also Ann Reinking is one of the judges in the Finals.


It was particularly moving to hear the interviews with the children, dispersed throughout the movie, and to hear how much this opportunity really means to them, and how it can perhaps, and in fact, did, change their lives. One conversation in particular that moved me the most, was between three pre-teen girls, who were giggling about boys, and marriage, and a better life, went something (very loosely) like this:



first girl:

"I want a boy that respects himself, and respects ME."

next girl:

"I want a boyfriend that believes in an education, and wants to go to college."

last girl:

"I want a boy that doesn't sell drugs, I mean, I understand why sometimes they have to, because of their situation and stuff, but still I don't want my boyfriend to sell drugs."


If your summer is anything like mine, I know you are all very busy. Please consider taking your dancer to see this movie. The two teens I was with thoroughly enjoyed it. We both laughed and cried (at least I did). Not that it in any way is a sad movie, just that it showed me how much we take for granted in "The Bubble" of the ballet world, as well as in our middle class (at least mine) lifestyles, but mostly how the joy of dance can be shared and experienced in the places one wouldn't necessarily think.


I wish all of the BA dancers a happy, healthy, summer session, wherever they may be. And remember...dancing should be fun!!!!

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Thanks for the review! I will definitely go now!

Clara 76

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If you haven't seen the display ad for this film, you should. The boy in the photo is the very model of how any partner should look!

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NPR (National Public Radio) had an interview with the director of this movie last week. I thought it sounded interesting from the interview and your post makes it sound even more interesting. Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful review!

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I saw this movie with another girl and my mom. It really opened our eyes to how lucky we are to live in a nice suburb of Connecticut where there are no poverty-level kids in the district. One teacher, of the school in Washington Heights which is mostly Dominican refugees, said that the kids were something like 97 percent were below poverty level, and it really makes you appreciate what you have.

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Hm... doesn't look like it's getting across the Atlantic Ocean any time???


Your posts have got me looking forward to seeing this film and then I find out that we don't have a date of it coming over to Europe!... hm....


Just gotta be patient for it to come over or wait for a DVD release then... hm...




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My thoughts exactly Fish!


When is it opening in the US? If it's still playing in August I think mum and I could have a girlie night out (leave the boys home with a dinosaur movie or something...)

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I am mainly a ballet dancer( adult) but my boyfriend and I also take ballroom classes and we saw the movie and really loved it. The kids are so cute and really turned into some great little dancers.

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I saw this movie last weekend and loved it. The official site also has clips from the movie (or at least it did, all I'm getting right now is the trailer), and the last one of the two kids competing the rumba is amazing. :D I think everyone should see the movie, but particularly people who love dancing. :)

Edited by RedSonja
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