Shall We Dance? (1996)
"Shall we dansu?" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  11 July 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 9,080 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 94 user | 81 critic | 18 from

A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.



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54 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamiyo Kusakari ...
Mai Kishikawa
Tomio Aoki
Eri Watanabe ...
Toyoko Takahashi (as Eriko Watanabe)
Yu Tokui ...
Tokichi Hattori
Hiromasa Taguchi ...
Masahiro Tanaka
Reiko Kusamura ...
Tamako Tamura
Hideko Hara ...
Masako Sugiyama
Hiroshi Miyasaka ...
Kunihiko Ida ...
Teiji Kaneko
Amie Toujou ...
Hisako Honda
Ayano Nakamura ...
Chikage Sugiyama
Katsunari Mineno ...
Tomiko Ishii ...
Haruko Haraguchi
Maki Kawamura ...
Eiko Miyoshi


Shohei Sugiyama has attained all that he has wanted in life. But he is still depressed and unhappy. One day, he gathers up the courage to sign up for dancing lessons. He hopes they will rid his depression and help him get his life back together. Written by Robert Krzanowski <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's an overworked accountant. She's an accomplished dancer. Passion is about to find two unlikely partners.


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shall We Dance?  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$88,106 (USA) (11 July 1997)


£28,684 (UK) (8 May 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (USA) (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is written in English as "Shall We Dansu" since in its original Japanese release, the first two words actual appear in English with only the last word appearing in katakana (one of three Japanese writing systems). The Japanese word for "dance" is pronounced "dansu". See more »


Mai Kishikawa: This may sound rude, but I hope you don't join the class with me as your goal.
See more »


References The King and I (1956) See more »


Save the Last Dance for Me
Written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus
Performed by The Drifters
See more »

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User Reviews

A subtle and intricate film
6 July 2004 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

I don't like "grade inflation" but I just had to give this a 10. I can't think of anything I didn't like about it. I saw it last night and woke up today thinking about it. I'm sure that the Hollywood remake that someone told me about, with J Lo and Richard Gear, will be excellent, but this original Japanese version from 1996 was so emotional and thought-provoking for me that I am hard-pressed to think of any way that it could be improved, or its setting changed to a different culture.

A story I found worth watching, and with o fist-fight scenes or guns going off or anything of the sort! Imagine that!

All the characters seemed well-developed, ... even non-primary characters had good character-development and enjoyable acting, and the casting seemed very appropriate.

It's always hard to find a good movie-musical in our day and age, and perhaps this doesn't quite qualify (there is plenty of learning how to dance, but no singing) but I really think that Gene Kelly and others who championed a place for dance in our lives would have thought so very highly of this film and the role of dance in helping to tell a story about a middle aged man, successful with a family in Japan, looking for something... he knows not precisely what.

To the team of people in Japan who contributed to this film, thank you for creating and doing it.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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