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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 9,021 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 95 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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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
See  »

Did You Know?


A poster on the studio's wall shows a performance photograph of Australian champions Jason Gilkison and Peta Roby. See more »


Tamako Tamura: Dance is more than the steps. Feel the music and dance for sheer joy.
See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Remembering Gene Siskel (1999) See more »


Shall We Dance
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Taeko Ohnuki
See more »

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User Reviews

A brilliant film. Not to be missed.
23 July 2001 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

How many of us wish that we could throw away social and cultural obligations and be free? Most of us, I suspect. Shall we dance? is not a movie about dancing. It is about learning about ourselves, recognising what we are looking for in life and having the courage to go in search of it. Mr Sugiyama is a middle-aged member of a Japanese society where ballroom dancing is viewed as unsuitable behaviour.

One day Mr Sugiyama sees a beautiful girl leaning out of the window of a dancing acadamy. he is fascinated by her and eventually signs up for dancing lessons. He is ashamed of his dancing and afraid of ridicule. He hides the fact that he is attending dancing classes from his colleagues and family.

There is a hilarious scene in the mensroom at the office when Sugiyama and Watanabe, a workmate who also dances, are interrupted practising some dance steps. There are many other funny and warm-hearted scenes.

The ending is not a fairytale, but it leaves the viewer feeling good.

This movie helped me to understand the Japanese people a little better. It is a warm and very worthwhile film to see.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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