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 9,077 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
See  »

Did You Know?


In the first scene, a man's shoe in close-up plunges into a black pool in the street. This symbolizes the world renowned Ballroom Dancing Competition in Blackpool, England, referenced later in the film. See more »


Mai Kishikawa: A weak first step transmits nothing.
See more »


Referenced in Dennis Pennis R.I.P. (1997) 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

Ordinary yet extraordinary. Simply beautiful.
5 October 2004 | by (MI) – See all my reviews

Watched this last night and was bowled over by the heartfelt story line, the excellent character development, and the good karmic vibe emanating from the acting and movie as a whole.

Without giving away too much of the plot, it begins with an ordinary joe who commutes to his office job every day who becomes inspired to take dance lessons. Along the way the protagonist and the assorted characters he meets in his quest to be smooth on the dance floor learn lessons about others and about themselves.

The story has a prologue about what dancing in Japan symbolizes sociologically, so it isn't exactly as simple to learn to dance in Japan as it is here in the U.S.

The film is lighthearted; you'll laugh out loud at some of the sight gags. Yet it is also dignified in a way hard to describe. All of the film's characters are taken seriously, as they are, and none are diminished because of their "imperfections."

I've been thinking about taking social dance classes with some friends. It just so happened a friend lent me the video on learning to dance. Is this synchronous or what? I think so because now I'm really geeked to give it a try.

Watch this wonderful family film (small children might not get it, but teens certainly would) and smile at the genuine caring you see shown in it time and again.

Why they would make a remake of Shall We Dance is a mystery, as it is perfect as-is.

44 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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