96 user 84 critic

Shall We Dance? (1996)

Shall we dansu? (original title)
PG | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 11 July 1997 (USA)
1:21 | Trailer

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



55 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shohei Sugiyama (as Koji Yakusho)
Tamiyo Kusakari ...
Tomio Aoki
Eri Watanabe ...
Toyoko Takahashi (as Eriko Watanabe)
Yu Tokui ...
Tokichi Hattori
Hiromasa Taguchi ...
Masahiro Tanaka
Reiko Kusamura ...
Tamako Tamura (as Raiko Kusamura)
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 <stonedpsycho@hotmail.com>

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 USA:

$88,106, 13 July 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,676,677, 23 January 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (USA) (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »


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

A brilliant film. Not to be missed.
23 July 2001 | by 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.

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