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Take the Lead (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Music  |  7 April 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 20,844 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 127 user | 101 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

The real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.



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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Temple
Shawand McKenzie ...
Big Girl
Sasha (as Jenna Dewan)
Brandon D. Andrews ...


In New York, the polite dance instructor Pierre Dulaine sees a black teenager vandalizing the car of the director of a public school and on the next day he volunteers to teach dance to students to give respect, dignity, self-confidence, trust and teamwork. The reluctant director Augustine James offers the troublemakers that are in detention expecting Pierre to give-up of his intentions. Pierre struggles against the prejudice and ignorance of the students, parents and other teachers, but wins his battle when the group accepts to compete in a ballroom dance contest. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Never Follow.


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 April 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dance with Me  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,051,277 (USA) (7 April 2006)


$1,113,955 (New Zealand) (18 August 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Antonio Banderas and Laura Benanti, whom both star in this film together, were previously on Broadway together in the 2003 Revival of Nine the Musical. Banderas received a Tony Award nomination for his role in this production. See more »


In the dance scene with Pierre and Morgan during the detention, they dance Argentine tango, which is not considered a ballroom dance. American and international tango, both ballroom dances, are completely different. See more »


Pierre Dulaine: Thank you.
LaRhette: Uh-huh.
Pierre Dulaine: I believe the appropiate response is "you're welcome"
LaRhette: Uh-huh.
See more »


Featured in Profile of Pierre Dulaine (2006) See more »


Written by Dick Manning and Dante Marchetti
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Records under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Surprisingly really good!
16 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I just returned from seeing this film at a preview/test screening.

This film was much better than I had expected. The story brings to mind movies such as Mad Hot Ballroom or Dangerous Minds, but is different enough that it is able to stand on its own.

Overall I thought the acting was well done. The dancing was great (both the hip hop dancing and the ballroom). And while I am not a huge Antonio Banderas fan, I thought he was excellent, and I really liked him. He was able to be the star of the movie, but not the center of attention at all times. He looked good and seemed to provide a different element to what could have been the same old "help the inner city kids find hope" story.

The script and dialogue had nothing too cheesy or corny, which is usually found in "feel good" films, or movies about highschool students. There are plenty of funny parts, as well as enough drama and interesting character conflicts to keep everything interesting.

My only complaint was that the ending didn't seem to wrap up everything

  • there were some back story lines and issues that weren't resolved.

But a few unanswered questions can sometimes be better than a cheesy, unbelievable ending where suddenly all is right in the world. I'll be curious to see if they make any changes before it is released in theatres.

I give it an 8 out of 10, because I was genuinely entertained.

113 of 123 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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