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Strictly Baby Ballroom (2007)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  6 February 2007 (UK)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 10 users  
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Title: Strictly Baby Ballroom (TV Movie 2007)

Strictly Baby Ballroom (TV Movie 2007) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Stephen Noonan ...
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6 February 2007 (UK)  »

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Referenced in Cutting Edge: Strictly Baby Fight Club (2008) See more »

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With neither enough character to be funny nor sharp enough to be of real value, this is TV filler that makes for light entertainment but nothing more
24 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Any obsessive activity involving children is ripe for examination simply because as an outsider it is interesting to see the parents involved and the effects on the children. However I was a bit concerned about this film as the world of child ballroom dancing is, well, all a bit wrong isn't it? The producers don't help the audience get over this impression by using the theme music from BBC's The Armstrongs as the background music at the start and throughout – The Armstrongs being a benchmark for "wrong" in reality television! We follow three young girls (Ellie, Tabitha, Kelsey) as they all prepare for the impending British Championships. The film shows them talking about the dancing and in a way it is interesting in how you can hear the parents coming through when the children speak. Sadly though the film is not smart enough to get below the surface of these family dynamics and it never probes too deeply, seemingly happy just to float on the surface looking at the easy material. This is not too surprising but it is a bit disappointing as mostly we are just shown a world where children work hard in the dancing, encouraged and supported financially by parents eager to see their offspring succeed – which is probably the level of knowledge that most viewers had at the very start of the film.

Therefore the majority of the film is just this same angle while following the girls on their way to Blackpool (where, unsurprisingly, the Championship is held). This is vaguely interesting in a sort of depressing way because the characters are weird but not weird enough to be engaging so much as a bit unnerving. Mason was my favourite of the lot of them as he constantly comes over like he is angled for the hosting job on the kiddie version of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy". The rest of the characters are still vaguely interesting but not what the film needed – really it either needed to go deeper with them (which it doesn't) or have the type of characters that fans of Christopher Guest would have (which it doesn't).

Overall then a simple documentary which relies on an audience happy to just wander into a slightly odd world for an hour and walk out the other side not having learnt a great deal. With neither enough character to be funny nor sharp enough to be of real value, this is TV filler that makes for light entertainment but nothing more.


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