7.5/10
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65 user 83 critic

Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)

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The students of several New York City elementary schools learn ballroom dancing and compete in a city wide dance competition.

Director:

Marilyn Agrelo

Writer:

Amy Sewell
8 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Heather Berman Heather Berman ... Herself
Emma Therese Biegacki Emma Therese Biegacki ... Herself
Eva Carrozza Eva Carrozza ... Herself
Evangelina Carrozzo Evangelina Carrozzo ... Herself
Paul Daggett Paul Daggett ... Himself
Graciela Daniele Graciela Daniele ... Herself - Final Competition Judge
Pierre Dulaine Pierre Dulaine ... Himself - Organizer and MC of the Final Dance Competition
Leslie Freu Leslie Freu ... Herself - Teacher PS 112
Tara Devon Gallagher Tara Devon Gallagher ... Herself
Madeleine Hackney ... Herself
Charlotte Jorgensen Charlotte Jorgensen ... Herself - Final Competition Judge
Rodney Lopez Rodney Lopez ... Himself
Victoria Malvagno Victoria Malvagno ... Herself
Stacee Mandeville Stacee Mandeville ... Herself
Terri Mintzer Terri Mintzer ... Herself - Teacher PS 144
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Storyline

Eleven-year-old New York City public school kids journey into the world of ballroom dancing and reveal pieces of themselves and their world along the way. Told from their candid, sometimes hilarious perspectives, these kids are transformed, from reluctant participants to determined competitors, from typical urban kids to "ladies and gentlemen," on their way to try to compete in the final citywide competition. Providing unique insight into the incredible cultural diversity that is New York City, this film profiles several kids from three schools (out of 60) at this dynamic age, when becoming that "cool" teenager vies for position with familiar innocence, while they learn the merengue, rumba, tango, the foxtrot and swing. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Anyone can make it if they know how to shake it.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 July 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Forró táncparkett See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,348, 15 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,044,906, 20 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Just One Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received a limited release, making it the only Nickelodeon film to receive a limited theatrical release. Therefore, this makes Mad Hot Ballroom the studio's lowest grossing film. See more »

Quotes

Tiny boy with curly hair: A girl and a boy loving each other, you know, really loving each other and being together and
[waxes lyrically for a while]
Tiny boy with curly hair: ... It is very beautiful!
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Crazy Credits

Some of the children add their observations about life in film clips during the credits. See more »

Connections

References I Dream of Jeannie (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

FEVER
by Peggy Lee
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superb documentary about far, FAR more than dance
27 July 2005 | by Bob Pr.See all my reviews

NYC has a 10 week Phys. Ed program that teaches ballroom dancing to 5th graders. Some of those kids can elect to join a team, similar to one in football, basketball, track, etc. -- of inter-school competition. This documentary follows the development, training, and competition of some of those teams.

While learning to dance and the competition is the overlying central theme of the narrative, the film is about far more.

Fifth graders will be typically six years old PLUS their grade level -- so most will be about eleven while some are 12 and a few are 10 years old. These students are at -- or a few degrees either side -- of the cusp of puberty. That stage is also graphically reflected in their heights --some are barely above 3 feet while others approach six. Many of the kids come from neighborhoods in which most are disadvantaged, crime ridden, and fractured families while some are from the reverse.

The film brings back to us what it was like to be a kid (and maybe wonder which of those we see here that we would have been most like?), the whole process of learning, of growing up, of the transition of thoughts and expectations kids have about what lies beyond puberty, the relation between caring adults (teachers) and children, the emotions teachers have about the ones they lose and the ones they win, etc.

I've often wondered if -- maybe -- many of us have a hidden, secret talent -- to be a Serena Williams, a Yo Yo Mah, Carol King, W.H. Auden, Charles Eames, etc. -- but our hidden talent has never been discovered.

The NYC program filmed here discovers some of those talents that would otherwise remain hidden. And this documentary shows, through the lens of dancing, some of the process of a crucial stage in human development and our dependence on our peers and empathic teachers/mentors.

And all of this is done without a voice over narration. At times I was a little confused about which kids of which school we were watching. But I learned to relax -- it's the panorama that's most important.

Great film.

It takes "Spellbound" as a model and advances it.

I'd welcome seeing 50 films of this quality a year.


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