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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Cinematographer Claudia Raschke held the camera at stomach level to keep it in line with the children's faces. See more »

Quotes

Alex Tchassov: Let's use this trick, eye-to-eye connection, I am serious. Take a look at each other like
[it is for the]
Alex Tchassov: last time in your life.
Kids: Aw man, no!
Alex Tchassov: Ok. What is problem?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Late Night with Conan O'Brien: Episode #12.148 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

FEVER
by Peggy Lee
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Learning self-reliance, poise and social graces through ballroom dancing!
4 June 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

This sunny documentary on a rainy and gloomy afternoon was the perfect movie to watch. "Mad Hot Ballroom" directed by Marilyn Agrelo, who is working with her collaborator, Amy Sewell, will put anyone into a good mood because it's a disarming view at inner city children who have benefited a lot from this experience.

What comes across in the documentary is the tenacity in which the teachers keep these children involved as they are exposed to another world many of them don't even know exists. The teachers one sees in the film are clearly people that ought to be commended for motivating children that otherwise would probably be in the streets hanging out and getting in trouble.

Yomaira Reynoso and Allison Sheniak are seen openly crying when describing what they are trying to give these youngsters. It shows their devotion to the children that comes from their hearts. It's a rare thing to find men and women whose lives are given to the cause of shaping these youngsters under their care. The other teachers also have to be singled out for their dedication, especially Rodney Lopez and Alex Tchassov.

Three public schools are shown preparing for the competition, but only three are singled out, one in Tribeca, one in Brooklyn and one in Washington Heights. The children featured in the different segments are caught being themselves. There seems to be an air of improvisation in the way Ms. Agrelo points the camera to whatever is going on. The kids come out so natural in being themselves, no small achievement for this, or any other director.

It is to Ms. Reynoso's credit to dress all the six couples of her team in such a colorful, yet modest, way they have a dignified and professional look. These children of Washington Heights are poor, but they clearly show they are there to win, despite of competing with other, more affluent, schools. In a way, Ms. Reynoso has achieved in showing by her example how to be a better person.

The dancing in all the different categories at the finals show all teams in great form. Some of the dancers show a grace and a joy for whatever they are dancing at the moment. This is reflected in some of the judges, especially Ann Reinking, who seems happily surprised by some of the kids on stage.

The reaction of the audience at the session we attended couldn't have been more positive. The energy of the music and the dancing make a perfect combination. Ms. Agrelo is to be congratulated for capturing these New York school kids that show an amazing group of young and talented people that are a delight to watch.


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