Mad Hot Ballroom
Ballroom dancing goes from lame to cool for a group of New York City students in this insightful documentary, which follows a group of 11-year-olds as they learn to dance old-school styles including the merengue, rumba, tango, foxtrot and swing. Candid interviews capture the kids' initial reluctance at learning ballroom dance and their transformation into serious competitors determined to win a citywide competition.
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- Marilyn Agrelo
Full Screen 1.33:1Subtitles
YesLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 StereoOther features
Color; interactive menus; scene access.
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Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Mad Hot Ballroom is a documentary that tracks students from three NYC public schools as they prepare for an annual citywide ballroom-dancing competition. Some of the 11- and 12-year-old interviewees discuss the difficulties in their lives and neighborhoods, including absent parents, drug dealers, and street violence. That said, the kids handle these subjects with poise and remarkable self-awareness. They learn about the hard work and dedication required to achieve goals and make dreams come true; they also learn to accept defeat with grace and humility. They develop a sense of pride and self-respect through mastering different dances.
- Sexual Content
- Kids are learning about gender roles as they learn classic dancing.
- Discussion of violence (including one abstract mention of "kidnappers"); none displayed.
- Not applicable
- Social Behavior
- The kids learn about the hard work and dedication required to achieve goals and make dreams come true; they also learn to accept defeat with grace and humility. The kids come to see that personal victories result from doing the best you can do.
- Not applicable
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Some of the kids speak disparagingly about the drug dealers in their neighborhood.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it