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.
Kids are learning about gender roles as they learn classic dancing.
Discussion of violence (including one abstract mention of "kidnappers"); none displayed.
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.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Some of the kids speak disparagingly about the drug dealers in their neighborhood.