Monday, August 17, 2009

Movie Review: Mad Hot Ballroom

This weekend, I finally watched Mad Hot Ballroom. Released in May of 2005, it was one of many on my shamefully-long list of "movies I've been meaning to see." It is a documentary following New York City fifth-graders as they learn ballroom dancing, and prepare for a city-wide competition. I couldn't find a video to embed, watch the trailer here.

Ballroom was funny, sweet, and inspiring. Lil Bear watched it with me, and we both enjoyed it. The kids' perspectives are the best. They discuss everything from who they like best to dance with, to not wanting to be like the drug dealers they see in their neighborhood. They were infinitely more street smart than this suburbanite was in fifth grade!

Through learning dance steps and accompanying etiquette, the students learned much more. Many of the teachers reported positive changes in the behavior of "problem" kids, along with an increased sense of self-confidence.

Mad Hot Ballroom was a touching reinforcement of what I've always felt: the arts should be made accessible to everyone- young and old, urban and rural, rich and poor, black, white, brown, yellow... The fine arts exist as a means of expression, and edification, for ALL people. Two thumbs up!


  1. I did enjoy the movie very much. Not only did it make me want to learn some new dance steps, it made me wish we had a program like that when i was in school. Coming from a similar background as some of these kid's it made me think and wonder how it could have been different. Not just for myself but for some of the kids i grew up with. Not all of us made it out of there. I do agree the arts should be made accessible to everyone, all people. Right On! There's so much more in the world to learn from and experience than the neighborhood you grow up in. Make it Four thumbs up!

  2. I think that I saw this movie or part of it and enjoyed it as well. Not to cheapen this movie but has anyone watched GLEE? I did and I actually liked it. Your dad even watched part.