Mad Hot Ballroom

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This is a documentary about a program in the New York City public schools, where sixth graders take ballroom dancing lessons, finishing off with a competition (among 60 schools) at the end.

This was really charming, and a nice break from explodos in a five movie day. The film focused on three schools, including the winning team, and it was wonderful to see these shy kids who didn’t want to go near the opposite sex (remember when you were eleven?) turn into real dancers, commited to doing their best for the competition.

There are lots of interviews with the kids and their teachers, and the dance teachers; there is also a lot of contrast between different schools, some in affluent neighborhoods and some with very low-income kids indeed.

But the kids are great! they get it, they get into the dancing, and they are really darn good at it. Although it is hard watching the disappointment of the kids who don’t come in first…

This short film was fun to watch, a real feel-good movie.

It also made me want to take ballroom dancing lessons…what do you say, Mr. Otter?


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