Review of Mad Hot Ballroom

By Kelly Gray

Walking up and down the aisles of Blockbuster, all of the movie covers seemed to blend into one. Nothing stood out to me or seemed to jump off the shelves.

That is until I came across the cover of “Mad Hot Ballroom.” The image of two elementary school children striking a tango pose with the New York City skyline in the background compelled me to find out more.

“Mad Hot Ballroom” is a documentary that follows the lives of several New York City fifth graders as they learn the art of ballroom dance and compete in a citywide dance competition. The students are taught dances such as the rumba, tango and swing dancing by the nonprofit organization American Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms.

The candid commentary provided by the students in this documentary is almost as entertaining as watching them dance. Hearing the perspective of the 11 year olds on not only ballroom dancing, but also life in New York and the opposite sex is beyond amusing.

This documentary turned out to be fascinating and very entertaining. By the end of the movie, I found myself cheering for the teams and dancing right along with them. Witnessing the transformation the children made and seeing them become, as one of their teachers described, “ladies and gentlemen,” was honestly touching.

I would recommend this documentary to anyone who is searching for a light-hearted film that has a positive message and leaves the audience feeling good. Just like the cover of this documentary, sitting on a Blockbuster shelf, “Mad Hot Ballroom” stands out from the rest.

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