Mad Hot Ballroom

Mad Hot Ballroom was a lot of fun to watch. It was like Spellbound with dancing. Many times it was laugh-out-loud funny and while it was never heartwrenching, it had its poignant moments.

The film follows fifth grade students in in three out of sixty New York City schools that take a semester of ballroom dance classes, and then compete at a citywide competition. As I watched, I kept thinking about the fifth graders that I know from teaching, and imaging them in that setting, wondering how they'd take to it. Some of what I saw in the kids seemed so familiar to me.

The schools followed where in Tribeca, Bensonhurst, and Washington Heights, and had a broad cross-section of ethnicities, backgrounds, and socio-economic status. It didn't seem to matter where they where coming from, all of the kids appeared to grow and have fun in the program. They were all bright kids with a lot to say about their friends, their futures, and their world.

Almost as interesting to watch were the adults, who looked as though they got as much out of the experience as the kids. I saw a mixture of excitement and pride in what the kids were doing, with a wee bit of "self" thrown into the mix to keep it real.

The filmmakers did an excellent job of getting into the lives of these kids without seeming too intrusive. Beyond the presence of the camera, they barely make themselves felt as an extra person in the story.

Go forth and see this film.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on October 6, 2005 11:20 PM.

Ridin' was the previous entry in this blog.

A letter to the people sitting three rows back. is the next entry in this blog.

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