Skip to main content

mad hot ballroom

USA, 2005 (MIFF 2005, Zero to Hero: Survival of the Fittest)

Director: Marilyn Agrelo

"It's more than learning the steps... it's etiquette... it's life," says Louise Verdemare, principal of the kids at PS 112. [Mad Hot Ballroom] turns the lens on ballroom dancing 'tweens' from three New York public schools. It's an inspirational and endearing look at kids from a wide range of cultural backgrounds acquainting themselves with new moves, new styles and new attitudes - and commitment to boot. For these dynamic youngsters, ballroom dancing is an act of transformation; typical streetwise kids turn into 'ladies and gentlemen' as they apply themselves to the job at hand, as their teams prepare for the New York schools' competition. These kids may be cute - and some of their candid observations hilarious - and they may be boning up on etiquette that most of us lack, but the real magic behind Marilyn Agrelo's distinguished documentary is the knowledge that ballroom dancing, and the guidance of some smart teachers, is saving kids from the mean streets of the Big Apple.
D Marilyn Agrelo P Marilyn Agrelo, Amy Sewell S Amy Sewell WS Icon Films L English, Spanish w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2005/95mins Marilyn Agrelo was born in Santa Clara, Cuba, in 1962. [Mad Hot Ballroom] (MIFF 05) is her first feature documentary.

See also...

dirt

Jeff Bowden's mud-streaked documentary follows a championship season of world-class Street Stocks. This is the bottom class of American dirt-track auto racing, played out in all its beer-bellied ... More »

Crazy legs conti: Zen and the art of competitive eating

Think you've got what it takes to loom large on the international competitive eating circuit' Like Crazy Legs Conti - a legend in his own lunchbox - you'll have to slurp down 34 dozen oysters at ... More »

murderball

Somewhere between rugby and the demolition derby is 'murderball'. This is a bone-crushing game of rugby on wheels played by teams of men with limited function in all limbs. ... This riveting ... More »

unforgivable blackness: the rise and fall of jack johnson

"Even those with a passing knowledge of the tumultuous career of the first black heavyweight boxing champion will be amazed at the depth and range of detail in Ken Burns' irresistibly engrossing ... More »

RING OF FIRE - EMILE GRIFFITH STORY

It was 1962, when "even Liberace was thought to be straight". On a Saturday night, boxer and hat designer Emile Griffith was fighting champion Benny 'The Kid' Paret in a grudge match at Madison ... More »

GIRL WRESTLER

Tara is 13. She likes to go to the mall and wrestle boys. She only has one more year to do it in, because after that Texas law says she's too old to compete with males! Girl Wrestler is an intriguing ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director