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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.

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