MAD HOT BALLROOM
Turning Children into Well-Mannered Ladies and Gentlemen
Release Date: May 13, 2005
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 115 minutes
Distributor: Nickelodeon Network/Paramount
Director: Marilyn Agrelo
Producer: Marilyn Agrelo and Amy Sewell
Writer: Amy Sewell
Address Comments To:David Dinerstein and Ruth Vitale
A Division of Paramount Pictures
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Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 956-2000
Fax: (323) 862-1012
A little slow getting started, MAD HOT BALLROOM is a delightful documentary that not only focuses on the innocent lives of schoolchildren in New York City but also shows the struggles that schoolteachers, especially inner-city teachers, have in helping children become courteous and keeping them away from gangs and street crime. The children are cute but not always articulate. Their enjoyment of learning how to dance is infectious, however, as are the tears of joy and disappointment when the movie reveals the contest’s winners and losers.
MAD HOT BALLROOM is mostly wholesome, but there are two brief scenes where two boys mention the issue of same-sex homosexual marriage and where one girl discusses her concerns that, when a girl like her reaches 11, she has to be careful about “sick” child molesters. The childlike way in which the children talk about these issues is comical. These two scenes are not overtly lewd or offensive, but the subject matter rates a caution from MOVIEGUIDE® for children between the ages of 7 and 13. Neither the children nor the movie endorses same-sex marriage, but allusions to the politically correct, left-wing multiculturalism in New York City government schools do occur. For instance, the movie makes a big deal about the Hispanic ethnicity of one school, and the dance contest emcee twice seems to make a big deal about the “rainbow” colors that ethnic groups of dance teams wear.
On a side note, there is a brief scene where the dance teachers dance together by themselves after a teacher meeting. Two of the male teachers dance together and two of the females do likewise, but there are no other potential homosexual allusions, though a couple of the male teachers seem to be slightly effeminate, including one of the above-mentioned male dancers. Whenever the children dance, they either dance male and female or, during practice sessions, they pretend to have an imaginary partner.
MAD HOT BALLROOM is a delightful documentary that not only focuses on the innocent lives of some schoolchildren in New York City but also shows the struggles that inner-city schoolteachers have in keeping some kids away from gangs and street crime. The children are cute but not always articulate. Their enjoyment of learning how to dance is infectious, as are the tears of joy and disappointment when the movie reveals the contest’s winners and losers. Mostly wholesome, the movie has two very light comical references by children to same-sex marriage and adolescent girls having to watch out for child molesters. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for ages 7 to 13.