Take the Lead

Take the Lead

Liz Friedlander (2006)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Dangerous Minds meets Strictly Come Dancing as more disaffected ghetto teens get valuable life lessons from an unlikely mentor. Antonio Banderas struts his stuff as real-life ex-ballroom champion Pierre Dulaine - the man behind the school dance programme documented in Mad Hot Ballroom - who provides inspiration to New York high-school detention students via waltz and salsa lessons. They, in turn, teach him something by fusing his classical approach with their street styles. But will that impress the judges of the upcoming dance competition? A vibrant package of high-energy dance routines and soft social relevance, this diverting drama from music video director Liz Friedlander makes the right moves even when it's glossing over grim issues. The choreography is sensational on both sides of the cultural divide, as old school Cole Porter and George Gershwin melodies compete alongside the hip-hop vibe of Black Eyed Peas and Q-Tip. While there are no real surprises in the story, this feel-good dynamo glides by gracefully and unpretentiously with enormous appeal.


A former professional dancer volunteers to pass on his skills to disruptive students in New York's public schools. At first the teenagers and their teachers are sceptical, but he eventually inspires them and persuades the kids to compete in a prestigious contest - in which his classical training and their love of hip-hop fuse to create an entirely new dance style. Fact-based drama, starring Antonio Banderas, Alfre Woodard and Rob Brown.

Cast & Crew

Pierre Dulaine Antonio Banderas
Rock Rob Brown
LaRhette Yaya DaCosta
Ramos Dante Basco
Mr Temple John Ortiz (1)
Tina Laura Benanti
Eddie Marcus T Paulk
Sasha Jenna Dewan
Augustine James Alfre Woodard
Director Liz Friedlander
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Edited for violence and swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 14 Apr 2006