Mad Hot Ballroom

  • U
  • Marilyn Agrelo (2005)
  • US (SUB)
  • 101 min
Mad Hot Ballroom
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Director Marilyn Agrelo's genial documentary exudes optimism and charm as it follows 11-year-olds preparing for the annual New York schools' ballroom-dancing championships. Set up by the non-profit American Ballroom Theater organisation in 1994, the competition's ten-week course catches pupils before the onset of teenage awkwardness, and helps them to build the self-confidence they will need to get by in the modern world. The movie follows pupils from three diverse New York schools and is good at capturing the flavour of their differences. The interviews with the students are wonderfully candid, and imbue the film with a generosity of spirit that was lacking in the pressure-cooker environment of 2002's spelling documentary, Spellbound. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, this is strictly upbeat entertainment.

Plot Summary

Documentary that follows a group of 11-year-old schoolchildren from three tough New York neighbourhoods as they prepare for the annual ballroom dancing championships.

Cast and crew


Marilyn Agrelo

Other Information

English, Spanish +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD
Released 25 Nov 2005
Certificate U