Mad Hot Ballroom

Mad Hot Ballroom

Marilyn Agrelo (2005)

U Certificate


Our Score
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.


Marilyn Agrelo's documentary following children from three New York schools as they take part in a ballroom-dancing contest. Focusing on three sets of pupils from very different backgrounds, the film captures the 11-year-olds' struggles and triumphs, as they practise their steps while learning about friendship and culture.

Cast & Crew

Director Marilyn Agrelo

Other Information

Language: English, Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 25 Nov 2005