This sounds like an interesting film. From the SF Chronicle.
DIVIDED BY CLASS, UNITED IN DANCEmore...
Sunday, May 22, 2005
"Mad Hot Ballroom," a warmhearted and often amusing new documentary, follows a number of these students as they learn their complicated steps and strive to win a citywide dance competition. Less a "Rocky"-like story that's all about who wins in the end, the film focuses on children from widely varying backgrounds and shows how dancing can help their self-esteem and perhaps shape their futures. Think "Spellbound" in dancing shoes.
"I like dancing, but it really wasn't a selling point for me with this story," says the film's director, Marilyn Agrelo, on a visit to San Francisco.
And the Oakland Tribune.
'Mad Hot Ballroom' kids are strictly adorablemore...
By Barry Caine, STAFF WRITER
KIDS SAY the darnedest things in "Mad Hot Ballroom."
And it's their candid comments — about life on the streets, being boys and girls, winning, losing and competing — that elevate the documentary beyond the ordinariness of its structure and its go-with-the-flow storytelling.
Directed by Marilyn Agrelo, the picture pegs to a New York City ballroom-dance program for fifth-graders.
And the SJ Mercury News.
Corny dance movie does have its charms
``Mad Hot Ballroom''
Choosing to inspire rather than illuminate, director Marilyn Agrelo and writer Amy Sewell lean heavily on aw-shucks moments and a structure that will be familiar to sports-movie fans. We see the kids dance and hear them talk disarmingly (and hilariously) about the opposite sex but find out little about their day-to-day lives.
When the principal of a Washington Heights school notes that dancing turned a boy's life around, the comment barely registers because we never got to know the boy.