Mad Hot Ballroom
|Mad Hot Ballroom|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Marilyn Argrelo|
|Produced by||Marilyn Argrelo
Brian David Cange
Wilder Knight II
|Written by||Amy Sewell|
|Music by||John Peasano|
|Distributed by||Paramount Classics|
Mad Hot Ballroom is a documentary film by director Marilyn Agrelo and writer/producer Amy Sewell about a ballroom dance program in the New York City public school system. In the film, Agrelo and Sewell reveal that the New York City public school system runs a ballroom dance program for fifth graders. Several styles of dance are shown in the film, such as tango, foxtrot, swing, rumba and merengue.
Based on a feature article written by Sewell, Mad Hot Ballroom looks inside the lives of 11-year-old New York City public school kids who journey into the world of ballroom dancing and reveal pieces of themselves along the way. Told from the students' perspectives as the children strive toward the final citywide competition, the film chronicles the experiences of students at three schools in the neighborhoods of Tribeca, Bensonhurst and Washington Heights. The students are united by an interest in the ballroom dancing lessons, which builds over a 10-week period and culminates in a competition to find the school that has produced the best dancers in the city. As the teachers cajole their students to learn the intricacies of the various disciplines, Agrelo intersperses classroom footage with the students' musings on life; many of these reveal an underlying maturity.
Production and reception
The documentary premiered at the 2005 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and was purchased by Paramount Classics and Nickelodeon Movies. It had a limited theatrical release in the United States on May 13, 2005. Mad Hot Ballroom was the second highest grossing documentary in 2005 after March of the Penguins. As of February 7, 2012, it had earned over $8.1 million, making it the sixteenth-highest-grossing documentary film in the United States (in nominal dollars, from 1982 to the present).
Awards bestowed upon Mad Hot Ballroom include:
- The Christopher Award in 2006
- Best Documentary at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2005
- The Audience Award at the Philadelphia Film Festival
- Satellite Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2005
- Official website
- americanballroomtheater.com - Dancing Classrooms
- Mad Hot Ballroom at the Internet Movie Database
- Mad Hot Ballroom on Box Office Mojo