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Mad Hot Ballroom

HD   PG Closed Captioning

Marilyn Agrelo

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About the Movie

Every year, the New York Public School system sponsors a dance competition for youngsters in fifth grade; in this contest, boys and girls ages 10 and 11 learn traditional ballroom dancing styles such as the fox trot, the rumba, and the tango, and then pit their skills against other students from around the Big Apple. Mad Hot Ballroom is a documentary which offers an inside look at this event, as well as the teachers and students who take part, with a particular emphasis on three schools: P.S. 112, in a Bensonhurst neighborhood dominated by Italian and Asian families; P.S. 150, located in the wealthy and fashionable Tribeca district; and P.S. 115, a Washington Heights school where the vast majority of families live below the poverty line. Filmmaker Marilyn Agrelo follows the young dancers as they gain confidence and skill and grow into "little ladies and gentlemen," as one teacher puts it, while also examining how cultural differences impact the competition for some students and how the boys and girls feel about the opposite sex as they begin to make friends with one another. Mad Hot Ballroom received a wildly enthusiastic world premiere at the 2005 Slamdance Film Festival.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 118
  • Fresh: 99
  • Rotten: 19
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Listening to the kids talk is a treat in itself, but watching them strut their stuff in the final competition is enough to make you stand up and cheer. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Nov 24, 2006

Fresh: It's a dynamic snapshot of youth in the big city, of kids who talk tough and act up but savor the discipline and structure of their dance classes. – Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: It will sweep you off your feet. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, Nov 17, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Amzing Story

Mad Hot Ballroom is most definitely one of the most beautiful documentaries out right now. The story is so amazing and really shows what kids are able to do if they are just given the chance. I am so excited that iTunes made the choice of adding Mad Hot Ballroom to their movie collection. This movie is heartwarming and absolutely amazing. Buy this documentary and see what kids can do if they are just given the opportunity!

Dance... Dance... Dance!!!!

My mom took me to see this in a theater. I love dancing and let me just say you donot be fan of dancing to love this film!!!! It isso funny, charming, and inspiring... that it made me want to stand up in the aisle and start dancin too!!!!! This movie is about school have a dance prog. to keep their students having fun... and out of trouble. They startcometing against each other.. and you find yourself in a world of hope, reality, sadness... and of course hapiness. This story gives you what no othermovie can... a real happy ending.


I first saw this movie in a small 30's theater near my school. From the first time I watched it I was in love. It is adorable. I have never been a huge fan of documentaries but this one is different. The kids are hilarious and amazing dancers. By the end of the movie I felt like I knew them. I strongly suggest this movie to everyone.

Mad Hot Ballroom
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2005

Customer Ratings

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