Mad Hot Ballroom

Critics Consensus

This heartwarming documentary will win audiences over, as the sheer charm of precocious, enthusiastic children learning to dance resonates from the screen.



Total Count: 121


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,365
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Movie Info

This is a profile of several New York City's public school kids and their journey into the world of ballroom dancing. The eleven-year-olds go from reluctantly participating in ballroom dancing to preparing to compete in the citywide finals.

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News & Interviews for Mad Hot Ballroom

Critic Reviews for Mad Hot Ballroom

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (41)

  • A much more sanguine view of cultural diversity emerges in this enchanting documentary...what Mad Hot Ballroom lacks in depth, it more than makesup for in charm and vibrancy.

    Feb 28, 2018

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • It will sweep you off your feet.

    Nov 17, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Charming if slightly overlong.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Raven Snook

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's a tale of tears, triumph and tread-upon toes; it may wear you out, but it'll put a spring in your step too.

    Dec 6, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There's not a sequin, an ostrich feather nor a miniature tuxedo in sight, and everybody who gets anywhere near the finals looks absolutely right.

    Sep 30, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Aug 5, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Mad Hot Ballroom

  • Aug 02, 2010
    Sweet but kind of slow.
    Julie B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2009
    (2005 Director: Marilyn Agrelo) "Sinatra--Someday..The Way You Look Tonight" just LOVE the ball room dancing craze. Gonna have to go to Arthur Murray Studios to learn/relearn ball room dances...and there are some meetups here in the Valley...Dance is movement...Liked the one with the actress from" " My Cousin Vinny", and Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas...the Netflix review I read compared this documentary to the Antonio Banderas film "Take the Lead." My review? Imagine taking a group of 5th graders by NYC subway to a dance competition? "I see them turning into ladies and gentlemen," an instructor reflects with tear-filled eyes. Favorably showcases a free of charge 10-week after school programs for 5th grade NYC students at several NY schools, including Washington Heights & Brooklyn, many of whom are financially disad-vantaged. This documentary includes some wonderful teacher-student interaction without the hard edge of the high schoolers, which is where the resemblance to "Take The Lead" ends. "Look at your partner--don't look at me! And S-M-I-L-E!" The first dance introduced is the Merengue dance from where the students are asked? Why the Dominican Republic we learn!! TIPS for the merengue? Keep your knees down, bent. Shares some of the feelings of the 5th graders who still are a bit awkward with dance. Dance (& movement, athletics & music study) is great for the mind as well as physical health. Social interaction as well as competition is taught--thje students may enter a dance competition. Another dance introduced is the Foxtrot (described as sly, sneaky & quiet by the instructor). Yet another ballroom dance taught is The Swing (originated in U.S.A.); Rumba (Cuba), and T-A-N-G-O (Argentina--tho there are other "Tango's" I learned from Dancing with the Stars!!) Instructor encourages the students "to make believe everyone when you are doing the Tango to imitate cat moves." One of the participant shares that his Nanny has taught him & his friends the Foxtrot. Some immigrants to NYC share their stories. 2 of the children highlighted are restricted from dancing by their religious customs and instead are DJ's playing the music selections. One students shares insights into being female such as the good, "It's Hard to Be a Girl." "It's fun being 10 because when you are 10 you can play alot...." In the competition they include the song: "You Give Me Fever," Loved the final dance competition held in a primary-color painted school auditorium!! Some links to share: /
    Teresa S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2008
    Fantastic... I was cheering for those kids. :)
    Leigh R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2008
    This made me want to take dance lessons!
    Ida K Super Reviewer

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