Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mad Hot Ballroom * * *

This is a documentary on a 5th-grade program in New York that teaches ballroom dancing to inner city kids. This ethnically and culturally diverse group of kids study ballroom all year and at the end there is an all city competition. On the surface, this seemed to me a little like watching sheepdog trials. Curiously mezmerizing even though, you know, you're just watching kids take ballroom classes. The kids are all in this gawky 12-13 stage when the boys are generally smaller and younger looking than the girls. That creates some visual humor. Also the kids are just starting to not think 'ICK' when they think of the opposite sex. There is a funny sense that all the kids are worrying about cooties. One especially funny scene is when the instructor tells the kids to look into their partner's eyes. They can't do it. Simply can't. By the end, the kids are heating up the floor doing the merenge, tango, swing and foxtrot. That is something to see. Karina (9yrs) was engaged the whole time and liked it. Jake (5yrs) watched but didn't think much of it.

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