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Mad Hot Ballroom | 2005 | PG | - 2.2.1

Documentary about New York public school 5th graders who compete for the citywide ballroom dance championship. Directed by Marilyn Agrelo. Some dialogue is in Spanish with English subtitles. [1:50]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A girl talks about her father cheating on her mother and getting his mistress pregnant. Boys and girls talk about puberty, like "growing hair in weird places," and a girl talks about her body developing and how she feels uncomfortable when men look at her. Boys talk about girls being "hot," or "pretty," and one boy talks about looking at a girl's "inner and outer beauty." Girls talk about people having crushes. Children talk about a boy calling another boy gay. Girls talk about getting married and having babies and about what characteristics they'd like in a boyfriend.
 We see boys without shirts in a few scenes; in a couple of them the boys are playing basketball and in another they are running through fountains of water. Women wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage in a few scenes. A girl's dress is open in the back revealing her bare back.
 Boys and girls dance in many scenes and they are usually in positions where they hold each other's hands and rest a hand on the shoulder or waist of their partner. Several of the dances that the children do require suggestive hip gestures. A dance instructor tells the children that the dance moves should be "sexy."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - Teachers talk about the fear that their students will grow up and become drug dealers and/or gang members. A girl talks about watching people on the streets selling drugs. A girl talks about being afraid when walking by certain men on the street. A girl talks about girls of a certain age being the prime targets for kidnappers.
 Children and their teacher cry and are very upset when they do not make it to the next stage of a dance competition.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Children discuss seeing people selling drugs on the street.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Competition, dancing, disappointment, winning, goals, role models, poverty, education, opportunity, ambition, having fun, people discuss the effects of 9/11 on children in New York, single parent families, homosexuality, gay marriage, kidnapping, infidelity, faith, feeling different, belief in education, dance as a part of a culture.

MESSAGE - You never know what is hidden inside each child until you bring it out.

(Note: Two boys say that they cannot participate in the dance competition because dancing is against their religion.)

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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