It is a crime for several reasons that before last night I had never seen Mad Hot Ballroom. One: that was so 2005. Two: ahem, dance movie, hello, totally up my alley. And, finally, three: I am a sucker for films and documentaries about kids rising above their meager circumstances.
(I am so afraid for the young ladies of the world, btw, when Wilson [the boy above] comes of the age to be causing trouble, because just LOOK at the young brother. He is going to be superfoine. You can't even see his eyes here, but they are like melt-you-into-quivering-puddle eyes, seriously.)
(I'm kinda cheating, because my favorite two--though not paired here--are still pictured. Oh well. I tried.)
Despite fears that competition would give the children complexes, they were actually awesome because the children were given awards, warm applause, support from teachers, peers, and family members . . . just for participating. Basically, even if they just showed up, they were still the elite representing their school and would obtain a bronze medal. I think this is so important: to reward everyone's acheivements not just the top crop. Well done, organizers of the competitions. Also, the teachers' ability to pair the children was outstanding: they often were able to pair children that moved together well and who would smile and interact with each other. I'd say the competition forged a closer bond for the class as a whole, because classmates were so vociferously cheering on each other's success. What a beautiful, beautiful thing.
The competitions were also very suspenseful, and nearing the end of the film, when the Bronx team goes from underdog to top dog, it is downright thrilling. I was weeping and clapping . . . and yeah, you guessed it, Dave was totally laughing at me. I was swept up in it! I was taken away! I was inspired, and moved, and couldn't sit still because I wanted to get up and dance too! I wanted to quit my job and become a children's ballroom dance teacher! Who needs editing and writing anyway!
(Errmm. Right. I guess I'd need to learn more than one samba dance to be able to teach. Good point. Guess I'll stick with the day job.)