When Mad Hot Ballroom, a film produced and directed by Marilyn Agrelo, played at The North Shore International Film Series the audience laughed, cried and cheered while the kids on the screen learned the tango, the rhumba, the foxtrot, the merengue and swing dancing. In this documentary film, grade five classes from New York city schools take a compulsory ten-week dancing course, and some teams go on to compete in a city-wide competition. The city supplies experienced dance instructors who work with the class teacher to get the kids dancing together. At first it’s all about counting, but once the kids learn the steps it’s about the little things, like getting the partners to look each other in the eye (the little boys do everything they could to squirm out of this) and act like they like each other. When they aren’t dancing, the kids talk to the camera about future plans and relationships, and their teachers and principals (whose enthusiasm and dedication were inspiring) talk about the hopes and dreams they have for their students. I cried with the teams that lost, cheered with the team that won and tried to control the different parts of my body that wanted to shake, rattle and roll to the contagious music.