Mad Hot Ballroom Reflection

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Mad Hot Ballroom, directed by Marilyn Agrelo, is a documentary filmed in New York City. Throughout the film, students and faculty of elementary schools teach a ten-week ballroom dancing course in preparation for a city wide competition. Unbenounced to the children, simply by being themselves, they would be teaching their audience a valuable lesson about adolescence, socialization, and institutions. Throughout the film there were a handful of behaviors that one would consider typical for the age group portrayed; since it was elementary students, likely fifth grade, the majority of the children were 10 and 11 years of age. The more typical behaviors of children these age that were noted upon in the film include the hesitancy to partner up with the opposite sex, the uncertainty about looking their partner in the eyes, the biases in picking partners,…show more content…
Watching this film allowed me to compare and contrast my experience with those of the children. Regarding sexuality and opposite sex partners, my class was composed of all girls; we were called the Light Body Dancers. Like these kids in New York, we practiced rather frequently, but we didn’t have to prepare for any competition at the end of it; all we had to prepare for was a performance. In some ways, this was a better experience than the children had in New York; although I do realize that some of the kids’ families, the ones at the Washington Heights school in particular, can’t afford to be sending their children to a private dance class. That being said, I believe a lot of the children in New York were extremely proud of their work and their performance, until they were labeled as a winner or a loser. It seemed by the majority of their reactions that they dismissed how well they did once they found out they hadn’t won. Simultaneously, I believe that the competition, especially not winning, prepares them for adult-like life

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