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This weekend, I had the opportunity to watch director Marilyn Argrelo's award winning documentary film, Mad Hot Ballroom. The film is about a 10-week ballroom dance program for students of 5th grade of New York public schools. It deals with the coming of age kids who, in the process of learning various dance forms-meringues, rumba, tango, foxtrot and swing, warm up for life.
From the beginning the film, establishes the basic idea that anyone can achieve anything if he/she has the zest and is ready to work towards it. It opens on Public School-115 of Washington Heights, Manhattan, when during her interview, the school Principal informs that 97% of the school's Hispanic population lives below the poverty line. However, she also asserts, that these students are not apologetic about their conditions. They are dreamers and they like to chase their passions, live their life. The ballroom dance teaching helps these students foster the very spirit. It helps them unfold their own personalities and make life a more fulfilling.
Yomaria Reynose, the dance teacher of Washington Heights, PS 115 acclaims, "You don't know what's hidden inside each child, until you open it up". She recalls her young days when the opportunities weren't as many. Today, students are getting a chance to unleash and enhance their talents. "With time, there are avenues opening up for them (kids) to go into something that has to do with arts". This holds true for each one of us. Future generations are always better equipped, more open and liberal than those who precede them. In our schooldays, kids never had technology au fait; they were never so informed about life. ...
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