Dance with Me Movie Poster Image

Dance with Me



Upbeat dance-romance is fine for tweens and up.
  • Review Date: May 2, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1998
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn a little about Cuban culture and ballroom dancing.

Positive messages

Values team efforts, self-confidence, and honest hard work. Characters are reminded that first impressions aren't always accurate and that strong, talented people often live beneath quiet, unassuming exteriors. The film finds beauty in and stresses the charm and passion of the Latin American culture, specifically Cuban.

Positive role models

Leading characters all have strong values, strive hard to reach their goals, and learn from their mistakes. Concerned, protective parenting is stressed and held in high esteem. Diverse ethnicity is a strong component in the atmosphere of the film, but it is neither commented upon nor used to move the story.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Central story line involves an out-of-wedlock birth and a son meeting his disbelieving father for the first time. While there is no overt sexual activity, there are many scenes of vibrant, sensual ballroom dancing. Costumes are sometimes revealing in keeping with the style of dance competitions. Two people who are falling in love kiss several times, intensifying as the relationship grows.


Occasional swearing: "son-of-a-bitch," "hell," "goddamn," "ass," "a--hole," "s--t," "I'll be damned."


Lone Star Beer, Greyhound Bus, GMC, Coca Cola, Monte Carlo Hotel (Las Vegas), Easy Spirit, Chevrolet

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Moderate social drinking in several restaurant, bar, and nightclub scenes. A beer is consumed on a fishing trip. Someone goes "out for a smoke." Cuban cigars are offered.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dance with Me is a romance set in the world of ballroom dancing that has strong messages about having dreams and striving to achieve them. The plot depends upon two past incidents in which children were born to unmarried moms, and one father who is unaware that he has a son. Exuberant, sensual dancing and some revealing costumes stay within the boundaries of traditional ballroom competition. In addition, there is some passionate kissing and occasional mild swearing (i.e., "hell," "goddamn," "a--hole"). 

What's the story?

Former Miss America Vanessa Williams and Latin superstar Cheyanne star in DANCE WITH ME, the story of a Cuban man who comes to Texas in search of his father and brings a new spirit to the people who work at a run-down dance studio. Cheyanne plays Rafael, who leaves Puerto Rico after his mother's death to take a handyman job in the dance studio owned by John (Kris Kristofferson). Williams plays Ruby, a dance teacher determined to win the international championship. Rafael's sweet nature endears him to everyone, even Ruby, a single mother whose past has left her reluctant to trust anyone.

Is it any good?


Children may not notice the plot's creakiness, and all audiences will be beguiled by the Latin dancing and the joy it brings to the dancers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of dreaming -- and of working hard to achieve your dreams. How does the movie express these messages?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 21, 1998
DVD release date:January 12, 1999
Cast:Chayanne, Jane Krakowski, Vanessa Williams
Director:Randa Haines
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Topics:Arts and dance
Run time:126 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild language and sensuality

This review of Dance with Me was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator and Parent Written bybralaum May 28, 2013

Let's not encourage kids to be overtly sexual!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byLIGHTS07 July 6, 2014

too racy

ok so there is TONS of swearing including s**t there is a kissing scene where a man is only wearing a towel and the dance very sexual. i dont know where they got the age 8 like cmon commonsense media u know better
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educator and Parent Written bySra. Thompson May 26, 2013

Too racy for kids

There is a fair amount of swearing, scantly dressed women in some scenes and a pretty heavy make-out scene where the man is wearing only a towel. I wanted to show it to my 7th and 8th grade students after we did a unit on Latin dance, but I think it is too much for them.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?