America's Ballroom Challenge

 
Snipe-free dance competition is fun for all ages.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series educates viewers on the different types of dances and highlights the artistry and strength it takes to perform at this level. It demonstrates how traditional steps can be performed to contemporary music and shows how classic dancing can be accessible to kids. None of the sniping by judges that marks network dance/performance competition shows.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some costumes are skimpy, especially in the International Latin division.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Some couples dance to popular music by artists like Eminem and Sarah McLachlan. One couple dances to a Disney song.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series offers an educational look at competitive ballroom dancing, skipping the sometimes-snide judging that is the hallmark of similar network competition shows in favor of celebrating the dancers' artistry and athleticism and attempting to make dancing both entertaining and accessible to kids. Female dancers sometimes wear skimpy outfits, and some of the dance moves are a bit suggestive, but they're presented as part of the overall art form.

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What's the story?

AMERICA'S BALLROOM CHALLENGE follows the world's largest annual ballroom dance competition. Hosted by actress/dancer Jasmine Guy and Latin dance champion Ron Montez, the contest features the top ballroom dancers from all over North America. Each pair competes in four divisions: American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard, and International Latin. In each episode, the division finalists strut their stuff both in groups and in individual show dances. Each division's winning couple goes on to perform all four dance styles in the final round in hopes of winning the Ballroom Challenge title.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

America's Ballroom Challenge is both educational and entertaining for anyone who enjoys ballroom dancing. But what really makes the show worthwhile is its attempt to present ballroom dancing as something that's both accessible and fun for kids. Some of the competitive performances offer unconventional interpretations of traditional dance styles (like performing Viennese waltz steps to hip-hop music), while exhibition performances featuring kids of all ages highlight the skill, strength, and showmanship that are required to succeed in this challenging art.

That said, the series doesn't have much to offer those who aren't interested in dancing. But if you are, watching America's Ballroom Challenge is a great chance to learn a lot about dance while watching people having fun doing it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why there's been an increase in movies and TV shows that feature ballroom dancing. What does traditional dancing offer to kids today? How can traditional dances like waltzes be adapted to contemporary music? Families can also discuss the stereotypes that society tends to have about dancers. Are dancers really athletes? How much work goes into dancing competitively? What does it take to compete at the national and international level?

TV details

Cast:Jasmine Guy, Ron Montez
Network:PBS
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Arts and dance
TV rating:TV-G

This review of America's Ballroom Challenge was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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