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The Boys & Girls Club and Holiday 6 join for Mad Hot Ballroom premier

By Michael Summers

michael_summers@fortwaynereader.com

Fort Wayne Reader

2005-07-11


Holiday 6 Theaters has teamed with the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne for a special event centered around the Fort Wayne opening of Mad Hot Ballroom, the acclaimed documentary by Marilyn Areglo and Amy Sewell.

Mad Hot Ballroom begins its run at the Holiday 6 on July 15th. The documentary has garnered a lot of praise for its insight and warm humor, and is being compared to Spellbound. It focuses on a group of eleven-year-old New York City public school kids as they learn the merengue, rumba, tango, the foxtrot, swing and other ballroom dances on their way to a citywide competition.

The lobby of the Holiday 6 will feature artwork by the children at the Fairfield center of the Boys & Girls Club. “We’re making a banner with a skyline in the background, and the kids have each done themselves as a dancer of some sort,” says Emily Grigar, the art director at the Boys & Girls Club. “We’ve got hula dancers, and some ballroom dancers. We’ve got a lot of disco dancers and a couple break dancers. The kids have been having a blast making their dancers. They look really, really awesome.”

Besides the banner, other art projects that the kids have been working on over the course of the year are going to be on display. Most of the artwork was created by kids from ages 6 through 12.

Marcus Hassell, the Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Club, says the organization’s pairing with the theater was a great opportunity to show people the good work the Boys & Girls Club does. “We’re actually trying to form more partnerships in the area,” Hassell says. “We feel like the Boys & Girls Club is a safe and positive place, and we want to get that out in the community. There’s not a lot of places like this where kids can come to have fun and learn, to do things like computer and art, and develop character and leadership.”

The Fort Wayne chapter of the Boys & Girls Club is celebrating its 15th year in the community. Hassell says the main site on Fairfield and Pontiac serves between 200 – 250 kids (two other satellite branches in the area are located in the McCormick housing addition and Millbrook housing addition).

“When you give kids the opportunity to do art work and things like that… it makes my heart feel good, because they may not have crayons or markers at home, and people to answer questions for them,” Hassell says, referring to the Mad Hot Ballroom project. “They don’t know what ball room dancing is, so you try to explain it to them. So, the art is there interpretation of ballroom dance.”

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