The eyes of the nation were on them as they danced their way across theater screens. And now, Westchester audiences can see these real-life young dancers from the critically acclaimed film “Mad Hot Ballroom,” performing live and in person, as part of the annual Hispanic Heritage Festival, Sunday, July 31, at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. This free festival, which runs from 12 noon to 7 p.m., showcases the colorful cultures of Latin American with music, exhibits, crafts, delicious foods and of course, dance.
The event is sponsored by Westchester County Parks, the county’s Hispanic Advisory Board and Office for Hispanic Affairs, Verizon Wireless, Fujifilm, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Weichert Realtors, Commerce Bank, La Guia Hispana, the Westchester Arts Council, Con Edison, Unistar Federal Credit Union, POW’R Against Tobacco and White Plains Hospital Center.
“Mad Hot Ballroom” is an inspiring look inside the lives of New York City school kids on their journey into the world of ballroom dancing, an unexpected arena where they discover new frontiers about attitude, movement, style and commitment. The film chronicles their transformation from typical urban kids to polished dancers as their school teams vie for berths in a citywide final competition.
Approximately 10 dancers will be part of the festival, all from P.S. 115 in Washington Heights, the winning school in the film’s competition. Festival-goers can get in on the dancing as well during a dance contest.
Times for the “Mad Hot Ballroom” performance and the dance contest will be announced during the festival.
The day’s other activities include live music, folkloric entertainment, children’s activities, arts and crafts for sale and delectable international cuisine from Spanish-speaking countries. In addition, not-for-profit organizations such as social service agencies, educational institutions, and government departments will be on hand with information about their programs and services.
Bring chairs or blankets for seating on the lawn. The festival will be held rain or shine. Admission and parking for this event are free.
Kensico Dam Plaza is located in Valhalla at the north end of the Bronx River Parkway.
For more information, call the Westchester Office for Hispanic Affairs at (914) 995-2476 or County Parks at (914) 864-PARK. General information about Westchester County Parks is available at www.westchestergov.com/parks.