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Ballroom Confidential: Fun and health's answer to helping the body and mind

Dance duo!
Dance duo!
Author's collection

We wish we knew how to dance.
That's why we are so enthralled by musicals that spotlight the dazzle of dance.
Lilla Films will be giving us a Valentine's gift, a mere three days early. They are gifting everyone, in fact, with the DVD/VOD release of the new feature documentary film Ballroom Confidential, directed by award-winning filmmaker Brian Lilla, February 11.
Ballroom Confidential is an emotional ride that follows a group of vivacious senior women and their younger dance instructors, as they find a new life through ballroom dance. The film paints a portrait of a vibrant community that refuses to let aging and loss interfere with having a good time. Initial VOD release will be through Amazon and Vimeo. The film will also be available, at a later date, via iTunes and Hulu. The DVD will be available for purchase through the film’s site at
Ballroom Confidential illustrates the transformative power of dance on the lives of the students, as well as the instructors, at a Florida dance studio. Stunning images of these vital dancers in action are partnered with their poignant confessions on aging, losing life partners and crossing the student-teacher line. Director Lilla captures how dance is improving the quality of life for seniors on many levels: the mental and physical challenges of perfecting routines has been proven as the top physical activity to offer protection against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
After the loss of his mother's husband and dance partner of 45 years, Lilla witnessed the impact that ballroom dance had on his mother’s grieving process. “I saw my mom dance at her weekly lesson with a man 30 years her junior and could see it was the happiest moment of her week,” says Lilla.
His mother’s response? “It's not just me. There is a huge community of widows here in Florida. Dance is the one thing we look forward to. It should be your next movie.” Like any good Italian son, Brian listened to his mother and, six months later, the two teamed up to follow a Florida dance studio owner, his instructors and students, as they rehearsed for a show.
The dance studio owner, Caleb Young, has his own story of love and loss that makes him a perfect match for his mature partners. A former singer and drag queen performer in New York City, Caleb moved back home to Florida after 9/11, needing to rebuild his life. After his mother encouraged him to apply for a dance instructor position, Caleb found a new passion. He soon opened his own ballroom dance studio and found the demand overwhelming.
Following Caleb, choreographer Joe Mounts and a group of rambunctious senior students as they prepare for a spy-themed dance performance, Ballroom Confidential is an emotional and often humorous journey into the heart of a community dealing with personal loss and finding renewed life through ballroom dance. With JoAnn Lilla producing and Brian Lilla shooting, the cameras follow the ladies for the two weeks preceding the opening night of In Search of the Daytona Diamond. A very different kind of ballroom documentary, Ballroom Confidential isn’t a story about competition, but rather one of new found passion for life through dance.

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