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King and Queen of the Dance Floor
By: Alicia B. Grade 10, Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Director: Guy Ferland
Miramax Film, 2004

"Dirty Dancing" creates the experience of first love, dance and self-discovery.

A young girl (Katey) from St. Louis Missouri, and her family move to Havana, Cuba when her father is offered a new job. Her family are of average middle class but in Havana they found themselves living in a luxurious hotel, attending posh country clubs and private parties, with other Americans. Katey is a withdrawn girl who always has her head in books. When she meets a handsome young Cuban boy her life changes; he introduces her to the real Cuba, one of music, dance and fascinating culture.

This movie was actually filmed in Cuba; there were parts where Spanish was spoken, with English subtitles. References were made to the political makeup of the country, that of Communism. This setting gave the viewers a feel of realism.

The main actors in this movie, Romola Garai (Katey Miller) and Diego Luna, (Javier Suarez) had a certain chemistry. Romola Garai hid her English accent to become an American girl, while Diego Luna, who is Mexican, spoke English with a Cuban accent. The ability to portray characters from different backgrounds and countries enhanced the love story of two people who are so different from each other.

"Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights", was a well written story. It is based on the true story of co-producer JoAnn Jensen's life . The reason I wanted to see this movie is because of the dancing which fit nicely into the story.

A good part of the soundtrack are the rhythms of Afro-Cuban and Latin music. Such contemporary artists as Christina Aguilera, Santana and Black Eyed Peas are featured on the the soundtrack. The dancing in this movie is very upbeat and exciting to watch. I like the way they feel the music when they are dancing and how they use their bodies to speak their minds. Through Cuban dancing and Javier, Katey became aware of herself and matured.

This movie tells it's viewers to live life to the fullest. It also tells us not to stand around waiting for something to happen but to go out and look for it. Kateyıs experiences in Cuba would have been different if she had stayed with the American group.

I would definitely recommend this movie as I have seen it twice and enjoyed it better the second time. If you enjoy dancing this is the movie for you. Diego Luna is not too bad either; he is good looking, Spanish and a good dancer.



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