Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Strictly Ballroom (1992) Trailer


My first reaction to the opening of the film was,

“OOooo!!! Woaw!! So colorful!! The dresses are so nice!! So FLUFFY!!”

I’ll show you what I mean:

Scott & Liz

Dresses aside, the thing which I found the most interesting was how different people would take different measures to win.

Contrast between Scott, Shirley & Doug.

Scott Hastings (our main character) was trained since childhood in ballroom dancing by his mother, Shirley, and her biggest wish that he would win the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Dancing Championship.

He had what it takes to win the championship, however Scott did not wish to be restricted in the style in which he danced. Apparently, there are rules to ballroom dancing (I didn’t know that) and if you try any other “fancy” moves, you will be disqualified. Despite this, Scott continued to express himself using his won “fancy” move, in the displeasure of his mother.

Scott’s father, Doug, was a star dancer and he, too, had his own unique style of dancing (thus not strictly ballroom). This annoyed his wife a lot, and she was frustrated over the fact that they would lose the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix if he continued with his own style of dancing. Oh,  Dough doesn’t mind! He loved to dance and winning the championship did not matter that much to him. He wanted to win by dancing his style!

Scott's parents: Dough & Shirley

However, it is a different story for Shirley. She badly wanted to win the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix. As I’ve mentioned earlier, she became frustrated with her husband’s behaviour. Barry Fife, the president of the Australian Dancing Federation, approached Shirley and convinced her that the only way to win the championship was to dance the “proper” way with their friend, Les; and so she did. Unfortunately, (you’ll be glad to know) that she did not win. Therefore, she wanted to realise her dream through her son, Scott.

And of course, there is Liz Holt, Scott’s initial dancing partner, who left him to dance with another for the same reason why Shirley left her husband (not talking about divorce), many years ago.


It is interesting for me to note that there are those (eg. Shirley & Liz) who would do anything just to win, to the extend of betraying their own husband, and others (eg. Scott & Dough) who are determined to stick with what they believe in even if it means that they would have to sacrifice something.

Finale: Scott & Fran

Before I end, I would like to leave a quote from the movie which Dr. Goh pointed out:

A life lived in fear is a life half lived

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