Dance With Me

on August 21, 1998 by Lisa Osborne
   "Dance With Me" is a must-see for all teenage girls and a definite cure for anyone feeling a touch cynical about romance. Puerto Rican heartthrob and celebrated songster Chayanne stars opposite Vanessa L. Williams in this sizzling romance set in the world of ballroom dancing in Houston, Texas. The film celebrates the joy and passion of dance and isn't constrained by the formality of traditional ballroom routines.
   Chayanne stars as Rafael Infante, a young Cuban who, after the death of his mother, decides to head to the U.S. to find the father he never knew. Offered the job of handyman at the Excelsior dance studio by his mother's `friend' John Burnett (Kris Kristofferson), he meets Ruby (Williams), a former ballroom dance champion who's working there as an instructor as she struggles to rekindle her career. The chemistry between Rafael and Ruby is electric and the choreography is so smooth that one isn't conscious of the transition between dance numbers.
   Jane Krakowski (of TV's "Ally McBeal") shows both her serious side and exceptional grace in her portrayal of Burnett's partner Patricia. And Joan Plowright, who plays Bea, a fun-loving senior student, steals every scene.
   The storyline is simple and predictable, but it's a heartwarming tale, and the music's infectious beat gets audiences dancing in their seats. And Chayanne's ability to combine vulnerability and raw sex appeal will likely result in other English-speaking roles heading his way shortly. Starring Vanessa L. Williams, Chayanne, Kris Kristofferson, Jane Krakowski and Joan Plowright. Directed by Randa Haines. Written by Daryl Matthews. Produced by Lauren C. Weissman, Shinya Egawa and Randa Haines. A Columbia release. Romance. Rated PG for mild language and sensuality. Running time: 126 min
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