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Hot to Trot

Posted on March 14, 2019

Ernesto Nilcoli 3 2

An intimate account of same-sex competitive ballroom dance, Hot to Trot is now available in the UK via Amazon and iTunes, and DVDS of the film are now for sale.

The documentary follows the stories of charismatic Ernesto, a former meth addict from Costa Rica who strives for success and love; Emily, a lifelong type 1 diabetic, who has to wear an insulin pump 24/7 to manage her disease; Nikolai, a dance champ who came out only a few years ago and longs for his Russian family’s acceptance; and Kieren, who grew up in a conservative New Zealand military environment and wrestles with how to balance career and commitment to dance.

Hot to Trot follows the dancers over several years, as their relationships develop and deepen, and the spectacle of the Gay Games – the pinnacle of same-sex competitive ballroom dance – approaches.

After a year on the international film festival circuit, and a successful limited theatrical release in the US, Hot to Trot is now streaming around the world.

For more information and to watch the trailer, go to

Main image: Ernesto Palma and Nikolai Shpakov. Photograph by Curt Worden

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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