Now Playing
Coming Soon Special Events Calendar Support About Us Tickets
The Avon
The Best of Independent Cinema
Documentary Night: HOT TO TROT

DIRECTED BY: Gail Freedman

STARRING: Nikolai Shpakov, Robbie Tristan, Ernesto Palma, Emily Coles, Kieren Jameson, Zoe Balfour, Katerina Blinova, Kalin Mitov, Jose Comoda, Chris Phan, Citabria Phillips, Barbara Zoloth, Benjamin Soencksen



Post-film Q&A with director Gail Freedman, stars Nikolai Shpakov and Robbie Tristan, editor Dina Potocki, and post-production editor Don Wyllie


HOT TO TROT goes inside the fascinating but little-known world of same-sex competitive ballroom dancing and follows a small international cast of four magnetic men and women, on and off the dance floor, over a four-year period. An immersive character study – and an idiosyncratic attack on bigotry – this rousing, powerful story unfurls with the rhythms and energy of dramatic cinema. HOT TO TROT’s story, which lives at the intersection of art, activism and passion, has appeal to a broad and diverse audience. As these dancers evolve, we understand, vividly and personally, the real impact of the LGBTQ politics we read about every day.


Award-winning filmmaker Gail Freedman has produced, directed and written dozens of documentaries on a wide range of subjects, through her company, Parrot Productions. She has also taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Among her films is MAKING THE 9/11 MEMORIAL, a primetime special for The History Channel, which aired on the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Other notable films, among many, have included BREAKING THE SILENCE BARRIER, WHERE’S THE CURE?, GENERATION Rx, LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE, GIVING WHILE LIVING, and A FOREVER FAMILY. Her creative output encompasses independent projects, as well as extensive work for PBS, network television, and cable television, along with educational and non-profit films. She was also Executive Producer of the 13-part PBS series, World@Large with David Gergen, as well as producer of the independent feature (and the world’s first hyper-linked movie), THE ONYX PROJECT, starring David Strathairn. Early in her career, Gail worked at both CBS 60 Minutes and ABC 20/20.

Born in Kazakhstan, Nikolai Shpakov grew up in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. He emigrated to America in late 1998, and found enormous success on the Latin ballroom circuit. He formed his own ballroom studio and became one of the top-ranked teachers in the country. Nikolai’s dance partnership with Ernesto Palma, which began in winter 2014, was his first foray into same-sex dancing. Within three months, they won their first competition together, winning the national title for Latin at April Follies in California (the biggest same-sex competition in America).

Robbie Tristan’s passion for dancing began when he was 7 years old, in his native Hungary, and his innate talent was recognized soon after, when he won the Junior National Champion title in Ballroom Dancing at age eleven. Some of his highest achievements have been in same sex dancing, where he often beat out fierce competition to win multiple World Champion Titles. Robbie moved to America in 2009 and has traveled the world introducing Same-Sex Ballroom Dancing to a wider public. Recently, Robbie and a group of passionate professionals founded the Dance of America Foundation, with the mission to help at-risk and LGBT youth through ballroom dance projects.

Film Editor Dina Potocki has an impressive track record and wide-ranging experience editing documentaries. With a strong sense of story and a gifted eye, she has worked on both independent films and television documentaries, including projects for PBS, ABC, A&E, The History Channel, Bravo, and National Geographic.

Post-production Editor Don Wyllie is known for such projects as ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, and NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC. His career spans over twenty-five years as an on-line editor and colorist.




RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes





Carte Blanche: FREE
Nonmembers - $13
Members - $8
Students/Seniors (Mon - Thu) - $10




Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube flickr


272 Bedford Street | Stamford, CT | Box Office: 203.967.3660


It's Relevant Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich Web Design