Jennifer Armstrong
August 03, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Burn the Floor

Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A-

Ballroom dancing has gained plenty of cool factor in recent years thanks to Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. This international cast of trained hoofers, however, makes it downright sexy. Seeing pros tackle cha chas, waltzes, sambas, and rumbas in the flesh — and there’s a lot of (tasteful) flesh — elevates the art beyond what’s possible on television, burdened by those clunky ”stars.” DWTS‘ Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff, appearing as guest stars for the show’s first three weeks, are mostly beside the point, though the real-life couple does pull off one hot, stripped-down rumba. A polished production makes all the difference, with classy costumes that prove glitter and kitsch aren’t ballroom-dancing requirements. The show also boasts stunning vocals (particularly from The Boy from Oz‘s Rebecca Tapia). Two-plus hours of dancing flies by with storytelling and pacing worthy of any Broadway musical. A-

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