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Antonio and Melanie dance to their own tune

April 4, 2006
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Antonio Banderas had a certain spring in his step when he turned out for the premiere of his latest flick, Take The Lead, on Thursday. But his role as ballroom dancing legend Pierre Dulaine wasn't the only thing putting a smile on the actor's face, as he could barely contain his affections for wife of ten years Melanie Griffith.

The Latin heart-throb hugged his glamorous partner tightly when they arrived for the screening. And he also shared a warm embrace with Alfre Woodward, the Desperate Housewives actress who appears alongside him in the new movie.

Spain's favourite actor has been enjoying an equally friendly reception from the press, with both movie critics and dance specialists applauding his light-footed performance. The 45-year-old, who previously danced the tango on Broadway in the play Nine, says he and Melanie are still attending classes to master some of the more challenging steps.

His character famously campaigned to get dance classes included in the New York City school system. The programme started with just 20 youngsters, who were forced to attend as a form of detention, but in the years since it has become so successful that over 8,000 students are now being put through their paces at 72 different institutions.

These days Dulaine also counts a few A-list stars among the trainees at his Manhattan studio. "We are going to his academy on 31st Street," revealed Antonio. "It is very cool because it is another way to share things with your wife. And at the same time we are going to look fantastic when we go to all those parties and, when some beautiful swing or foxtrot plays, show off."

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Photo: ©
The Spanish heart-throb was sticking close to his wife Melanie at the screening. The couple are currently improving their skills by taking classes at Pierre Dulaine's studio in ManhattanPhoto: © Rexy
Photo: ©
Alfre Woodward, who plays Betty in Desperate Housewives, shares a hug with her big screen costarPhoto: © Getty Images

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