All right folks, today we’re going to be doing less reading, and more watching, because we all deserve to relax once in a while. So what do we have here but dance movies that every dancer should watch? From Footloose, Hairspray and Black Swan, enjoy these movie clips and a short comment or two about them. Promise, it’s an easy read this time!
1. Black Swan
A psychological horror thriller, Black Swan is more than that. To ballet dancers especially, it could represent the journey one undertakes in the search for perfection, and what it could cost.
2. Step Up
Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan! They were the dance couple, were they not? It’s been a long time since then, and this original Step Up movie sparked a whole franchise, including Step Up 2, Step Up 3D & Step Up Revolution.
Grease was originally a musical in 1971, then it was made into a romantic musical comedy in 1978. At that time, Grease was the highest-grossing musical film ever, and it’s easy to see why. I mean, John Travolta in his prime, and much singing and dancing? Who wouldn’t love it!
4. Dirty Dancing
No list of “dance movies” would be complete without Dirty Dancing. We don’t even have much to say, except that lift? Iconic.
5. High Strung
Classical ballet meets violin meets hip hop – and the result is a performance medley hardly seen anywhere. The story could be relatable to many an aspiring young dancer, but we won’t give much away. This is the 2016 trailer, but there’s a new High Strung Free Dance this year, starring Juliet Doherty.
6. Center Stage
Unrelated fun fact: this was Zoe Saldana’s debut movie! Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Center Stage, and if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the best time to watch it. We promise you’ll love the final dance!
7. Strictly Ballroom
A romantic comedy with plenty of ballroom dancing and its struggles to remain “strict”? Probably something dancers can relate to, regardless of dance genre. Dance in your set ways, or break through? What to do?
A classic story of a girl trying to chase her dance dreams, Flashdance is one of those movies you watch when you’re feeling down and insecure about your own dance journey. If she can, can you not?
Loosely based on real events, Footloose is a film about this guy trying to lift the ban on dancing. We know, we couldn’t believe it either – there was a ban on dancing? We’re glad it all got sorted out, but meanwhile, enjoy this short clip!
Suspiria was a 2018 film, which is inspired by the 1977 Italian film of the same name. An supernatural horror art film, the 2018 version is set in 1977, and it follows a student’s journey at a ballet academy, supposedly run by witches. Granted, it’s more horror than dance, but if you’re both a huge fan of horror and dance…
11. La La Land
All right, we’re stretching it a bit here, but you can’t deny that La La Land is such a feel good show! A romantic comedy-drama musical film, this has Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, jazz, the pursuit of dreams and cute dance numbers. What’s not to love?
Two words: Zac. Efron. Okay, we’re kidding. With a star-studded cast like pro John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah and Amanda Bynes, Hairspray documents the story of a teenage girl just wanting to dance. However, she faces discrimination as she is on the heavy side. Besides body weight issues, there’s also mention about racial segregation.
Not gonna lie, compiling this list has made me want to watch so many of these movies again! Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
Embarking on the journey of self-discovery through dance.