Top 10 Dance Movies You Need to Watch

August 27, 2020

Quarantine has been monotonous and because of the lack of studio time I have found myself just wondering what to do. One of the many things I have been doing during this never-ending isolation is watching movies. I love dance and watching movies. I thought why not kill two birds with one stone? Here are my top 10 dance movies to watch when you are very bored and want something to make you smile, laugh and cry. (from the perspective of Jules, a 15-year-old teenage dancer).

*In chronological order of age of viewers from youngest-oldest

Happy Feet (G)

While this movie does not seem like a dance movie it has some showstopping tap dancing while being such a fun kids’ movie. It also covers the danger of climate change and global warming which is very relevant to the world right now. This childhood classic revolves around little penguin Mumble who can’t carry a tune. In his world one must be able to sing to attract a mate however since Mumble can’t he feels like he doesn’t belong. He may be an awful singer but he sure can tap! This movie will bring back all the memories you had when you were a kid and more.

Billy Elliot (G)

Set in 1984 England the movie follows 11-year-old Billy, as he quits boxing and begins ballet class which then leads him to find his real passion. Billy has a natural talent and could quite literally dance circles around all of us. This film spreads the message that we should always be true to ourselves and never change for anyone. This movie was one of the first dance movies I have ever watched and I have never looked back.

First Position (G)

The documentary First Position follows the journey of six young dancers while they are preparing for the Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York City. YAGP which is an annual dance competition with competitors that ranges from ages 9-19 could give them the opportunity to secure a spot at a top ballet school/company. It features dancers such as Michaela DePrince, Aran Bell, Miko Fogarty and more as they train and prepare intensely for a major turning point of their career. As a person who has competed at YAGP, this does an excellent job showing the inner workings of competition and the work one has to put in to be able to be able to perform!

Footloose (PG)

One of the most amazing dancing movies of all time is about a town in which dancing is not allowed. It will inspire you to get up and start dancing and have you singing soundtrack songs forever. It may even inspire you to take a dance lesson or two. This movie is so fun and a classic that I would recommend to everyone!

Red Shoes (PG-13)

Before the Red Shoes was a ballet, it was a movie. In this movie Vicky Page is destined for greatness as a professional ballerina. She then becomes distracted by a charming and handsome composer. She must choose between her desire to love and desire to keep dancing. This movie shows the struggles of a dancer having to choose between two different paths which is something many people can relate to. This movie has beautiful cinematography and music to match the dancing.

Save the Last Dance (PG-13)

Original Cinema Quad Poster – Movie Film Posters

Save the Last Dance which came out right after 10 Things I Hate About You, centers around a teenager, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who helps a character played by Julia Stiles train for a dance audition. This film has bits of hip hop and ballet which give you a perfect mix of both genres. If you love Julia Stiles, this is for you. This movie basically solidified Julia Stiles as the ‘00 teen movies darling. This movie is a classic and so worth it.

Step up (PG-13)

Step up, Similar to Save the Last Dance, does a great job of fusing two opposite dance styles (ballet and hip hop). It does this by the interests of the main characters. This movie is also a classic and a great romantic drama. It features Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. Step up also is a series and a great movie to watch if you are in the mood for something fun and exciting.

Center Stage (PG-13)

You have to admit the choreography and dancing during Center Stage is top notch. Center stage which follows the Journey of Jody (a young dancer) through her time at the American Ballet Academy is also one of the greatest romantic dramas of all time. Not to mention the killer costumes and ending dance number. This one’s a classic and one of my favorites of all time.

Chicago (PG-13)

Based on the musical “Chicago”, this film shows dancers Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart on the journey to fame and stardom. This movie shows the seamless transition of the classic Bob Fosse choreography from the Broadway stage to the big screen. “Chicago” pays homage to some of the amazing moves and style of Bob Fosse’s original choreography. This movie also has an amazing plot and stellar musical numbers to match. If you are into Fosse jazz, I would recommend this to you 100%.

Black Swan (R)

Black Swan includes gorgeous dancing along with a scary plot. Natalie Portman who plays Nina is a ballerina who, in an attempt to portray her character, becomes consumed by this dark leading role. This movie is extremely interesting because every character and situation is portrayed through Nina’s eyes so the audience may never know what actually happened. The ballet is stunning but there are also parts that may be disturbing. This movie is for more mature audiences but it does have some amazing and interesting choreography.

*for more mature audiences

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