In this article, we chose over a dozen of our favorite dance movies and/or dance scenes in film that represent the best of cinema. These famous dance scenes and movies span over fifty years with some of the best known actors and actresses in the film industry including greats like Gene Kelly, Richard Gere, Patrick Swayze, Natalie Portman, Catherine Zeta- Jones, Al Pacino, Jennifer Lopez, Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire to name a few. We put together this list knowing it will grow longer over time and we know we left out a few great possibilities that we will probably add in the future.
In the United States, we look forward to the The Oscars and the Academy Award show. This is a celebration of the best best actors, movies, costumes, directors and more by the Motion Picture Arts and Science organization in recognition of excellence fro cinematic achievement.
Step Up Dance Movies
The Step Up film series produced a hand full of fun dance movies. We could have included several of them here like All In or Revolution or Step Up (2006). We chose the tango scene from Step Up 3D, which revolves around a group of New York street dancers with main characters Luke and Natalie. The dancing street gangs compete against each other. Really all the Step Up movies could have been included in our favorites.
The movie, Footloose, came out in 1984. The music for this film clip, is, “Footloose,” by Kenny Loggins, Columbia Records. The dance is free form sometimes called freestyle.
Shall We Dance (2004)
The American versionof Shall We Dance stars Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. In this clip they dance a tango to, “Santa Maria,” by the Gotan Project, one of my favorite tango dance songs of all time.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
The main characters in the movie, Dirty Dancing, are Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey), dance to, “Time of my Life,” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, in the last dance scene of the movie. The dance style is essentially a mambo but with a mix of other components. This is a true classic among dance movies and many wedding couples choose to use this final dance routine as their first wedding dance.
Flash Dance (1983)
The dance movie, Flash Dance, centers around a Pittsburgh woman who is an exotic dancer and wants to be accepted at a ballet school. The dance scene here is from the final dance to “What A Feeling.”
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
In the movie, Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta and his partner dance to the Bee Gees, “More Than A Woman,” theme song of the dance movie, Saturday Night Fever from 1977. This is a timeless classic movie that inspired a generation of dancing starting with the hustle in the mid-seventies sparking other fads in dancing like the eighties country western revival and salsa dancing. The late nineties saw the swing revival which spread around the globe. Also, the resurgence of West Coast swing that continues to the present around the world.
Take The Lead (2006)
In the movie, Take The Lead, Antonio Banderas & Katya Virshilas dance the tango to, “Asi Se Baila El Tango (mix) by Veronica Verdier. The tango originated in the mid-1880’s in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is one of the most enduring dance genres continuing into the 21st century. We have found more tango movies and tango dance scenes than any other dance style among our favorites.
Save the Last Dance (2001)
In Save the Last Dance, Sara (Julia Stiles) auditions for Julliard Dance School to, “All Or Nothing” by Athena Cage. This movie was directed by Thomas Carter ft. actors Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas and Kerry Washington. Essentially, a midwestern girl move to Chicago teams up with a black teen with a questionable, criminal past. The story centers around dance and relationships.
Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
Dancing scene with Gene Kelly singing and dancing to “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Black Swan (2010)
This scene is from the movie, Black Swan. It is titled, A Swan Is Born, featuring actress, Natalie Portman. The movie, Black Swan, is a 2010 American thriller/horror film starring Natalie Portman as a ballet dancer.
This is a scene, Chicago, Cell Block Tango scene with Velma (Catherine Zeta-Jones) plays part of a group of convicts.
Swing Time (1936)
Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, waltz & tap dancing here!
The “Ball Dance Scene” with Lily James & Richard Madden
Cinderella is a movie about the classic Cinderella story directed by Kenneth Branagh featuring actors, Lily James and Richard Madden. The dancing scene appears to be a setting like a Viennese Ball where Prince and Cinderella are dancing a waltz. It won the Academy Award for best achievement in costume design for 2016 with music by Patrick Doyle
This collection of movies includes many different dance styles (genres) like tango, waltz, free-style, ballet, modern, huslte and mambo.