A Peek at the Best Dance Movies That Stole Every Dancer's Heart

Best dance movies
Dance movies are great to look at, and give great inspiration. Watch some of these best dance movies to know what it means to be blown away by terrific dance performances on screen.
"Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn." ~Terri
Dance has been the most celebrated art for centuries. From shows to plays and then to movies, it has created its special place in every form. The evolution has been such that no one person can name all the dance forms in the world. Movies have been instrumental in spreading the dance culture especially amongst the youth.

Coming up with a list of the best dance movies of all time is not an easy task, because there are just so many movies that successfully portray the magic of dancing. Every culture across the world has dance imbued in them, and Hollywood has taken this love for dancing to a whole new level. There are so many Hollywood movies that can be called the best, but here you will find the top 21 dance movies of all time. The listing is done in two broad categories: Gen-next Period and The Golden Era. Having a favorite is a matter of personal choice, hence the following are not ranked in any order.
The Box Office Rulers: ~ The Gen-next Period ~
Black Swan (2010)
A thriller/horror story of a psychopath, directed by Darren Aronofsky. As the name suggests, the movie is about the famous ballet act called "Swan Lake", in which Nina (played by Natalie Portman) wins the role of the lead swan where she plays dual roles of a white and black swan. As she works into the character of Odile (the Black Swan) she gets in touch with her dark side leading to a series of hallucinations, ending with her own death. The movie also stars Mila Kunis (as a competitor to Nina) and Vincent Cassel.
Step Up 3D (2010)
A group of diverse dancers, who live to dance, find themselves battling against the best hip-hop dancers in the world in a high-stake competition that will shape the future of their dancing careers. Starring Rick Malambri, Adam Sevani and Sharni Vinson among others, this movie is the third in the series directed by Jon M. Chu. By the end of 2012, Step Up Revolution (the fourth movie of the series) is slated to be released.
Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
It is a sequel to 'Step Up', starring Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman. Though the plot of the movie and the characters are quite predictable, the dance sequences are simply mind-blowing. Briana Evigan is a professional dancer, and it shows in the movie. The movie deals with the evolution of street dance and how there can be no barriers between people.
Step Up (2006)
Starring Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, this movie showcases how different schools of thought can be brought together with the help of dance. Many people often choose this movie as the best dance flick ever made. The movie also brings to you great music and some moves that will simply leave you spellbound.
Hairspray (2007)
Based on John Waters' 1988 comedy, Hairspray is a story about a "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy Turnblad (played by Nikki Blonsky) who is pursuing her dream of becoming a dancer on a local TV show and is struggling against racism. Although surrounded by challenges, Tracy doesn't lose her lightheartedness. The film is directed by Adam Shankman and also stars John Travolta.
Stomp the Yard (2007)
Starring Columbus Short, this movie shows how street dancing makes its way into mainstream culture. The movie tells the story of Short who moves to a new campus, and how the fraternity stepping teams work. This movie gives a good portrayal of the underdog emerging victorious.
Shall We Dance (2004)
Starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, the movie tells the tale of a married man who is bored with his life and quietly starts learning ballroom dancing. The movie is a remake of a 1996 Japanese movie of the same name. Richard Gere surprised many people with his dancing ability that is showcased perfectly in this movie.
Honey (2003)
This movie stars Jessica Alba as Honey Daniels, who is a bartender but dreams of becoming a choreographer. The story gets interesting when she is discovered by a producer, but pretty soon success goes to her head. The story is clich├ęd, but watch the movie for Jessica Alba's amazing moves.
Chicago (2002)
This is a tale of two murderesses, Velma Kelly (a warbler who kills her husband because he was cheating on her with her sister) and Roxie Hart (who kills her boyfriend because he refused to make her a successful actress) who bump into each other while running away from their fates and then together they chase the stardom that will save them from the gallows in 1920s' Chicago. It is an Academy Award Winner, directed by Rob Marshall. The star cast includes Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.
Save the Last Dance (2001)
Julia Stiles plays a troubled girl who is besieged by the loss of her mother and finds comfort in ballet dancing. She meets Sean Patrick Thomas, a hip-hop dance artist, and the movie shows how the two blend with each other and overcome their problems.
The Box Office Rulers: ~ The Golden Era ~
Top Hat (1935)
If you are making the list of best dance movies then it isn't complete without this one. Jerry Travers (featured by Fred Astaire), an American dancer, works for a producer named Horace Hardwick in London. Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) falls in love with Jerry, but later on mistakes him for Horace and the story unfolds. The movie is directed by Mark Sandrich.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
It is a musical comedy revolving around the lives of three stars - Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), Lina Lamont (played by Jean Hagen) and Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) - while they are held fast in the transformation from silent movies to "talkies". Don and Lina are paired together for a movie, and Lina confuses reel love with real love and falls for Don. On the other hand, Don likes Kathy. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, this movie about love and stardom is well-knitted into a beautiful story.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Starring John Travolta, this movie came at the same time that disco dancing was gaining popularity. Travolta is a teenage mechanic who regularly dances at the local nightclub, and ensures that everyone has a great time. Watch the movie to know all about the disco culture of the 70s.
All that Jazz (1979)
The story follows the life of the character Joe Gideon (played by Roy Scheider), who is a philander and a drug-addict dancer. In reality, it is said to have depicted the life of Bob Fosse, the director/choreographer of the film.
Fame (1980)
Directed by Alan Parker, the story has a refreshing plot revolving around the lives of teenagers belonging to a New York high school for those gifted with the performing arts. The movie stars Eddie Barth, Irene Cara and Lee Curreri, among others.
Flashdance (1983)
Alex Owens (featured by Jennifer Beals) is a female dynamo, having two lives. She works as a welder during the day and transforms to an ecdysiast by the night. Nevertheless, she aspires to reach great heights as a real dancer. This movie is directed by Adrian Lyne.
Footloose (1984)
Starring Kevin Bacon, this was a movie that captured the essence of the 80s. He plays a rebellious young boy who moves to a small town where dancing is banned completely. Carrying out intense and frequently hilarious dance moves, he slowly starts a revolution in this small-time town.
White Nights (1985)
A deported Russian dancer (Mikhail Baryshnikov) is on a plane, which is forcefully landed on the Soviet Region. He is taken to an apartment where an Afro-American man (Gregory Hines) lives with his Russian wife. He is forced to join the Bolshoi group as a dancer, but he is seeking for an opportunity to flee. Directed by Taylor Hackford, the movie follows the dancer's life while dealing with perils of escaping Russia.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
This movie stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray. It is popularly believed that the final dance sequence of this movie is one of the best ever captured on the silver screen. Jennifer Gray falls in love with her dance instructor from a summer camp, played by Swayze, and what follows is a mad passionate affair stemming from the roots of dance.
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
An unorthodox dancer puts his career in danger by performing an unusual dancing piece and sets out to chase his dream with a new partner. It is a wild quirky comedy starring Paul Mercurio as a dancer who does not conform to the rules of ballroom dancing and goes on to create his own style, which infuriates the set establishments. Later, he is forced to dance with a newcomer (Tara Morice). The movie is directed by Baz Luhrmann.
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Dance With Me (1998)
This movie stars Vanessa L. Williams and Chayanne. The story of the movie did not win many accolades, but the Salsa dancing sequences in the movie are quite stunning. Watch this movie for nothing but the brilliant dance moves of the lead actors.
The Box Office Rulers: ~ Others Worth Mentioning ~
The dance film genre is too vast to be covered in few favorites. So if you were unable to find one of your favorites go through the list given below:
Battlefield America: 2012
Crazy Horse: 2012
First Position: 2011
Pina: 2011
Mao's Last Dancer: 2009
Ballerina 2009
Make it Happen: 2008
How She Move: 2008
Take the Lead: 2006
Mad Hot Ballroom: 2005
Rize: 2005
Roll Bounce: 2005
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights: 2004
You Got Served: 2004
Billy Elliot: 2000
Bossa Nova: 2000
Center Stage: 2000
Coyote Ugly: 2000
Tango : 1999
Flamenco Women: 1997
The Full Monty: 1997
The Tango Lesson: 1997
Showgirls: 1995
Swing Kids: 1993
Lambada: 1990
The Forbidden Dance: 1990
Shag: 1989
Tap: 1989
Salsa: The Motion Picture: 1988
The In Crowd: 1988
Dancers: 1987
Fast Forward: 1985
Girls Just Want to Have Fun: 1985
Heavenly Bodies: 1985
That's Dancing! 1985
Body Rock: 1984
Breakin': 1984
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo: 1984
A Night in Heaven: 1983
Staying Alive: 1983
The Turning Point: 1977
My attempt was to take you through the journey of all the beautiful movies you love and bring back the time. Dance itself is evolving each day, hence dance movies will never get old and will always remain a new concept with new favorites each year. As they say "it's never enough" if you really love something.
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