Dance Movies List

Dance is a language of passion that only another dancer can truly understand. Here is a list of dance movies that are sure to make you lose yourself in a world where dance means everything.
To truly understand the passion that dancing evokes in people, you have to watch some of the best dance movies. They, very beautifully, depict the struggles, sensitivities, adventures, and ups and downs that dancers go through in life, while trying to find a place in the world of dancing.

Some movies are, however, based on common people, like you and me who dance to beat their blues, or find some meaning in their lives. Here are the top five dance movies of all time, followed by a comprehensive list of dance movies till date.
Top Five Dance Movies
Dancing couple
  • Grease (1978 - Romance)
  • Fame (1980 - Musical)
  • Footloose (1984 - Comedy)
  • Dirty Dancing (1987 - Romance)
  • Chicago (2002 - Musical)
Before the 80's
Dance films before the seventies were uncommon and sparse. Yet, the movies that did come up with this unique idea, were rated high and became popular instantly. Some of them were filmed on dance stars itself. Others were musicals with dance as the movie theme.
    • Top Hat (1935 - Comedy)
    • The Red Shoes (1948 - Romance)
    • Singin' In The Rain (1952 - Comedy)
    • West Side Story (1961 - Drama)
    • Roseland (1977 - Drama)
    • The Turning Point (1977 - Drama
    • Saturday Night Fever (1977 - Drama)
    • All That Jazz (1979 - Fantasy)
The Glorious Eighties
The Eighties were a time of rebellion, with movies showing an increasing amount of nudity and going a step ahead into arenas that were earlier unexplored. The dance movies of the eighties reflected the same, with a lot more glamor and jazz than their predecessors.
    • Grease 2 (1982 - Comedy)
    • Flashdance (1983 - Romance)
    • Staying Alive (1983 - Drama)
    • Wild Style (1983 - Drama)
    • Breakin' (1984 - Comedy)
    • Beat Street (1984 - Drama)
    • Dancers (1984 - Comedy)
    • Heavenly Bodies (1984 - Drama)
    • A Chorus Line (1985 - Drama)
    • White Nights (1985 - Drama)
    • Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985 - Comedy)
    • Fast Forward (1985 - Drama)
    • Salsa (1988 - Romance)
    • Hairspray (1988 - Comedy)
    • Dance Academy (1988 - Drama)
    • Tap (1989 - Drama)
The Nostalgic Nineties
Full-length movies were the trend of the nineties, and dance movies, such as "Dance With Me" reflected it. With the increasing use of the television, many of the films were released as DTH (Direct-to-home) movies, including some dance film sequels.
  • Lambada (1990 - Drama)
  • The Forbidden Dance (1990 - Drama)
  • Stepping Out (1991 - Comedy)
  • Strictly Ballroom (1992 - Comedy)
  • Swing Kids (1993 - Drama)
  • Showgirls (1995 - Drama)
  • The Tango Lesson (1997 - Drama)
  • Tango (1998 - Drama)
  • Dance with Me (1998 - Romance)
  • Do You Wanna Dance? (1999 - Comedy)
The 21st Century
Cinema in the 21st century turned more poignant with the films reflecting the problems of the times. Various cultural changes, pop and otherwise, were reflected by these films. The movie casts would range from promising newcomers to famous stars. The dance films of these times showcase similar themes.

  • Bring It On (2000 - Comedy)
  • Billy Elliot (2000 - Comedy)
  • Center Stage (2000 - Drama)
  • Save The Last Dance (2001 - Drama)
  • A Time For Dancing (2002 - Drama)
  • Honey (2003 - Drama)
  • Shall We Dance? (2004 - Comedy)
  • You Got Served (2004 - Comedy)
  • Roll Bounce (2005 - Comedy)
  • Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004 - Romance)
  • Step Up (2006 - Romance)
  • Innocent Steps (2005 - Comedy)
  • How She Move (2007 - Drama)
  • Take The Lead (2006 - Drama)
  • Stomp The Yard (2007 - Drama)
  • Ballet Shoes (2007 - Drama)
  • Feel The Noise (2007 - Drama)
  • Make It Happen (2008 - Drama)
  • Step Up 2: The Streets (2008 - Drama)
  • Fame (2009 - Musical)
  • B-Girl (2009 - Drama)
  • Dance Flick (2009 - Comedy)
  • Mao's Last Dancer (2009 - Biography)
  • Step Up 3D (2010 - Drama)
  • Black Swan (2010 - Thriller)
  • StreetDance 3D (2010 - Drama)
  • Burlesque (2010 - Drama)
  • Honey 2 (2011 - Drama)
  • StreetDance 2 (2012 - Drama)
  • Step Up Revolution (2012 - Drama)
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Documentary Films on Dance
Man with camera silhouette
  • That's Dancing! (1985)
  • Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
  • Rize (2005)
  • Ballerina (2006)
  • Planet B-Boy (2007)
  • Every Little Step (2008)
  • Crazy Horse (2011)
  • Pina (2011)
  • Jig (2011)
The documentary films are a great choice if you want to understand dance in depth. The top five movies are also a personal choice. This list is comprehensive to the best of my knowledge. If I have missed out on some movies, feel free to add them in the comments section below.
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