Gone are the days of Flashdance, Fame and Footloose. Dance movies used to be about some internal struggle being processed through fancy footwork and buckets of water falling from the sky; Kevin Bacon rebelled against the man with his MTV moves; the kids in Fame tried to showcase their talent, almost to their detriment, so was there desperation for fame; Alex the flash dancing, ballet aspiring, exotic dancing, welder from Pittsburgh, well she was just interesting. Dance movies today are all about 3D, HD and mind-boggling tricks, flips and splits, but a few also manage to hold on to some emotional sincerity. Although these films may indeed make you feel quite depressed about your own dancing abilities (nothing wrong with a two step shuffle) they are, without doubt, entertaining enough to get you through any hump day! Here are our Top 5 Dance Movies:
1. Save The Last Dance
Julia Stiles is Sara, an aspiring ballet dancer who ends up in a predominately black school in Chicago’s south side. There, she is befriended by a small group of people, one of whom is Sean Patrick Thomas’ character Derek. Derek is hip hop, she is ballet and together they would make beautiful hybrid dance moves while simultaneously falling in love and helping each other with their internal struggles. Classic dance movie.
The classic ballet/hip hop hybrid.
2. Magic Mike
Magic Mike is all about the dance moves, because lets be honest, you didn’t watch it for the plot lines. I mean Soderbergh tried, I think there was some conflict between Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey at some point, possibly a love interest along the way, maybe some character development? Maybe. Basically it’s about abs and general Chippendale style dancing with some Channing specific moves thrown in, and why not? He was a stripper back in the day! It’s enough to pick up anyones week.
So many six packs.
3. Stomp The Yard
Its hard for me to promote Stomp The Yard considering that it’s cast includes Chris Brown. However, the role was small and the scenes were few and far between so let’s just pretend he’s not there. The film revolves around DJ, played by Columbus Short, as he moves in with his aunt and uncle and attends a nearby college after his brother passes away. DJ learns to channel his guilt and regrets as he stomps his way to glory in some unbelievably well choreographed scenes. The final dance battle is one to watch.
Elbow slide across the stage. Nuff said.
4. Step Up
Real life husband and wife, Channing Taum and Jenna Dewan, met on the set of Step Up and so the chemistry is all to real. Tatum plays a foster kid (although he was 26 at the time) from the wrong side of the block, who, through a series of unfortunate events, ends up working community service at a school for performing arts. There he meets Nora, a rigid ballet dancer who is lacking in diversity and inspiration, and well you can guess what happens from there. Ballet and hip hop come together again to make beautiful choreography and happy love stories for all involved.
Classical hip hop anyone?
5. Strictly Ballroom
The classic story of ugly ducking turned beautiful swan comes to life in Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom. This 80’s styled, part mockumentary part fairytale, love story is filled with Luhrmann’s more is more approach to film making. Big hair, heavy makeup, colorful dresses and stunning ballroom scenes make up this fantastic film. Scott and Fran dance their way through touching salsa, intense rumba and “flashy crowd pleasing steps” while they learn to fight for one another, work together, and of course fall in love.
So many sequins.
Honorable Mention: Take The Lead
If only for this scene:
Oh Antonio, you still got it.
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