20 great movie dance scenes

Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger rehearse a dance sequence for <i>Chicago</i>.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger rehearse a dance sequence for Chicago.

Here are 20 of our favourite dance sequences from film, in no particular order.

Let's see who can be the first person to say "this list is rubbish, you missed Fame/Grease/Napoleon Dynamite".

1. Centre Stage has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. I know the storyline is terrible and the acting is questionable but the dancing. My god, the dancing. It's part ballet, part funk, 100% cheese.

2. West Side Story is a modern day retelling of Shakespeare's classic, Romeo and Juliet. One of the best scenes in the film is when everyone dances the mambo very aggressively.

3. Moulin Rouge! There a number of great dance scenes in this film, but the Tango to The Police classic 'Roxeanne' is one of the film's finest moments. Special mention goes to Australian theatre star Caroline O'Connor, who dances the lead in this clip.

4. Chicago. Hollywood's A-list prancing about in glittery jazz costumes. Bring it on.

5. Charlie's Angels wasn't a film that taught us much. But what we did learn from the Hollywood babe-fest was that Sam Rockwell can dance. And with that, a new celebrity crush was born.

6. 500 Days of Summer. If you're ever feeling bad, this clip of Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing to the seminal Hall & Oats classic 'You Make My Dreams' should cheer you up. If not, seek medical assistance.

7. It's Always Fair Weather. This list could really feature 20 clips of Gene Kelly dancing. And while it would be easy to include Singing in the Rain, let's take a look at something even more impressive. Kelly tap dancing on rollerskates.

8. Swing Time. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dance together so effortlessly. It's important to remember that back in the day, dance sequences like this were shot in one take. Which makes this scene even more impressive.

9. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Now that's how you open a movie.

10. Sweet Charity. That Bob Fosse sure knew how to choreograph a scene, didn't he? Also, interesting fact: Beyonce names Fosse as one of the influences on her filmclip choreography. True story!

11. The Little Colonel. A man with spectacular moves teaches a pint-sized Shirley Temple to dance. Now don't you try tapdancing backwards up a staircase. You'll probably break your coccyx.

The worst thing about that clip is when Colonel Sanders comes in at the end and busts up the party.

12. Saturday Night Fever. Before the whole reverse massage scandal, ol' snake-hips Travolta was strutting his stuff to Bee Gees tunes and making the ladies hot under the collar.

13. Hairspray. I know Zac Efron is meant to be the dreamboat in this movie, but please, cast your glance sideways at James Marsden and his smooth moves.

14. Dirty Dancing. RIP, Patrick Swayze.

15. Strictly Ballroom. This is the scene that encouraged my friends and I to enter every dance floor in our teenage years by attempting to glide in on our knees, a la Paul Mercurio. It's not as easy as it looks, FYI.

16. Little Miss Sunshine. Children dance with such unbridled enthusiasm, and it makes for RIVETING viewing.

17. Pulp Fiction. Uma Thurman dances up a storm with John Travolta, before heading home to OD.

18. Flashdance. This scene is great, though it invariably makes me super dizzy.

19. Scent of a Woman. Al Pacino and Gabrielle Anwar dance a very fine tango.

20. Rocky Horror Picture Show. The dance that spawned a thousand dancefloor imitations the world over.

22 comments

  • There's a couple of great dance scenes in the Blues brothers, shake your tailfeather with Ray Charles and the old landmark with James Brown

    Commenter
    Hojo
    Location
    Melbs
    Date and time
    July 06, 2012, 9:44AM
    • what no bollywood scenes

      Commenter
      pete
      Date and time
      July 06, 2012, 10:59AM
      • This scene from My Sister Eileen is also pretty epic. (If the link doesn't work, just look up Alley Dance - My Sister Eileen 1955 on youtube)
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ItaESaGWMk

        Commenter
        MaddyV88
        Date and time
        July 06, 2012, 11:04AM
        • Yep, yep, yep. I agree with all of these, although just so you know, (at the risk of revealing just how much of a nerd I am) Sam Rockwell's character was in the first Charlie's Angels movie, not Full Throttle.

          Commenter
          Emma
          Date and time
          July 06, 2012, 11:08AM
          • Emma! You're right. I'm sorry - have amended the article. Thanks for letting me know.

            Commenter
            Simone Mitchell
            Date and time
            July 06, 2012, 2:23PM
        • What about White Nights - with Mikael Baryishnikov and Greg Hinze. One of the all time great duos on film.

          Commenter
          Mackenzie
          Date and time
          July 06, 2012, 11:18AM
          • Can't believe I forgot that! Baryshnikov and his eleven turns in a pirouette while wearing cowboy boots! But while we're discussing Baryshnikcov, you's also have to include the Cosaire solo from Turning Point - breathtaking.

            Commenter
            Kate G
            Date and time
            July 06, 2012, 12:01PM
          • You're so right. It's a classic. I regret not including that one.

            Commenter
            Simone Mitchell
            Date and time
            July 06, 2012, 2:24PM
        • I am glad Dirty Dancing made it on the list. Still one of my fave films of all time. I get goose bumps every time I see the dance sequence. Thanks Daily Life!!

          Commenter
          Elle
          Date and time
          July 06, 2012, 11:20AM
          • I sitll can't get over that the body double for the actress in Flashdance is actually a male. Amazing body, amazing dancing!

            Commenter
            Amanda
            Location
            On the dancefloor
            Date and time
            July 06, 2012, 11:26AM

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