5 movies that will make you want to dance your ass off

It’s not just movies that make me want to dance my ass off though. Do you watch So You Think You Can Dance? Man, I love that show. It makes me wish I could go back to childhood and hardcore-train to be a contemporary dancer. You should see me watching it too. I laugh, I tear up, I gasp, I attempt leaps…I’m a mess. But I’m just so fascinated by dancing and the people that are so good at it. Hence the list! I love a good dance movie and these are the ones that make me want to get up offa that thang! I promise you,  I don’t actually say things like that out loud (but I do love that James Brown song).

1. Center Stage

I like Center Stage for many reasons, but mainly it’s the awesome choreography and the utilization of professional dancers in some of the roles. The characters are relateable, likeable  and trying to make it on their own terms. The movie is just a fun, light-hearted watch. One of my favorite scenes is when Jody lets loose in the jazz class with Cooper Nielsen (see below!). Higher Ground is a cool song and  the dancing is energetic, sweaty, intense and  everyone looks like they’re having the time of their lives. Are all dance classes like this? Because if they are then sign me up!

2. Dance With Me

I loooove love love this movie, so much so that I went to see it three times when it first came out in theaters. I think it stands the test of time because I  watched this on Netflix recently and still loved it as much as I did back then ( or I  could just be a sucker for nostalgia, so judge for yourself). Chayanne, a famous Latin pop singer in real life, who plays Rafael, is such a passionate, charismatic dancer. And who knew Vanessa Williams was such an talented ballroom dancer? I just want to be her! There’s a great story here, and while some it may be a little predictable, it’s still so enjoyable to watch. The chemistry between the two leads is palpable and you can especially feel it through the dancing. I love the ending salsa number, but I think my favorite dance scene is when Ruby and Rafael go to the club seriously decked out and dance the night away in each other’s arms—and everyone else’s! You can check that one out below (although nothing beats seeing it in context).

Bonus: Catch this one on Netflix streaming now.

3. Girls Just Want To Have Fun

A delightfully cheesy movie that is all fun and froth. A young Sarah Jessica Parker dances her way through a competition with her baby-faced bad-boy partner. It’s got your basic teen movie archetypes: the good girl, the bad boy with a heart of gold, the cool and spunky best friend, the uptight father and the rich bitch. This movie is quintessential 80’s, complete with cheese-tastic electro-pop music, crimped hair and neon spandex. Of course, a dance competition movie wouldn’t be complete without that one epic move that the couple masters at the end (think: Johnny and Baby doing “the lift” in Dirty Dancing). Pretty epic stuff.

Bonus: Catch this one on Netflix streaming now.

4. Shall We Dance (2004)

I’ve seen the original 1996 Japanese film and I’ve seen the modern American version. The original is a little more nuanced, but I find the modern version slightly more entertaining, at least dance-wise. It also has its fair share of heartfelt and hilarious moments.  Plus, a hot dark tango between Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, where the pair is practically smoldering on that dance floor. Ugh, so good. Stanley Tucci as Link is equally fun to watch with his manic energy and dance moves. His love for dance is utterly infectious. And if you like Richard Gere when he’s all charming and fumbling (and who wouldn’t?), then you should definitely see this, if you haven’t already.

Bonus: Catch the original 1996 version on Netflix now. The 2004 version is coming to Netflix this January.

5. Mad Hot Ballroom

This film is probably one of the most charming documentaries. It’s about New York City public school fifth-graders and their inspirational journey to the annual ballroom dancing competition. It’s so easy to root for every team to succeed. I find myself smiling when watching this film because you can see these kids genuinely trying so hard to succeed and they’re just so darn cute doing it. Speaking of cute, watching the kids attempt the tango is not to be missed.

4 responses to “5 movies that will make you want to dance your ass off”

  1. Janey says:

    wait. one. second… i had to take a 2nd look at this post…
    there is a GAPING HOLE on this list! Dirty Dancing!!! i meeeeaannnnn…… it’s THEEE dance movie of all dance movies!! LOL.. omg…. 😮

    • Jillian says:

      YES! But hear me out on this one! It’s a classic. I love it, you love it, everyone loves it. It’s the obvious choice and for that I thought to keep it off the list. Come on now, I would never forget Dirty Dancing!

      Also, what’s really funny about your comment is that I KNEW either you or Jen or my mother would be like, “Helloooo, Dirty Dancing?!”.

      • Janey says:

        you knew we’d start a riot over Dirty Dancing, c’mon now! LOL..
        ok, well… at least you gave it an honorable mention in your “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” review….i guess… hahahaha.. ;-P

  2. ashley says:

    Looks like I need to add some things to my Netflix list :)

Leave a Reply

Posted in: miscellaneous

%d bloggers like this: