Since I pretty much air out all of my guilty pleasures on this blog, I don’t even know if I can call them guilty pleasures anymore. So this one’s for my fellow loud and proud CHEEZY dance movie lovers. If there’s a movie centered on the art of dance, you can pretty much bet I’ll be watching. It’s my year-round Hallmark holiday movie, so to speak. A love story mixed in with some bada$$ choreography. I like to pretend that I too, could’ve been a professional dancer but unfortunately my elementary ballet with Miss Louise, followed by 2 years of “Jazz” classes in middle school and ending in a Radio Disney dance team tryout where I couldn’t even remember the steps they taught us five minutes prior ended that dream real quick.
I learned to accept that my best moves will come out between the hours of 11 PM and 4 AM after approximately 100 bud lights. It’s a shame they never created a feature on my Jersey turnpikin’ skillz at the club in college. (There’s still time…) Either way, I’ve learned to truly appreciate a bangin final dance number or montage, the best of which I’ve outlined below.
Footloose is rounding out the caboose because to be perfectly honest it was before my time and I’ve never actually seen it. It may dishearten a few to hear that I’ve only seen the remake with Julianne Hough and Kenny Wormald. HOWEVER, knowing the history of dance movies, it would be preposterous to leave off the movie centered on a town that BANNED DANCING from this list. So here’s a fun look at when a boy just needs to dance out his feelings, even though he could be arrested for it. #Rebel.
Hoodrat Jessica Alba is the only version I wish to know. From the gold nameplate necklace to the way that she says “we peoples”, I CANNOT LOOK AWAY. Girl gets exclusive beats from DJ Scratch for pete’s sake. And don’t even get me started on how she rocks that “just wear the sleeves” fashion with some baggy camo pants. Honey’s such a good choreographer that she turns someone falling into a dance move! In all seriousness, this movie is #9 because I expect no one who hasn’t seen it yet to ever watch it. It’s embarrassing at best and that’s saying a lot for a movie that features Jadakiss as a “top celebrity”. Bottom line is that you watch this to laugh at Jessica Alba acting street and being the most sought out choreographer in the rap industry. It’s the little things in life that bring me joy. This movie is one of them.
8. Save the Last Dance
Save the Last Dance is that tried and true, mix up a guy from the wrong side of the tracks with a straight laced nerd. I wish Julia Stiles wasn’t such a cream cheese white awkward bird in this movie because 90% if it is cringeworthy. Her wearing a Gap cami and french braids to the club was level 10 embarrassing. A ballet and hip hop mashup should always be appreciated though and that’s why her Juilliard try out made the list. Nothing will ever top your black boyfriend teaching you how to booty pop, grl.
7. High School Musical 3
Although the High School Movie franchise is not technically part of the dance genre, it still counts because Zac Efron’s got moves for daaaays. Real talk, I don’t think I’ve ever faced anything quite as difficult as just choosing one dance number from the 3 HSM movies. Do I go with a Troy Bolton emo solo where he’s contemplating basketball versus theater in the halls of his high school? Tempting for sure. Instead I settled for the duet between these two wildcats. Vanessa Hudgens’ legs look real bangable and it’s no wonder her boyfriend wants to spin her around the rooftop just to ask her to prom. Seriously did you see how effortlessly he swooped her into the air? Sigh.
6. Dirty Dancing
A classic that should never be revisited (I’m talking to you, ABC) and of course the famous lift that every girl wishes her boyfriend could flawlessly perform. Seriously, guys, it shouldn’t be that hard to toss us above your head and hold us there while you spin. May Patrick Swayze and those sassy hips rest in peace as his memory lives on forever through (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life. We owe it all to you.
If I’m gonna slobber all over nobody putting baby in a corner, you bet your ass that Sandy in her bad gurl leathers was making this list. She puts her hussy pants on and is suddenly ready to shimmy it up for her man. I’m only a little jelly of her legs in those pants. Ok fine I’m a lot jelly. (If you’re noticing a trend here with me drooling over every female leads legs, you’re not wrong.) Everyone whose anyone knows that the shake shack is the best part of this routine and it’s not even up for debate.
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
We’ve now arrived at one of the most underrated 80’s dance flicks of all time. SJP and Helen Hunt in their infant years when they were fresh on the Hollywood scene. If you haven’t seen this movie I suggest you watch it immediately if you want to be respected as a theatrical dance movie aficionado. SJP is a catholic school girl with a nazi dad and her counter part is OBV a bad boy but they become dance partners competing for a spot as COVETED Dance TV regulars. Although the tryouts and the final DTV competition are stellar in their own right, it would’ve been an injustice not to include this VERY 80’s dance/falling in love montage from the middle of the movie. My sister used to be so obsessed with this scene that she would rewind the ole VHS and replay it roughly 15 times before we could move on to the rest of the movie. Enjoy the classic beach silhouette lift and throwback Pepsi can mixed in with lots and lots of gymnastics.
3. Step Up 2 The Streets
It may surprise you that I don’t have the original Step Up and the spark of Channing and Jenna’s love on here. I like to toss in a curveball every once in a while to keep everyone on their toes. Here’s the second installment (every Step Up that follows this are white hot garbage) where having a dance crew and performing out on the streets is WAY cooler than getting into some lame arts school. They prove it too by dancing outside to trunk speakers IN THE RAIN. Whoa. The reason this dance is so high on the list can pretty much be narrowed down to one baller move and that is OBVIOUSLY when what’s his face does the heart beat over what’s her face. I’m not proud of it but I spent far too much time one night in college trying to perfect that move with one of my roommates. Unfortunately rhythm is necessary for nailing that to a beat, but whatever. A for effort.
2. Magic Mike
This one’s for all my LAAADIEZZZZZ. (I mean, technically they all are, but we’ll pretend it’s just this one) Essentially the only takeaway from Magic Mike is the Pony dance and that’s pretty freaking obvious. I don’t really think I need to say anything else.
1. Center Stage
The queen bee of dance movies is Center Stage. They barely even hired actors for this, they just straight up trolled the American Ballet Company for dancers to play themselves. Never did I ever think a ballet performance could be interesting enough to contain a saucy sex scene but that’s just what Cooper, bad boy of ballet, does. This performance was 10 minutes long and I am continuously riveted for every single minute. Boys fighting over a girl, motorcycles onstage, all the way to her flawless red lip, dreadlocks finale. WHAT A WHIRLWIND. This dance number has everything I could have ever hoped and dreamed and that’s why it’s the GOAT. Even I was like hey, should I maybe become a ballerina by the end of it. Then I remembered how they basically chop their toes off to stand on wooden blocks for 90% of every day and I was out. PS do NOT try to make boys watch this movie. They will revolt and ruin every precious moment of this badass final dance. Tough stuff, lesson learned.