Top 10 inspirational dance movies

Great films to inspire the dancer in you

As well as offering huge health and fitness benefits, dancing has inspired some of the most entertaining movies of all time. As a result, here are the realbuzz.com top 10 dancing films, to inspire you and get you into the dancing groove …

Top 10 inspirational dance movies

1. Dirty Dancing (1987)

What Dirty Dancing is all about: One of the most watched films of all time, Dirty Dancing made an overnight star of Patrick Swayze with its blistering dance routines and steamy love scenes. Charting the tale of Baby (Jennifer Gray) as she falls in love with her dance instructor Johnny Castle (Swayze) in the summer of 1963, the film emotionally portrays a girl coming of age and learning to express herself through dance. Whether you watch it for the killer sixties soundtrack or just for the bumping and grinding of sweaty bodies, it’s a movie that should inspire the dancer in everyone.

Types of dance displayed in Dirty Dancing: Merengue and club dancing.

2. Footloose (1984)

What Footloose is all about: An iconic youth movie of the 1980s, Footloose stars Kevin Bacon as Ren, a small-town teen railing against a god-fearing community that has banned dance and rock music. Dance-loving Ren and his friends want to have a jiving school prom but first they must get round the narrow-minded Reverend Shaw Moore (John Lithgow). A story of teenage dreams, Footloose should warm the hearts of dance lovers everywhere with its light-hearted humor and memorable soundtrack, so everybody cut footloose.

Types of dance displayed in Footloose: Street dancing and jiving.

3. Saturday Night Fever (1977)

What Saturday Night Fever is all about: Starring John Travolta in his first of many comeback roles, Saturday Night Fever boasts an unforgettable soundtrack by helium-voiced groovers The Bee Gees, and offers a story of both fantasy and redemption. Tony Manero (Travolta) is a troubled Brooklyn youngster who finds an escape route from his dead-end daily life as king of the local disco. Containing some of the most memorable scenes in popular movie history, Saturday Night Fever remains a timeless classic that is perfect for boogying on down to.

Type of dance displayed in Saturday Night Fever: Disco dancing.

4. Moulin Rouge (2001)

What Moulin Rouge is all about: A feast for the eyes and the senses, Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 smash hit Moulin Rouge! offers viewers a big-hearted romance story set against the backdrop of the legendary Parisian cabaret club. Taking place in 1899, the film sees the bohemian poet Christian (Ewan McGregor) enter a steamy love affair with Satine (Nicole Kidman), the star of the Moulin Rouge shows. With stylish singing, flashy visuals and carefully choreographed dance routines, this is a movie to set the pulse racing.

Types of dance displayed in Moulin Rouge: Cabaret and club dancing.

5. Flashdance (1983)

What Flashdance is all about: Blue-collar worker Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals) welds steel by day and enjoys exotic dancing at night. She dreams of becoming a ballet dancer at a prestigious performance school. But will her lack of formal training ruin her fantasies? If you can stomach the idea of Jennifer Beals as a steel welding stripper, Flashdance packs in enough feisty dance scenes and early-80s power ballads to warrant a place in your affections. Hugely successful at the time, the perms may be a bit dated but the scintillating dancing on show still impresses.

Types of dance displayed in Flashdance: Exotic dance, pole dancing and ballet dancing.

6. Chicago (2002)

What Chicago is all about: A tale of murder and sleaze, Rob Marshall’s 2002 version of the hit Broadway musical Chicago still contains some highly memorable dance scenes. Following the pursuit of fame at all costs, the movie sees Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) battle it out to become the nation’s sweetheart, as lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) fans the flames. It’s a bold and colourful film that is sure to unleash the tap dancer in you.

Types of dance displayed in Chicago: Tap dancing, cabaret dancing and tango dancing.

7. Billy Elliot (2000)

What Billy Elliot is all about: Set in Miners’ Strike-era County Durham, Billy Elliot is an award-winning modern favourite that tugs on the heart strings, as well as impressing with carefully crafted dance scenes. Eleven-year-old Billy (Jamie Bell) is an aspiring ballet dancer in a family full of boxing fans. With help from his teacher (Julie Walters) he works hard to gain a place at the Royal Ballet School, but must overcome family troubles in the process. Charming and engaging, Billy Elliot offers a fresh take on 1980s Britain with the ballet-loving lead character an inspiration to all.

Type of dance displayed in Billy Elliot: Ballet dancing.

8. Strictly Ballroom (1992)

What Strictly Ballroom is all about: This quirky Australian hit opened to rave reviews in 1992 and still offers a refreshing take on the ballroom style of dancing. Dancer Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio) finds himself sick of conventional ballroom steps and adopts Fran (Tara Morice) as his partner in a bid to change the dancing world. Can Scott overcome the derision of the ballroom establishment, and competition judges, to win the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix? An offbeat romantic tale, Strictly Ballroom is a warm and affectionate movie that will delight viewers unwilling to dance to a conventional beat.

Type of dance displayed in Strictly Ballroom: Ballroom dancing.

9. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

What Singin’ in the Rain is all about: Starring the great Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain contains arguably the most iconic dancing scene in cinematic history with Kelly waltzing his way through the rain-soaked streets of Hollywood. The film charts the efforts of Don Lockwood (Kelly) to try and create the perfect ‘talkie’ motion picture, in opposition to the silent movie establishment. An ever-popular musical, Singin’ in the Rain will have you leaping around your living room long after the end credits have rolled.  

Type of dance displayed in Singin’ in the Rain: Street dancing, tap dancing and twist dancing.

10. Bring It On (2000)

What Bring It On is all about: This 2000 film from director Peyton Reed casts a critical eye over the highly competitive world of cheerleading. Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku star as members of the ‘Toros’ cheerleading team who must work together to win the national championship after an ex-captain steals their best moves. Whether you’re after dance inspiration or simply like the idea of Hollywood heart-throbs in tight skirts (shame on you), Bring It On is an entertaining and frequently funny cheerleading romp.

Type of dance displayed in Bring It On: Cheerleading.

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