Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Dance Scene?

This past weekend’s “Step Up Revolution” brought the subject of dancing in movies to mind, and I thought it might make for an interesting topic for discussion.

Dancing has been a part of film since its earliest days. Rudolph Valentino became a huge star by dancing the tango in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” in 1921… and obviously dancing in films is still going strong. John Travolta is famed for his dances in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Pulp Fiction”. Chaning Tatum  in “Step Up” and “Magic Mike”. Some stars get strongly associated with dancing in movies. There’s no doubt in my mind that the extraordinary dancing in “The Artist” halped Jean Dujardin capture Oscar gold this last year…

So what’s your fave? Napolean Dynamite and his D-Qwon’s Dance Moves? Or Nina’s ballet performances in “Black Swan”? Perhaps you’re old school and prefer some Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? Whatever it is, let’s hear it! What’s YOUR Favorite dance in the movies?

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107 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Movie Dance Scene?

  1. Hi, Fogs:

    Try the link. It will show you everything you need to know about Bob Fosse’s unique choreography in a nut shell.

  2. Running diary – LOL

    1) I love that song. Been too long since I’ve heard it.
    2) Holy SHIT thats a lot of dancers, how can he even tell who’s doing what?
    3) Wow, that one dude is a dork (1:21).
    4) I just want to hear Scheider tell people “But in Amity, one man can make a difference!”

    Wow. Crazy scene Jack! Now I want to watch the whole movie! :D

  3. Wow, so many. The “Make ‘em laugh” dance routine from Singing in the Rain is one stand out. Also PeeWee’s “Tequila” dance was a lot of fun. I’ll think of more later.

  4. The Red Shoes. In particular the ballet after the shoemaker puts the “Red Shoes” on the girl. One of the most incredible scenes in all of film. If any film merged creative mediums to make movies an art form, this is it. Without getting into the story itself suffice to say millions of heartbroken girls(and boys) learned about life, love and artistic desire from this masterpiece. Tons of films and filmmakers owe major kudos to “The Red Shoes”

  5. Nina’s Black Swan Coda is probably one of the finest scenes I’ve seen but when I hear “Dance scene” all I can think about is the twist from Pulp Fiction. It’s as iconic as a scene can be.

    • Now I wanna dance, I wanna win. I want that trophy, so dance good…. :D

      Yeah, that’s a great scene. Such an awesome movie. Tarantino’s so freaking cool to have that aweosme Jack Rabbit Slim scene be prelude to an adrenaline needle to the heart :D Isnt that sick? Gotta love him.

      Read your thing on Black Swan, btw. Totally fits that thats one of your faves. :)

  6. Great question, Fogs! Boy there are so many favorites. First one I could think of is the audition scene in Flashdance. I also love the dance in The Sound of Music between Maria and Capt. Von Trapp… that chemistry is undeniable! Oh and the goofy dance Gerry Butler did in Rocknrolla w/ Thandie Newton, such a hoot! The dance scene in The Ugly Truth is perhaps the ONLY thing good about that movie. I particularly love Tango scenes in movies, in fact I made a top 5 list: http://flixchatter.net/2010/09/09/just-for-fun-top-five-movie-tango-scenes/

    • :D You like the Tango so much you made a Top Five Tango scenes list?

      That is AWESOME. :D LOL I’ll have to check that out!

      I’ve never seen The Sound of Music, can you believe it? My stand by quote has always been, she sings, she spins, what else is there to see? :D

  7. There are a lot of great examples, but the first one that came to mind was the finale of The Last Days of Disco on the subway. It ends the movie perfectly with “Love Train” from the O’Jays playing over the credits.

    • Was it you that just wrote a post on that piece, Dan? I read something recently without commenting, because … I’ve never seen the movie.

      I know. I’ve put that answer out there like 10 times today. LOL. I should rename these threads, see if you can get Fogs to confess not having seen something!! :D

      If it was you though, it was a good piece. Made me want to check it out.

  8. -the disco dancing from Boogie Nights

    -Adam Sandler’s grocery store dance in Punch-Drunk Love

    -the Pulp Fiction dance off

    -the dancing at the end of The Artist

    -the dance number at the end of Slumdog Millionaire

    -Christian Bale’s dance to “Hip to be Square” in American Psycho

    –the dance between Bruce and Selina in Batman Returns (it isn’t the dancing that makes this scene great, but still)

    -the dance in the tent in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

    There’s also a great dancing scene in Moonrise Kingdom.

    • That is QUITE the list. LOL

      Let me say I think the dance at the end of the Artist probably trumps them all. If I were answering this question, I think that that’s MY answer, because its so awesome, and because it ends that movie.

      Love me some American Psycho. Boogie Nights, too.

      Not such a big fan of Slumdog Millionaire, but I’ll admit that that huge dance number was definitely the best part of the movie. Unfortunately for the movie, it’s pretty much an unrelated post-script.

  9. There have been a few good suggestions in here already — Puttin’ on the Ritz, the penguin dance from Mary Poppins

    But I think I have to go with a dance scene so amazing it trumps the rest of an already incredible film, so legendary that nobody has dared to try and top it since…

    The leprechaun dancing around Stonehenge in This is Spinal Tap.

    I’m a Philistine, aren’t I? :D

    • I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have been…that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. All right? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object. :D

  10. The Axe Gang gets their collective groove on in Kung Fu Hustle. Love that scene. Also, the kung fu Thriller scene in Shaolin Soccer. Stephen Chow really knows how to put together a funny and well-choreographed dance sequence, I have to say.

    For more classic, iconic dances, I can’t believe nobody here’s mentioned Gene Kelly tap dancing on roller skates in It’s Always Fair Weather. What an amazing scene, and what an amazing performer.

  11. I am going with Mr. Blonde, Michael Madsen dancing around to stuck in the middle with you, while he cuts that cops ear off. Everytime I hear that song all I can picture is him dancing around in Reservoir Dogs.

    • Me too. Not that I had any kind of strong association with that song prior to that movie, but afterwards… there’s just a 0% chance of ever hearing it and not thinking Madsen with a severed ear. LOL

      • they might as well just have Stephen Wright introduce that song whenever it comes on the radio as well. ;-)

  12. Buffalo Bill’s tucked in dance. KIDDING! LOL The 80’s kid in me is screaming “Girls just want to have fun”.

    The music, hair, sequins, and drama…80’s-tastic!

    • :D Ray Brayne said that earlier… had to confess I havent seen it yet.

      He’s gonna be happy to get some back up on it though.

      Guess I’m gonna have to check it out now that it’s been “seconded”

    • That’s ok, man. Its not a race, it’s just about whichever one is your favorite… doesnt matter if its someone else’s too!

      Definitely dont want to turn these threads into first come first serve! :D

  13. of course, there are some great dance scenes in cinema. I love Singin’ in the Rain and so much more, but today, I’m going to put up one here that you may not be expecting.

    I liked the “I Won’t Dance” segment from Step Up 3! I know, I know…but this was a really nice classy tribute to the style of dance that we don’t see in cinema any longer, mixed with a little bit of the new. I felt it very appropriate and the highlight of an otherwise forgettable flick.

    • Very true. That is a cool tribute scene. Having just seen Step Up 4, I can confirm that they do NOT dance like that anymore in movies. LOL.

      “Moose” has a cameo, though. Not that I would recommend that movie just for that… or, well, for anything, for that matter. LOL!

    • What I want, you’ve got But it might be hard to handle Like the flame that burns the candle The candle feeds the flame yeah yeah What I got — full stock of thoughts and dreams that scatter And you pull them all together And how I can’t explain oh yeah Well well you (ooh ooh ooh ooh) you make my dreams come true (you you) you (you you) Well well well you (ooh ooh ooh ooh) oh yeah you make my dreams come true (ooh oooh ooh ooh) hell yeah

      LOL.

      If I wind up listenin’ to Hall and Oates today, Nedi, I’m blamin’ you!! :D

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