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?


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

  1. This one is tough, but I’m going to go with the 2 sentimental choices:
    1 – The Grease gang dancing to “We Go Together”
    2 – Annie and Daddy Warbucks dancing to “I Don’t Need Anything but You”

    • LOL. Awww… Annie! That IS a sentimental choice. 😀

      I haven’t thought of that movie in years…

      Wonder if Grease will be a popular choice today? Could be, that’s a really big one. Great soundtrack.

  2. The Scene In “FRIDAY THE 13TH Part IV” When A Very Youthful Crispin Glover Is Trying To Be Cool And Dance With The Hot Chick. The Scene Is So Laughable I Nearly Die Myself Time And Time Again.
    Hey, It Was The 80s, So Bad Dancing Was Totally Acceptable.
    In Today’s World? They’d Be Making Millions Off Him On YouTube As Being The Biggest Geek Loser Who Can’t Dance.
    Does This Count, Mr. Fogs!?!?!
    Hope So. 🙂

    • Oh. It COUNTS. LOL Actually, that’s a great choice. I mean, unexpected – coming at it from the unintentional comedy angle of it, but completely acceptable.

      That scene is SO awkward and painful. It may have been the 80’s, but I dont think dancing THAT bad was EVER in! 😀

  3. Is the final dance sequence in Dirty Dancing too generic a choice? Not that it’ll make any difference to me. Baby & Johnny FTW!

    /End Fangirl

      • LMAO!

        You and I both know there is no such thing as an original idea in Hollywood 😛

      • Lets also give credit where credit is due: ginger rogers danced just as well except she did it backwards and in heels.

      • “Cheek to Cheek” dance from the movie “Top Hat” (1935) is maybe most famous Rogers-Astaire scene when they came into their own complete with songs by Irving Berlin . Deb’s right that the two Rogers-Astaire together make the dances magic. 🙂
        [The website filmmisery has a top 10 Astaire list.]

  4. VanDamme. “Kickboxer”, 1989.

    Basically for all the reasons youjivinmeturkey laid out in his post above.

  5. Really obvious answers and you mentioned them in your post but the Pulp Fiction & Napoleon Dynamite dance scenes would of been my top 2 choices 🙂 (If I was allowed a tv choice then that’s easily a wasted Kenny Powers at the school disco in Eastbound & Down!)

    • LOL. Season 1? Where he pukes after (I think?) Eastbound’s a pretty funny show.

      Napoleon’s dance at the end of that movie just takes it to an entirely different level. Its absolutely hysterical… completely cracks me up. 😀

      Those two were up there cause they’re two of my favorites as well, too.

      • Yeah season 1. Just so wrong that dance scene on every level but hilarious in its slow motion crudeness!

        Never been a fan of Jamiroqui, but Napoleon dancing to Canned Heat was perfect, especially his little run/shuffle off stage at the end! Loved it 🙂

      • Oh, there are some decent ones. I just thought it’d be funnier to point out that dancing scenes in general are scenes that I don’t enjoy.

        The Pulp Fiction one is great.

      • haha yeah I can understand that! I had the movie for probably 2 years before I decided to watch it.

        I’m big on musicals so that helped…but it wasn’t the best musical I’ve seen, just entertaining and upbeat…a lot of musicals can be really depressing.

  6. 1-Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly; one of the very best tap and song numbers
    2-Scent of a Woman – Pacino (blind character) & Anwar; Tango
    3-White Nights – Hines & Baryshnikov; tap/stomp number

    • Geez, I havent thought of “White Nights” in ages…. LOL. Almost forgot that movie existed! Nice one. Pulled that one out of the air, I like it!

      “SInging in the Rain” on Blu is actually on its way to me as we speak, so I can do an MTESS on it! 😀 Cant wait to watch it in HD!

      And the only thing I have to say about the “Scent of a Woman” scene, of course, is “HOO WAH!!” LOL. Although that movie gets a wickedly bad rap. It’s a really good flick.

  7. Pulp Fiction is the first to come to mind. I can’t get enough of Uma Thurman in that movie… something about that wig! 😀

    Also, Saturday Night Fever, of course. Travolta was the man back in the day.

    • Saw that, earlier, Vern. I’m honored, sir 😀

      I actually have had that post open in another tab for hours now, and I just havent gotten “over” to post up a reply! Will do shortly!

  8. I did a article a while back on ‘The King of Ballroom Dance Movies,’ Of all the great dance passages I think the final dance in Strictly Ballroom may be the best of all. So much emotion and passion written across the whole scene! Superlative! Makes the movie worth watching.

  9. Man, the first one that came to mind was the intro credits sequence to “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.” Got you in a great mood, and the part where everyone stops chasing Austin to do a choreographed dance number always cracks me up.

    Another favorite is the pair of Stephen Chow numbers from “Shaolin Soccer” and “Kung Fu Hustle”. The second gets the nod since it’s a combination of being well done, rather goofy … and kinda creepy at the same time, as the dance number is interspersed with murders.

    Finally… “Robin Hood: Men In Tights.” ’cause there’s nothing funnier than seeing the Merry Men break out in a Can Can. (And, hilariously, one of the few bits that was replicated from Mel Brooks’ ouevre when he was at the Preseidental Honors Awards.)

    I guess there are plenty of “serious” ones I love too (“SCool” from West Side Story, for example), but breaking out in dance is an inherently goofy activity in the first place. It’s always charming to me when movies embrace the silliness.

    • LOL. That intro to Austin Powers DID set a tone, didnt it? Very Bollywood, almost. 😀

      I like that point you make about it being inherently goofy. It kind of is, isn’t it? Especially if the rest of the movie is being played straight. But its really funny if it’s just totally random. Your comment brough to mind another Mel Brooks moment… the end of Blazing Saddles with the studio scene where Dom Delouise is leading the choreography. 😀 Thats too funny…

  10. Hi, Fogs:

    I’d have to go with Gabrielle Anwar and Al Pacino’s Tango in ‘Scent of A Woman’.

    Also, the ‘Cattle Call’ mass audition scene in ‘All That Jazz’. Basically the first MTV Music Video. Years ahead of schedule!

    • HOOO WAHH!!

      Scent of a Woman gets its second call out! 😀 Thats great. Its a great scene.

      Kind of expected this to be a day where I was confessing all the musicals and whatnot I’ve never seen. Here’s another.

      Ive never seen “All that Jazz” 😦

      Sad but true.

  11. A lot of great ones covered here. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers still tops for me – they jumpstarted my lifelong love affair with the movies. Honestly, they get full credit. IMO Swing Time gets nod for best dance numbers in the series, particularly Pick Yourself Up and Never Gonna Dance.

    And since someone mentioned White Nights it reminded me of the standout dance numbers I really thought were spectack in an otherwise mediocre movie – The Cotton Club. Gregory and Maurice Hines doing ‘Crazy Rhythm’, awesome, and Gregory’s tap solo while quick cut with people are getting machine gunned etc. – now that’s entertainment!

    • Been decades since I saw Cotton Club… wow. Not since it first came out! This thread is bringing back the forgotten flicks, for sure!

      Astaire and Rogers do still hold the crown. Glad to see them getting props. 😉

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