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The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing: Dance in Film

The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing: Dance in Film
Well, alright. It’s January. And it’s still winter. And we're in lockdown again. And we all miss dancing. So in an attempt to remind us what we love and why we love it, I've put together a list of some of my favourite dance scenes from film. I've chosen the slightly random number of 11, and if I've missed one you love tell me what it is in the comments! So without further ado, here is my list of 11 of my favourite dance scenes in movies (in no particular order!). 

1. White Christmas. “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing”. In a film of beautiful moments and beautiful dancing, this is a truly beautiful dance starring the incomparable Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen. Vera Ellen floats across the screen as the epitome of grace and elegance. #goals
2. The Sound of Music. This is traditional couples dance called the Landler, popular in Austria, Bavaria, German Switzerland, and Slovenia that is characterized by stamping and hopping. Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer are so light on their feet and makes this a thing of beauty to watch. And I’m not going to lie: watching Maria and Captain von Trapp dance makes me melt every time.

3. Take the Lead. You know I had to. Ladies, all I have to say is: Antonio Banderas and Argentine Tango. Yeah, you get me. This scene may or may not be the reason I watched the movie.

4. The Mask of Zorro. Ok, so maybe there’s a theme going here but Antonio Banderas knows how to dance. And watching Diego and Elena burn up the screen with this is too much fun. Also, it’s just a good movie. It’s Zorro, come on.

5. Funny Face. Trained as a classical ballet dancer, Audrey Hepburn shines in this piece.

6. Jailhouse Rock. “Jailhouse Rock”. What list would be complete without Elvis Presley? Based on the premise that Presley plays a young man jailed for manslaughter and subsequently mentored in music, the movie is a showcase of Elvis’ dancing that is not to be missed.

7. Footloose. For a town that isn’t allowed to dance...they’ve got some really excellent dancers. And for pure joy and energy, you can’t beat this scene from the 1984 original.

8. Saturday Night Fever. “You Should Be Dancing”...and you should be, after watching John Travolta bust out the disco moves. And can we please bring back floors with lights in them? Thanks. 
Fun fact: John Travolta worked extremely hard to perfect this number. So when the director suggested shooting the scene as a close-up instead of panned out, Travolta threatened to quit. Suffice it to say, the director changed his mind and Travolta was able to showcase all of his hard work. 

9. Black Swan. The final performance as the quiet, mousy, schizophrenic Nina embraces her darkness and transforms into the Black Swan. A creepy, eerie scene and masterfully portrayed.

10. Swing Time. “Pick Yourself Up.” Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. No close-ups, no special angles, just the magic of Rogers and Astaire doing what they do best. #goals
Ginger Rogers is considered to be Fred Astaire's best partner from his dance films. As much of a perfectionist as he was, Ginger Rogers once pushed through 54 takes of a dance on the film Castles...dancing through burst and bloody blisters. She did everything Fred Astaire did. And she did it backwards and in high heels. Ladies, am I right or am I right?

11. Dirty Dancing. Time of My Life.
Dirty Dancing is not just a dance movie, but a socially conscious film that tackles issues of class, character, sexuality, and more -- and the final dance scene is a culmination of all that, which is what makes it so powerful. Put together in just three month, Patrick Swayze (already a professional dancer) and Jennifer Grey had only two weeks of rehearsals to learn the choreographies. And then the film was shot in 44 days. And this is the end result:

Did I miss a dance scene you love? Love one of these? Tell me about it in the comments!

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