Top Dancing Movies

singing-in-the-rain1This summer I replaced my old vinyl flooring for hard wood. The hardest part of the change was putting furniture back on that floor. The floor was calling to me, begging to serve its real purpose in life. Its siren call harassed me until I succumbed. I danced. I rejoiced in the movement, the grace and fluidity coursing from the floor through my body. Ah, to dance.

Dancing is a universal language of heartfelt sentiment. Whether we are the ones doing the dancing or simply watching the dancing, the feelings the dance arouses seem to engrain themselves on our collective memory.
Can you forget how you laughed to see Patrick Dempsey lead the entire high school in the African Anteater Mating Ritual Dance in “Can’t Buy Me Love.” What about when Patrick Swayze danced with Jennifer Grey and lifted her sky-high in “Dirty Dancing”– can you still see her pale pink dress flowing? And if a guy slides into a room wearing nothing but a dress shirt and gym socks? You know it: Tom Cruise dancing in “Risky Business”.
I happen to be a fan of dancing and dancing movies in general. So when I see a dancing film pop up on Netflix and I start wiggling in my seat, my husband groans and indulges me—he knows I have a passion for quirky, off-the-wall movies. That said, here are some movies that make me want to get up and start dancing.

Singing In The Rain—This oldie-but-goodie stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor as silent movie stars trying to adjust to the age of “talking films.” A classic Gene Kelly film, this movie is FULL of dancing, from the comedic stunts in “Make them Laugh” to the soft shoeing and jazz in “Broadway Rhythm”.

Shall We Dance?— I feel happy every time I see this 1996 Japanese film. Shohei Sugiyama is a middle aged Japanese businessman who feels caught in the rigid structure of his life. Bucking cultural norms, he decides to jump out on a limb and take a ballroom dance class. Skip the Richard Gere and J.Lo. re-make and see the original.

Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School— A grieving widower finds solace and a second chance at life when he attends a dancing lesson for a dying man. My screen saver is magenta in honor of this movie. Miss Hotchkiss teaches that dance can “exorcise demons, access deep seated emotions and color your life in joyous shades of brilliant magenta that you never knew existed.”

Need a little satire in your life? Pick “Strictly Ballroom”. This Aussie movie follows a young ballroom star with ambition to dance “outside the lines” of traditional ballroom steps. Add an overbearing mom, distant father, over-the-top dance partners and a shy girl, and you have an ugly duckling love story wrapped in a mockery of the prevalent ballroom culture. Now when I hear Cindi Lauper’s “Time After Time” or Doris Day’s “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” I can’t keep my feet from doing the Rhumba.

So pop up some corn this weekend and indulge in a dance flick. I won’t hold it against you if you start dancing in your seat. Be warned, “Dancing is a very powerful drug.” (Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School)

Erica Miller has taught Cooking and Exercise Classes for 12 years. She focuses her dancing passion by choreographing routines for her Zumba classes. Check out Erica’s exercise tips, healthy recipes and Zumba dances on her blog

4 thoughts on “Top Dancing Movies

  1. Call me an 80’s kid but I loved Purple Rain. Prince had some great music. White Nights, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Pretty in Pink, West Side Story, and more if I could think of them.

    • Adrienne says:

      Yep – you’re definitely an 80’s kid!J I remember those movies, too. They bring back fond, childhood memories. 🙂

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