Dance in film

Dance in film

This is a list of movies featuring recognizable dance forms, demonstrating them, shedding light on their origin, or being the base of a plot.

This article is not about Dance film or Dance for camera which are separate genres. It is also not about Musical films, although they often contain a significant amount of dancing. However they are a specific form of art in itself, therefore their listings generally pertain to the articles specifically related to the topic of musicals. This by no means prevents musicals from being included here, but they are required to meet the outlined criteria. Fred Astaire's and Gene Kelly's filmographies may significantly contribute to these lists.


Movies with plot based on dance


  • The Red Shoes (1948) - Film classic with dance editing far ahead of its time. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Moira Shearer. Intricately weaving backstage life with the thrill of performance, this film centers on the dilemma of a young ballerina torn between the composer who loves her and the impresario determined to fashion her into a great dancer. 134 min, and based loosely on the fairytale.
  • The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) - Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Moira Shearer and Ludmilla Tchérina. Film version of Jacques Offenbach's opera but making full use of film techniques and special effects. Not just a film of a stage production.
  • Suspiria (1977) - A legendary horror film directed by Italian Dario Argento where a new student at a dance academy/school for girls experiences strange goings on.
  • The Turning Point (1977) - The story of two women whose lives are dedicated to ballet. Deedee left her promising dance career to become a wife and mother and now runs a ballet school in Oklahoma. Emma stayed with a company and became a star though her time is nearly past. Both want what the other has and reflects back on missed chances as they are brought together again through Deedee's daughter who joins the company. Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft, Tom Skerrit, Anthony Zerbe, Leslie Browne, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alexandra Danilova.
  • White Nights (1985) - movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov about a Russian dancer who wants to defect.
  • Dancers (1987) - movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, about a ballet company.
  • Billy Elliot (2000)
  • Center Stage (2000) - movie about the students of the American Ballet Academy.
  • Save the Last Dance (2000) - movie starring Julia Stiles as a girl who wants to study as a professional dancer.
  • The Company (2003) - An inside look at the world of ballet. With the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Robert Altman follows the stories of the dancers, whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close, as they cope with the demands of a life in the ballet. Neve Campbell plays a gifted but conflicted company member on the verge of becoming a principal dancer at a fictional Chicago troupe, with Malcolm McDowell playing the company's co-founder and artistic director, considered one of America's most exciting choreographers. James Franco plays Campbell's boyfriend and one of the few characters not involved in the world of dance.
  • Wishing Stairs (2003) - South Korean horror film set in an all-girls art school, in which two of the main characters are competing ballet students.
  • Flying Boys (2004) - South Korean film about a group of high school seniors who are reluctantly pressured into joining a ballet class.
  • Dancing with Time (2007) - Four dancers, nearing their eighties, take up the challenge of Heike Hennig to return to the stage in Leipzig’s opera house.
  • Morristown: A Ballerina Love Story (2008) - Morristown is a ballet movie set in Morristown, TN that depicts the stories of a young girl’s drive to become a professional dancer and the ballet veteran who helps her find her way.
  • Center Stage: Turn it Up (2008) - Kate Parker auditions for the American Ballet Academy but she doesn't get a place. She starts work in a trendy hip-hop club and teams up with a former hockey player as she continues to perfect her dance skills. This movie isn't really a sequel to 'Center Stage' [2000] as there's no continuation or development of the original film's storyline, although a couple of the characters (dance teachers played by Peter Gallagher and Ethan Stiefel) from the first movie reappear in this one.
  • Mao's Last Dancer (film) (2009) - Based on the autobiography of Chinese dancer Li Cunxin, this movie tells the story of his selection from an impoverished rural village to train at Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. The film then follows Li as he travels to the US and is confronted with cultural differences (East/West; Communist/capitalist) and his desire to be true to his artistic soul. Directed by Bruce Beresford.
  • Dance Subaru! (2009)
  • Black Swan (film) (2010)
  • TuTuMUCH (2010) - Traces the stories of 9 young girls vying for a place in the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Follows each girl as she participates in a month-long summer intensive that serves as an audition for the school.


Hip Hop/Street



See also Tango (dance)#Tango in film


  • Bring it On (2000) - movie starring Kirsten Dunst about cheerleading.
    • Bring It On Again a 2004 sequel,
    • Bring It On: All or Nothing a 2006 sequel
    • Bring It On: In It to Win It a 2007 sequel.
    • Bring It On: Fight to the Finish a 2009 sequel.
  • Fired Up (2009)


  • Funny Face (1957) - A musical with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. The most memorable scene is where a talented Audrey Hepburn dances a jazzy ballet with two backup dancers.
  • Shall We Dance (1937) - a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical with lots of dance, including ballet. One of the most memorable dances is on roller skates.
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952) - starring Gene Kelly.
  • Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955) - Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, starring Anton Walbrook and Ludmilla Tchérina. Based on the operetta Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss but updated to take place in post-war Vienna as occupied by the four-powers of Britain, America, France and Russia.
  • Luna de Miel (1959) - Directed by Michael Powell and starring Ludmilla Tchérina and Antonio. A light story showcasing the talents of Antonio and his troupe of Spanish dancers. Also many travelogue style scenes of Spain before the tourist boom.
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977) - starring John Travolta, featuring a disco dancing competition.
  • All That Jazz (1979) - A semi-autobiographical film directed by famed broadway choreographer Bob Fosse. The film portrays the life of a theater director and choreographer as he tries to balance work with his personal life. Shows the process of choreographing and rehearsing for a broadway show.
  • Footloose (1984) - starring Kevin Bacon, about a town in which dancing is banned.
  • Dirty Dancing (1987) - plot based on club/performance partner dancing.
  • Tap (1989)
  • Flamenco (1995) - A must-see for flamenco lovers. Performers: Paco de Lucía, Manolo Sanlúcar, Enrique Morente, Joaquin Cortes, Jose Menese, Lole y Manuel, Mario Maya, Jose Merce, Matilde Coral, Carmen Linares, Merche Esmeralda, Chocolate, Manuela Carrasco, Farruco, Fernanda de Utrera, La Paquera de Jerez, Manzanita, Ketama, Agujeta, Manuel Moneo, Paco Toronjo, Maria Pages, Aurora Vargas, Remedios Amaya, Juana la del Revuelo, La Macanita, Chano Lobato, Rancapino, Tomatito, Potito, Duquende, Belen Maya, El Grilo.
  • The King is Dancing (2000) depicts the life of Jean-Baptiste Lully and his relationship with King Louis XIV of France.
  • Save the Last Dance (2001) - starring Julia Stiles, a high school girl who strives to get into the Juilliard Dance Academy.
  • Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) - loose sequel to Dirty Dancing
  • Step Up (2006) - A hip hop meets ballet love story.
  • Make It Happen (2008) - A story about a girl (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who finds a new dance technique; burlesque cross hip hop.
  • Pina (2011)
  • Love n' Dancing (2009)
  • Turn the Beat Around (2010)
  • The War Zone 3D (2011)
  • Footloose" (2011)

Movies with memorable dance scenes

TV shows

See category:Dance television shows

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dance Hall (film) — Dance Hall Petula Clark and Douglas Barr in Dance Hall Directed by Charles Crichton Produced by E.V.H. Emmett …   Wikipedia

  • Dance Macabre (film) — Dance Macabre Directed by Greydon Clark Produced by Menahem Golan Written by Greydon Clark Starring …   Wikipedia

  • Shall We Dance? (1996 film) — Infobox Film name = Shall We Dansu? image size = 200px caption = Publicity poster for Shall We Dansu? director = Masayuki Suo producer = Yasuyoshi Tokuma writer = Masayuki Suo narrator = starring = Kôji Yakusho Tamiyo Kusakari music = Yoshikazu… …   Wikipedia

  • On with the Dance (1920 film) — This article is about the 1920 film. For the 1925 musical revue, see On With the Dance (musical). For the 1975 Upstairs, Downstairs episode, see On With the Dance. On with the Dance theatrical poster …   Wikipedia

  • Shall We Dance? (2004 film) — Infobox Film name = Shall We Dance? imdb id = 0358135 amg id = 1:288231 writer = Audrey Wells starring = Richard Gere Jennifer Lopez Susan Sarandon Stanley Tucci Lisa Ann Walter Richard Jenkins Bobby Cannavale Omar Benson Miller Anita Gillette… …   Wikipedia

  • One Last Dance (2003 film) — One Last Dance is an American romantic drama about three dancers in New York City, released in 2003. It was directed by Lisa Niemi, wife of actor Patrick Swayze. The movie starred both Swayze and Niemi. It was filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada …   Wikipedia

  • The Dance (1998 film) — The Dance Directed by Ágúst Guðmundsson Produced by Ágúst Guðmundsson Written by Kristín Atladóttir Ágúst Guðmundsson William Heinesen (short story) …   Wikipedia

  • Dance film — is the creation of choreography that exists only in the medium of film/video. At its best, DanceFilm uses filming and editing techniques to create twists in the plotline, multiple layers of reality, and emotional/psychological depth. DanceFilm is …   Wikipedia

  • Dance and health — has been subject of a number of research studies which show dance to be a very healthy exercise. However there are a number of health risks of professional dance which require careful attention. As part of courtship dance is a reliable indicator… …   Wikipedia

  • Dance in mythology and religion — Dance is present in mythology and religion globally. Dance has certainly been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archeology delivers traces of dance… …   Wikipedia