If dancing interests you, then you must love to watch dance movies. However, there are thousands of dance movies on the internet, and finding the best can be hard. While you may find some dance movies interesting, others have wack storylines and a cast with poor acting skills. In this article, you are going to find the top 10 best movies about dancing. These dance movies were released between the 1980s to the early 2000s. They feature different music and dance genres like hip hop, ballet, and tap dancing. In addition, they have interesting storylines that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat.
1. Black Swan (2010)
This movie kicks off with Thomas Leroy, the owner of a ballet company who cares for nothing besides his ego. When Leroy decides to bring back the classical ballet, Swan Lake, all he wants is the perfect cast. As a result, he decides to force Beth, his former lover, and classical ballet dancer, into retirement. Nina, who is the daughter of a former classical ballet dancer, decides to try out for the role. However, Swan Lake requires the lead actress to act in the role of a White Swan and a Black Swan. While the White Swan is a depiction of innocence and naivety, the Black Swan is bold and seductive.
When Nina couldn’t ace the audition for the role of Black Swan because she looks too innocent, Leroy had to go searching. Fortune smiled on Leroy when Lily, Nina’s lookalike, walked into the company to audition for the role of a black swan. Besides acting the role of the black swan perfectly, Lily was everything Nina wasn’t, resulting in a rivalry between them. Blinded by jealousy and the desire to make her mother proud, Nina’s dark side becomes visible.
2. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Dirty Dancing is a classic movie made in the late 80s with a lot of music and dance. This American movie is about a lady who visits a resort during a holiday and falls in love with a dance teacher. The lead actress, Baby Houseman, together with her family, visits a modern resort owned by her father’s friend. One night, she stumbled on a dirty dancing party, held in secret by the resort staff every night. There she meets Johnny, a dance teacher at the resort, and develops a crush on him.
However, everything changes when Johnny’s dance partner, Penny, becomes pregnant. When Baby realizes that Penny was impregnated by Robbie, a waiter who is currently dating her older sister, she seeks a solution. Baby asks her father, Jake, to lend her some money, which she uses to fund the abortion of Penny’s pregnancy. To cover up for Penny’s absence, Baby offers to become Jonny’s dance partner, which he reluctantly accepts. The abortion carried out on penny was done by a quack doctor, which resulted in some complications. The baby had to seek her father’s help, who is a medical doctor and Johnny assumed responsibility for the pregnancy. Jake, Baby’s father, stops his daughter from seeing Johnny but she continues to do so, albeit secretly. At the end of the holiday, Robbie was discovered for who he was and Baby and Johnny performed their last dance.
3. Billy Elliot (2000)
Set in 1984, this dance movie is about an eleven-year-old boy named Billy who found out that he had a thing for ballet. However, his dad wasn’t in support of Billy’s newly found passion because of the many stereotypes surrounding male ballet dancers. Jackie, Billy’s dad, told him to enroll in a gym so he can learn to box. As Billy got to the gym, he found out that it was being used as a temporary ballet studio. Unknown to his father, Billy signed up for ballet and began to attend classes under the guise of learning to box.
Hell breaks loose when Jackie found out that Billy was attending ballet classes at the gym instead of boxing. He prevents Billy from going to the gym for ballet classes. But overtaken by his desire to become a professional ballet dancer, Billy began to take secret classes with the assistance of his dance tutor, Sandra. Fuelled by Sandra’s belief in him, Billy tried to audition for a spot at the London’s Royal Ballet School. However, he failed to turn up for the audition when the police arrests his older brother, Tony. Jackie saw how passionate his son was about dancing when he stumbled on him dancing with a friend. At the end of the movie, Jackie gives his full support. Billy was able to audition and the ballet school in London admitted him.
4. Dance with Me (1998)
Rafael arrived in Houston in search of his father after the death of his mother in Cuba. While searching for the father he had no idea about, he found employment in a dance studio doing odd jobs. The dance studio is owned by Burnett and all evidence is pointing toward Burnett as Rafael’s unknown father. During his stay at the dance studio, Rafael falls in love with Ruby, a dancer at the studio. However, there is a dance competition in Las Vegas and Ruby will be participating together with her son’s father, Julian. Burnett decides not to participate in the competition and asked Rafael to take his place with his dance partner, Patricia. He also told Rafael to go home after the competition, that he isn’t his father.
During the competition, Ruby danced with the father of her son and former dance partner, Julian. As Rafael danced with Patricia, Ruby realized she was in love with him. Ruby and Julian won the competition, and Burnette arrived in Las Vegas to convince Rafael not to go back to Cuba. Rafael agreed to stay back and he and Ruby danced during the party held after the competition.
5. Honey (2003)
This 2003 dance movie features the best American stars and choreographers. It is the story of a young woman in NYC with three jobs and a dream of becoming a hip-hop choreographer. Honey Daniel is a bartender at a local club, a clerk at a record store, and a dance tutor in a community center owned by her mother. One night after her shift as a bartender, she had a dance-off at the club with Katrina, a supposed rival. The video of their dance-off was seen by a director and he decided to feature Honey as a backup dancer. From a backup dancer, Honey took over as the choreographer. Even though being a choreographer was everything Honey wanted, it didn’t give her time to volunteer at the community center.
Honey asked the director to allow her to feature the boys at the community center in the next movie video. He agreed, but when he made moves on her, which she turned down, he decided to use Katrina instead. A furious Honey decided to organize a dance charity program and the boys at the community center helped out. After Katrina was rejected several times, Michael asks Honey to continue working for him and she turns down his request. With the help of charity donors and a loan from a bank manager, Honey was able to buy the dance studio.
6. Hairspray (2007)
Tracy Turnblad, who is the star of this movie, is an overweight 16 years old high school girl. The movie is set in 1962 Baltimore and the plot revolves around a dance show for teenagers that is aired on television. Tracy and her best friend, Penny, are addicted to the show and want nothing more than to feature in it. Two of their classmates, Amber and Link, who are both dating, are dancers on the show. But there was a problem. The show only featured white teenagers and Amber’s mother is the manager of the TV station, giving her more edge. When Tracy tried to audition for a spot, she was turned down because of her body weight.
Tracy’s punishment for skipping a class to go audition was detention. During detention, she saw a group of black American boys dancing and they taught her some moves. When Corny, the owner of the teen dance show, saw Tracy’s cool dance moves, he decided that she join them. There, Tracy becomes one of the best dancers and falls in love with Link. As a result of jealousy, Amber’s mother tried to sabotage Tracy. However, she was caught and sacked.
7. Flashdance (1983)
Alex, an 18-year-old performer at a bar and grill, is a worker at a steel company during the day. Even though she wants to dance professionally, Alex has no formal training. With no family around except for her dog, Alex has no choice but to make friends with her work colleagues. However, she catches the fancy of Nick, her boss at the steel company, but she turns him down. When the owner of a nightclub asked Alex to become a strip dancer, she decided to apply to a dance school. The requirements to apply to the dance school included years of dancing experience, which discouraged Alex.
The owner of the nightclub tried to assault Alex and her coworker one night, but Nick came to the rescue. This resulted in both of them starting a romantic relationship. Nick encouraged Alex to apply to the dance school again and used his connections to ensure she gets to audition. Even though this didn’t sit well with Nicky, she went for the audition and wowed the judges.
8. Showgirls (1995)
Las Vegas is the only place Nomi Malone stood a chance of becoming a showgirl. She hitched a ride to this colorful city. However, on getting to the city, the driver she hitched a ride with robbed her of all her possessions. Stranded in a city she is new to, Nomi meets Molly, who took her into her apartment. In Las Vegas, Nomi became a stripper in a club, a job for which Molly’s coworker, Cristal, shamed her. After facing a lot of humiliations from Cristal, Nomi decides to teach her a lesson by going out with her boyfriend, Zack.
Zack, who is an entertainment manager at the casino Cristal works, offers to give Nomi Cristal’s job. Cristal kicked against it and threatened the casino with a lawsuit. During an argument, Nomi pushes Cristal down the stairs, causing her to sustain an injury that makes her unable to perform again. Nomi took Cristal’s job, much to the chagrin of Molly, who knew about the incident. After Molly was assaulted and the casino refused to press charges, Nomi seeks vengeance for Molly. She then visited the hospital and asked for Cristal’s forgiveness before leaving Las Vegas.
9. Shall we Dance? (2004)
Everyone thinks John Clark’s life is perfect except him. He is a lawyer, with a beautiful wife and kids, but he still feels incomplete. Whenever he was coming home from the office, he always saw a sad woman through the window of a dance center. Drawn to her, John decides to sign up for dance classes with the hope of seeing her again. However, he was surprised when he discovered that she wasn’t the instructor at the dance center. She was cold towards him, as she guessed that he was there because of her. With time, John became good at dancing even though he hid that aspect of him from his wife, Beverly.
Beverly, who didn’t understand her husband’s new behavior, employs a private detective to keep an eye on him. When she discovers that he always goes to dancing classes after work, she chose not to confront him. John’s enthusiasm for dancing motivated Paulina to try out again at a competition she once lost. During one of John’s performances, his wife and child came to support him, causing him to lose concentration. After an argument with his wife, John quits dancing but reconciled with his wife when she got him a pair of dancing shoes.
10. Tap (1989)
Tap is a 1989 dance movie featuring Max Washington, a professional tap dancer. In the movie, Max had just been released from prison and doesn’t want to continue dancing. His late dad’s dance studio was being managed by his former girlfriend’s Father. Amy, his former girlfriend, is an upcoming dancer in a TV show and tells the director about Max. But Max’s old friends want him to help them in pulling another jewel robbery. After a lot of back and forth, Max agreed to audition for a role in the show. However, Max was humiliated by the director during the audition for the show.
Max is caught between showing the director how talented he is at tap dancing or going back to his life of crime. Amy, on the other hand, is not interested in continuing the relationship between them. She feels Max has become cold since he left prison and is angry by the humiliation the director meted out to him. Will Max go back to his life of burglary? And is there a chance of him and Amy coming back together again? These questions are yours to answer when you watch the movie.
Dance movies have been quite popular since the 80s and even until today. As a result of this, most dance movies become major blockbusters immediately after they are released. The movies discussed in this article are quite interesting as they feature unique storylines and awesome dance moves. Besides being entertained, you can learn some cool dance moves by watching any of these movies. Finally, the best breakdance movies list here is fun.