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National Dance Day

Posted on: July 30, 2011

Today marks the second annual National Dance Day.  To celebrate, I have listed my favorite dance movies of all time.  Enjoy!

10. Dirty Dancing (1987) – The late Patrick Swayze was wonderful as Johnny, the rebel dance instructor.  And remember, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”

9. Flashdance (1983) – If Alex (played by Jennifer Beals) can get into a prestigious ballet school after working as welder and exotic dancer, then anybody can!  Dancers everywhere wore cut-up sweatshirts after this movie.

8. Dancers (1987) – Mikhail Baryshnikov and Julie Kent starred as professional dancers making a film version of the famous ballet, Giselle.  The dancing was beautiful, and I still have my official movie poster!

7. White Nights (1985) – Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines are featured in this classic.  Who can forget Hines’ brilliant moves, Misha’s famous pirouette scene, or “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie?

6. Fame (1980) – Who didn’t want to be a student at the New York High School of Performing Arts?  I love how the film weaves the students together in their various genres.  And obviously, Debbie Allen rocks as Lydia!

5. Billy Elliot (2000) – This film shows how Billy, played by the unbelievably talented Jamie Bell, uses dance to find joy and overcome his obstacles.  It’s a fabulous story that you will never forget.

4. All That Jazz (1979) – This movie is the semi-autobiographical tale of the legendary Bob Fosse.  It’s a fascinating look into the world of Broadway.  The dancing is spectacular, and I absolutely love Ann Reinking as Kate.

3. Black Swan (2010) – This film was frequently advertised as a “psychological thriller”.  What a massive understatement!  The way in which director Darren Aronofsky uses the story of the ballet, Swan Lake, is genius!  Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are both incredible, and the dancing is heartbreakingly gorgeous.

2. Center Stage (2000) – The love triangle between Jody (Amanda Schull), Cooper (Ethan Stiefel), and Charlie (Sascha Radetsky) is played out on stage during the big performance finale.  This movie gives a realistic view of the pursuit of becoming a professional ballet dancer.  The dance sequences are amazing, and the soundtrack is awesome!

1. The Turning Point (1977) – This film has an outstanding cast with Mikhail Baryshnikov as Yuri, Shirley MacLaine as Dee Dee, Anne Bancroft as Emma, and Leslie Browne as Emilia.  The story revolves around the sacrifices that must be made to become a professional dancer and the conflicts that arise on the way to the top.  The dance scenes are excellent with Emilia and Yuri, and the cat-fight scene between Emma and Dee Dee is unforgettable!

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