The 30 Best Dance Movies of All Time, Ranked
Colder weather is (finally) here, which means it's time for a good dance movie binge. But which iconic films should you put on? To narrow your search, we went ahead and ranked 30 of the greatest dance movies of all time.
Of course, we know a list like this is bound to be controversial—so if you disagree with our lineup, have at it in the comments!
Jessica Alba as a small-town dance teacher with huge choreographer dreams? Yes, please!
29. "Happy Feet"
Tap-dancing penguins? YAS!
Cher + Christina Aguilera + all kinds of fun dancing = GOLD.
27. "Strictly Ballroom"
We're always here for killer ballroom skills, and Strictly Ballroom certainly doesn't disappoint.
26. "Step Up 2: The Streets"
This film had us wishing we, too, could be rebellious street dancers.
25. "Step Up 3D"
The third film in the Step Up franchise comes in one place better than its predecessor thanks to Jon M. Chu's fabulous direction.
24. "Save the Last Dance"
We always save time for this early-2000s classic.
23. "You Got Served"
You can serve us some amazing street dancing any day of the week, TBH.
22. "High Strung"
A romance between a classical dancer and a rebellious violinist? SO GOOD.
Fame had us dreaming that we could attend the High School of Performing Arts in NYC, too.
20. "Swing Time"
We're throwing it back all the way to 1936 with this Fred Astaire dance film, which is nothing short of legendary.
19. "The Turning Point"
Shirley MacLaine is a goddess in this 1977 film, which also features some incredible real-life dance stars (hello, Mikhail Baryshnikov!).
YOU CAN'T STOP THE BEAT! Sign us up for any dance film starring Zac Efron.
17. "All That Jazz"
Of course Bob Fosse's semi-autobiographical film had to make our list. Ann Reinking is so many #goals in this one.
Speaking of "All That Jazz"—you can never have too much Fosse in your life. And Catherine Zeta-Jones' dance skills are impressively legit.
15. "Shall We Dance?"
WHY YES, FRED AND GINGER. YES WE SHALL.
14. "The Red Shoes"
The film that inspired a whole generation of girls to start dancing is a forever classic.
13. "Black Swan"
Body-double controversy aside, this thriller does feature some great dancing.
12. "White Nights"
We LIVE for the dance skills of Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov and the choreographic talent of Twyla Tharp.
11. "Saturday Night Fever"
This iconic disco film made John Travolta a dancing star.
What a feeling this '80s classic gives us every time we watch it!
Obviously, we're talking about the 1984 original. Everybody cut, everybody cut...
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome—to one of the best dance films ever.
7. "Step Up"
It doesn't matter how many sequels they make: No Step Up film will ever be better than the original.
6. "An American in Paris"
Gene Kelly can do no wrong. An American in Paris is the stuff of legend.
5. "Billy Elliot"
Following 11-year-old Billy's journey from a small coal-mining town to the ballet stage will give you alllll the feels.
4. "Singing' in the Rain"
SO much love for Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor!
3. "Dirty Dancing"
Nobody puts Baby—or this '80s spectacular—in a corner. Patrick Swayze's dancing takes things to a whoooole other level.
2. "West Side Story"
Nobody had ever seen anything quite like this revolutionary film when it premiered, changing the dance (and film) world forever.
1. "Center Stage"
Well, OBVIOUSLY. The best dance movie ever made—and possibly just the best movie ever made, period.
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancy FX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: