Charlize Glass is a next-level Step Up fan. (photo by Joe Toreno)

Pretty much every dancer grows up obsessed with dance films. They're endlessly entertaining, of course—who doesn't love a dance movie night?—but they're also endlessly inspiring. As an accessible way to see the work of some of the world's best dancers and choreographers, dance movies are often our first real exposure to the incredible power of this art form.

We asked six A-list dance pros to talk about the dance films they couldn't—and still can't—get enough of.

Keep Reading Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Including West Side Story's "Dance at the Gym" (screenshot via YouTube)

Look, there are endless "best movie dance scenes" roundups out there. But our list is different.

While we have nothing but love for the gloriously awkward dance moments in films like Napoleon Dynamite and 13 Going on 30 (heart you, Jennifer Garner!), we decided to focus on scenes that involve really good dancing.

Behold, the serious dance-lover's guide to the movies—presented without commentary, in chronological order.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos
Screenshot via YouTube

To say it's been a great few weeks for dance movies is an understatement—we found out mere days ago that "Driven to Dance," starring Juliet Doherty, was streaming on Netflix. And now, in what can only be described as the single best way to start the weekend, "I Dream of Dance" is streaming on Netflix.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News
Doherty in Driven to Dance (MarVista)

We repeat: Ballet goddess Juliet Doherty's movie Driven to Dance is streaming on Netflix. Right now.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News

Maddie Ziegler may be a teen, queen, dancing machine—however, her dance movie knowledge isn't quite on the level of her actual dance skills. Maddie took Teen Vogue's dance-movie quiz where she had to explain the plot and name some of the characters of specific dance movies. While some of the movies she was tested on were iconic dance flicks, Maddie points out she was born way after many of them were made.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos
Including Dance Academy: The Comeback, naturally. (ZDF Enterprises)

We're deep in the lazy, hazy days of summer—and there's no better time to kick back, relax, and watch one of the many dancetastic movies that've come out recently. Which should you add to your queue? Here are eight must-watches.

Keep Reading Show less
Just for Fun

Summer is here, which means it's time for a good dance movie binge with the A/C blasting. 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!

Keep Reading Show less
Just for Fun

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!

Keep Reading Show less
Just for Fun
Photo by Lucas Chilczuk

Click here to get the inside scoop on the film High Strung: Free Dance!

Juliet Doherty has been at home in the studio and the spotlight since before she could walk. The 21-year-old comes from a long line of dancers: She practically grew up at the school her grandmother owned, Fishback Studio of the Dance in Albuquerque, NM, and her mom was her longtime teacher. As a young student, Doherty competed at the world's toughest ballet competitions and performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas SpectacularRadio City Christmas Spectacular. Eventually, she left Albuquerque to train at the San Francisco Ballet School for three years, and then she danced with Phoenix Ballet for two years.

Along the way, Doherty discovered another great love: acting. In 2014, she was part of the cast of the Susan Stroman–directed musical Little Dancer (alongside Tiler Peck). And in 2017, she appeared in her first film, On Pointe—playing, naturally, an ambitious young dancer.

Now, Doherty's on the big screen again, starring as Barlow in High Strung: Free Dance. Plus, she has a new city to call home: NYC. Doherty sat down with us to talk about the film, her transition into acting, and what's next.

Keep Reading Show less
Cover Story
Juliet Doherty and Thomas Doherty in High Strung: Free Dance (photo by Jo Bee, courtesy Michael Damian)

Click here to get the inside scoop on High Strung: Free Dance's leading lady, Juliet Doherty!

High Strung: Free Dance, the sequel to 2016's epic High Strung, is about to hit theaters. We've got all the details on the super-dancy film.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News
Boylston in the Red Sparrow trailer (via YouTube)

The much-anticipated ballet thriller Red Sparrow hits movie theaters today, March 2. The film tells the story of a fierce Russian ballerina, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who's recruited by the Sparrow School, a secret Russian intelligence service that trains young people to use their bodies and minds as weapons. Expect lots of suspense, but also lots of dreamy dance scenes, thanks to Lawrence's dance double, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston; Lawrence's dance partner, Sergei Polunin; and choreography by New York City Ballet's Justin Peck.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News
Misty Copeland in a still from A Ballerina's Tale, streaming now on Netflix

Winter break has finally arrived! When you're not busy hanging out with your family or finishing up Nutcracker performances, we know you'll make time for some good old-fashioned binge-watching. And Netflix and Hulu have you covered, with a wide array of dance films and shows to add to your queue. Here are our top picks.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance Videos

The latest original musical to grace the big screen, The Greatest Showman follows the life and times of P.T. Barnum, and the events that inspired him to create the famous Barnum & Bailey Circus—often dubbed "The Greatest Show on Earth"—in the mid-1800s. Hugh Jackman stars as the entertainer, joined by celebs like Zendaya (who plays a graceful trapeze artist) and Zac Efron (who plays a circus performer and love interest to Zendaya's character). As Barnum assembles a dazzling spectacle of performers, the cast gets to participate in some epic dance numbers, choreographed by Ashley Wallen. Here, Wallen gives us the behind-the-scenes scoop on the film's moves.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance News
A still from Center Stage (via sonymoviechannel.com)

From Dirty Dancing to Center Stage to Black Swan, there are a lot of epic dance movies out there. But how well do you REALLY know them all? Take our quiz to find out!

Keep Reading Show less
Quiz

Whether you're a musical theater buff or someone who lives for the Step Up franchise, you have to admit that dance movie scenes are often (all too) representative of real life. Here are five of our favorite scenes that, despite being silly and/or fantastical, somehow manage to reflect how we feel.

1. Did you just get cast in your dream role? Ace a test? Is "You Can't Stop the Beat," from Hairspray, running through your mind right now? It's an amazing anthem to sing to yourself when you feel unstoppable.

2. The warehouse dance scene in the original Footloose is legendary. This is how we deal with casting disappointments when nobody's watching.

3. "Good Morning," from Singin' in the Rain is so cheerful that it's easy to forget the song is sung by exhausted people who have just pulled an all-nighter. But anyone who says they don't do a victory dance when they come up with a great idea is lying.

4. Does the audition scene in Flashdance perfectly capture all of our audition anxiety? YES. But like any successful dancer, Alex shows exactly why she's unique—and it wins her a spot at a prestigious art school. Also, her high-cut leo and legwarmers are everything.

5. "We Go Together" from Grease perfectly encapsulates our feelings at the end of the school year or a summer intensive, or after a show closes: We're both relieved and sad that everything is over, but we know we've had an amazing bonding experience with our friends and colleagues.

 

Want more Dance Spirit?

Dance News

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways