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Fifteen unforgettable dance scenes in the History of Cinema

Fifteen unforgettable dance scenes in the History of Cinema

Films are not only remembered for their classic scenes of romance, tragedy, comedies and action, but we can also include in this list countless scenes that made the audience thrilled and entertained by seeing the protagonists challenging their conflicts through dance and music. For this reason, let’s recall fifteen unforgettable dance scenes in the history of cinema.

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1- Bandits (2001)

One of the most contagious scenes in cinema starring the wonderful and red-haired Cate Blanchett singing and dancing to the hit of the 1980s, “Holding out for the hero” by singer Bonnie Tyler.

2 – Moulin Rouge (2001)

Amid all the cancan and burlesque atmosphere that set the tone of the film, Roxanne’s Tango scene is a moment apart. When it comes to drama coupled with dance, this sequence is pure perfection to show the love and tension between courtesan Satine brilliantly played by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor as Christian.

3 – Mamma Mia (2008)

Our divine Meryl Streep playing Donna, a dedicated and glorious mother, jumping on the couch singing and dancing Abba’s hit “Dancing Queen”, alongside her best and most fun friends anyone can have. This scene is absolutely necessary to break false paradigms that insist on believing that older women cannot be happy, love and enjoy life. It is really a break from that middle-age cliché.

4- Beauty and the Beast (1991)

A classic example of a dance scene used to illustrate the love that is being born among two characters so different, but equally passionate in this animated movie! That is one of the most sensitive and romantic scene ever.

5 – Boogie Nights (1997)

“Boogie Nights” portrays an interesting synopsis about a handsome and “well-endowed” young man who has a career as a porn actor and experiences peaks of fame and decadence. Amongst the events, dance scenes like this, with the best of “Disco-music” from the 70s.

6- Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Lots of cuteness and sweetness and a basic dose of shame from others! This scene sums up the mood of the film and it is impossible not to fall in love with Abigail Breslin – and the whole family – after that wonderful moment. The film deconstructs many patterns and shows that the child is not born prejudiced, but the way they live is that they corrupt their worldviews and values. This scene had reiterated that statement.

7- Black Swan (2010)

Beauty, pain and obsession set the tone for Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece. The genius in showing the darker side of ballet and the power of Natalie Portman’s performance make this drama film already a classic.

8- Billy Elliot (2000)

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting scenes in the British drama film “Billy Elliot” is when the father of the boy Billy, who has always been against the idea of ​​having a ballet dancer son, due to his prejudices and homophobia, does not resist the emotion of seeing the boy dancing with all his talent and love for the ballet. The scene is classic and makes any kind of “macho man” cry!

9 – Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Impossible to talk about dance in the cinema without talking about John Travolta, right? The hip of the Hollywood star did not lie and the handsome actor really had danced during filming the dance scene, showing his swing on the dance floors. The film was responsible for the boom of “disco music” in the late 1970s and transformed John Travolta into a movie star and also, the most desired man in the world.

10- Footloose (1984)

Even if you don’t have the swing of Ren (Kevin Bacon) and his dance partners, who are fighting against the conservatism of a small town that has banned rock roll and dancing, it is basically impossible to watch this cult film from film sessions on TV without dancing, especially in the final scene. Everyone should have the rebellious spirit and jiggle like Kevin Bacon at least once in their lives. The film is pure energy and total nostalgia!

11 – Dirty Dancing (1987)

The film is sound and fury from beginning to end, but certainly, the final presentation of the couple Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) and Baby (Jennifer Gray) is the most wonderful of all. Get ready to be singing “The Time Of My Life” for hours!

12 – Grease (1978)

Who doesn’t find the scene between Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta) so cute and sweet, while they dance and sing “You’re the one that I want”, in an amusement park making a statement of love, during the summer of the 60s? John Travolta is an expert in immortalising dance movements in the history of cinema, as you can see in this list, right?

13 – Priscilla Queen of the Desert

One of the most iconic and entertaining scenes in the dramatic comedy “Priscilla” reveals the queens drags travelling through the arid Australian countryside on board the colourful and glitzy bus, singing and dubbing “Mamma Mia” by the Swedish group Abba.

14 – Pulp Fiction (1994)

And to end this list with an honourable mention, the last memorable dance scene in cinema goes to the charming and legendary film “Pulp Fiction”, by the incredible director Quentin Tarantino whose scene marks the plot twist between Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and Vincent Veja (John Travolta again”). Who remembers this fantastic scene?

14 – Flashdance (1983)


Another must-see classic scene for those who enjoy films about dance. This final scene is very popular in the history of cinema and until nowadays it serves as a reference for many musical movies productions. It’s pure inspiration for those who have a dream to achieve.

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I am a script and creative writer, journalist, producer, and marketing content developer with over 9 years of experience in Media (TV / Film Production), Communication, Journalism and Marketing. I worked for companies such as MTV, Animal Planet, Band, Discovery and, Fremantle Media. I am from Brazil, but I've been living in Dublin, Ireland, since 2017. I am also maniac for entertainment and pop culture.
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