It may be all the rage on television, but movies have been dance oriented since the days of Gene Kelly. Dance movies can be hilarious, disturbing, and even inspirational. To help you see how much inspiration can come from a dance film, we have gathered a few of the most inspirational films that involved dance below.
- Singin’ in the Rain – The film also brings dancing in addition to the singing. Although it was made in the 50’s, the story takes place in the era where silent films are becoming a thing of the past. Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds star. It received two Oscar nominations and won the Golden Globe for actor Donald O’Connor.
- The Red Shoes – This 1948 British film centers on the life of a ballet dancer. In addition to being one of the most inspirational dance films, it also employed the “story within a story” methods of film. It won the Academy Award for Best Art and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.
- Billy Elliot – Young Billy is a man trying to find himself in Ireland. In this coming of age film, he must choose between boxing, a traditional sport for boys, or dancing, his true passion. The film is inspirational for following your heart and standing up for yourself.
- Dirty Dancing – The awkward girl known as Baby grows up when she goes to a Catskills resort and meets a dance instructor. Although often criticized as a meaningless romance, the themes of growing up, following your heart, and standing up for who and what you believe them make the film inspirational. It also captures the beauty of Patrick Swayze’s dancing.
- Footloose – Also proving that dancing can be a bold statement was this film. Kevin Bacon plays a newcomer into a town where dancing is banned. With courage and friends, he is able to get everyone dancing and even a remake.
- Saturday Night Fever – Even if you hate disco, you can’t hate this 1977 classic for John Travolta’s break out performance. He plays a down on his luck Brooklyn kid who finds a new life and glory on the dance floor. He also finds love and his true calling.
- Strictly Ballroom – This Australian film is all about a ballroom dancer who seeks to expand his craft. He and his partner seek to shake up the dancing world while dealing with family issues. A must see for lovers of ballroom dance.
- Mad Hot Ballroom – Who says all dance movies have to be scripted? In this documentary, a group of elementary school children is followed as they are taught how to dance in the ballroom style. Also a good choice for those who think they can’t dance.
- Fame – The dancers in this film literally seek to live forever by becoming famous dancers. It takes place in a performing arts school in New York City. It even comes with all the fashion and flare of the 80’s.
- Scent of a Woman – It isn’t a dance movie, but it is an inspirational one. Al Pacino plays a suicidal blind man out on his last hoorah. He instead finds reason to live and one of the best uses of dance in the film when he performs a tango and inspires the line “when you get tangled up, tango on.”
Natalie Dawson owns the site Masters Degrees. She enjoys writing articles about everything in the education field.