Now is the perfect time for a movie night and some DANCEspiration! Dance Stables is here to help! Check out this list of 10 Must-see Dance Films, as voted for by the Dance Stables team. There’s a mixture of dance film classics, as well as lots of current ones too. Among this list, you will see films that inspired us to dance and to follow dance as a profession. We would absolute love to pass on these gems of inspiration to you. How many of these have you seen? Don’t worry if you haven’t yet watched - some great news, most of these film are available to download on Netflix or Prime TV! That’s our next 10 lockdown evening sorted! You'll be dancing around your living rooms in no time - Thank us later!
1. ‘Dirty Dancing’
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner” This 1987 classic, see’s Frances “Baby” Houseman, played by Jennifer Grey, fall in love with her holiday camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle, played by the one and only Patrick Swayze. This is a huge favourite song the team, especially our Admin Assistant Lee. This is such a classic that it was turned into a West End Musical in 2006. It has such an amazing soundtrack of the 60s. Who's going to give that famous lift a go? https://youtu.be/WpmILPAcRQo
2. ‘Step Up’
A favourite of DS teacher Nicola, 'Step Up' was the film that brought us Channing Tatum. This 2006 film is the story of Tyler Gage, played by Channing Tatum, who receives an opportunity of a lifetime to attend a dance school on full scholarship. We particularly love this film as its where the two leads, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, fell in love in real life! We love a bit of dance-related romance.
3. 'Billy Elliot'
We love to boogie and this film is one of DS teacher Hannah’s favourite. This film, set in 1984, tells the story of an 11 year old boy who has hopes of becoming a professional dancer, with the backdrop of the 1984-85 miners strike in the UK. Also later turned into a Stage Musical, this film helped to open up the stage to many boys who too dreamed of being dancers. One of our favourite scenes is when Billy describes how dancing makes him feel, and we couldn't agree more! “Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity." https://youtu.be/U0tTT_87Hh8
4. ‘Centre Stage’
I watched this film on repeat! 'Centre Stage' follows a group of young dancers who enroll in a fictitious dance school called American Ballet Academy set in New York City. The film was actually shot on location at Joffrey Ballet School, and seeing these studios helped cement the ideas to me that training as a dancer was exactly what I was going to do when I grew up. Seeing the dancers working hard in the studio and on stage fusing dance styles was such an inspiration to me. https://youtu.be/P2XirHXS2k8
5. ‘A Chorus Line’
DS Manager Despina’s all time favourite, 'A Chorus Line' follows the audition process for a large production. This gives the viewer a real insight into what auditions can really be like, with hundreds of hopefuls aspiring for the same jobs. The stage version of this film is the sixth longest running shows on Broadway, and we can really see why! This is such a classic! https://youtu.be/4t7oXxFAlHM
6. ‘I Dream Of Dance’
This documentary captures how dancers prepare for competitions and follows the dance company led by Denise Wall and her son, Travis Wall. Loved by our DS Teacher Eliza, it gives you such great motivation to work hard in the dance studio and strive to be exceptional in whatever you do. It is now available on Netflix, so get watching! https://youtu.be/F55O6T8XnzU
7. ‘You Got Served’
Another of Despina’s favourites, ‘You Got Served’ follows a group of dancers who take part in a Street Dance competition. The Dance Battle scenes are so good, and shows some amazing choreography by Dave Scott and Shane Sparks. This will certainly make you get up and dance. https://youtu.be/_oOULG_nhEc
DS teacher Lauren was obsessed with this film and I just wanted to be Jessica Alba when she grew up. ‘Honey’ is about a young dancer and choreographer who teaches hip-hop at a local youth centre to encourage the children to stay off the streets. The final dance scene is just magical! https://youtu.be/yioKlQkV0io
9. ’Save The Last Dance’
‘Save The Last Dance’ is one of DS teacher Natasha’s favourites. Made in 2001, this film follows Sara Johnson, played by Julia Stiles, who hoped to study at Julliard School. One of the first films of its kind to fuse Ballet with Hip-Hop, and its quite the emotional rollercoaster. This is a such a classic, and has an incredible soundtrack to match - Jill Scott, Montell Jordan, K-Ci and JoJo, to name but a few.
‘Anima’ is a short film directed by Thom Yorke of Radiohead and can be watched on Netflix. Since its release in 2019, this has been an inspiration in our kids contemporary classes and has inspired some amazing dance development in our contemporary dance kids. This was released at the same time as Thom Yorke’s Album of the same name, and sees him act and dance as the main role. We love it. What do you think? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFpww9rkCoo
And that concludes our 10 Must-See Dance Films list. We hope we’ve inspired you to start watching or to re-watch one of your favourites.
Your favourite film missed from the list? Please get in touch and tell us why it is a must-see! Happy watching and keep dancing!