April 29, 2019
Monday, April 29 is International Dance Day and what better way to celebrate this jumpin’ jive holiday then by looking at some of the most iconic dance scenes of all time.
In order to create this list, we ruled out musicals. (Too easy.) We also ruled out films that are centered around a lot of dancing, which means we had to cut some pretty iconic dance films like “Saturday Night Fever,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Center Stage” and even the impeccable dance sequence from the 1948 film, “Red Shoes.”
So, what makes a memorable dance scene? It's a little bit of campiness and a touch of artistry, whether that artistry is comedic or just 'cool', we'll leave that up to you to decide. The scenes chosen are also in no particular order. Depending on when you were born one will be more influential than another, either way, they're all great.
Here are the 10 most iconic dance scenes in a non-musical film.
Okay, okay, okay, we said no dance movies, but there's not that much dancing in this film until the very end. Sure, there is some dancing, but the whole movie is about how these people aren't legally allowed to dance. There's only one real dance scene and that's the final prom scene in the barn. The sheer joy that these characters feel to finally get to dance in an open setting is rather contagious.
"She's All That" has two very memorable dance scenes. The most iconic scene of the film is the somehow-choreographed dance sequence that has since begged the question what high school, especially one that isn’t an arts school, would choreograph an actual dance for prom? Too awesome, don’t care though. Honorable mention moves: Brock Hudson (Matthew Lillard) dancing to “Give It To Me” while literally everyone stares at him in confusion.
Little unknown fact about the cult classic "House Party" is that originally the two main roles were supposed to go to DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) before it went to hip hop duo Kid 'n Play. During the house party, the two get into a dance battle of sorts with Sydney and Sharane and gave us an infamous kick dance that would be attempted throughout the '90s by nearly everyone and their mother.
"Risky Business" gave us lots of wonderful Tom Cruise things, but the most important one includes tube socks, a candle stick holder, and tighty whiteys. It literally gave us the ultimate home alone power move. I think most people know the joys of sliding around on wood floors in socks, but who knew it could be so cool?!
Ferris Beuller ruling the parade with "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles was certainly one of the greatest scenes from this movie. It was such an infectious scene to shoot that the shots of people dancing in the building windows weren't planned.
This classic Quentin Tarantino film features one very iconic dance scene with John Travolta and Uma Thurman at Jack Rabbit Slim's where the two take part in the Watusi. Tarantino Honorable Mention: See "Reservoir Dogs" dance to "Stuck in the Middle with You" for a more brutal, NSFW dance scene.
Is there anything much better than getting possessed at a dinner party and having to dance out of pure force? Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound so great, but is it better if its to the tune of "Banana Boat Song" by Henry Belafonte and we get to see a dinner party turn into a crazy dance party? Also this movie gets an honorable mention for "Jump In Line" by Belafonte with a floating Winona Ryder.
This movie is a lot of things. A love story of telling the popular girl how much you've been in love with her for the past four years. (He's, like, the only one who can see her for who she really is, you guys.) Lots of insane hookups. People wastin' Kenny's "flava." But one of the best scenes from this movie is the nerd finally reaching his cool status with a drunken impromptu sing-a-long of "Paradise City" by Guns 'N Roses.
Of course this made the list, because how could this teen film with its communal and power dance scene not? If only Saturday detention was more dancing in the library and less picking up trash outside or sitting in a room with a teacher staring back at you. Bonus points for the dance scene played with "Liztomania" by Phoenix.
Napoleon just has some really sick moves, okay? Gosh! He can do whatever he want, and he proves that by kicking some serious a** on the stage. So, put on some chapstick, devour some delicious bass, and enjoy the wild ride that is Napoleon owning every single move in his repertoire.