Top 10 Best Dance Movies of All Time

Remember that short time in the mid-2000s when dance movies seemed to rule movie theaters? It seemed that every year we were gifted with a new Step Up installment, whether we asked for or not.

We’ve gathered a list of the top 10 best dance movies of Hollywood. Continue reading to know if you’re favorite one made the list. Heck, you might even discover a new go-to dance movie when you make it to the end.

Top 10 Best Dance Movies Of All Time

10. Bring It On (2000)

best dance movies Bring It On (2000)
A still from the movie Bring It On (2000)

Ah, the movie that started the cheerleading movie franchise our young selves loved to watch.

The first Bring It On (2000) movie features a young Kirsten Dunst as a peppy and determined cheer captain who’ll go out of her way to bring home her squad’s sixth national cheerleading title.

On the rare chance, that you haven’t watched this teen classic yet, expect to see lots of dancing (of course), catfights and witty cheers from the members of the Rancho Carne High School Toros and their nemesis, the East Compton Clovers.

9. Hairspray (2007)

Hairspray (2007)
A still from the movie Hairspray (2007)

Before the body positivity movement gained worldwide recognition, Hairspray has already thought us how having some meat on your bones isn’t a hindrance from achieving your dreams.

Based on a Broadway musical, Hairspray tells the story of dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad, who overcomes prejudice against her heavyset physique and make her way to become the star of a local teen dance television called, The Corny Collins Show.

Also, watch out for John Travolta’s comeback role in a fat suit as Tracy’s mom (yes, you read that right).

8. West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story (1961)
A still from the movie West Side Story (1961)

Another Broadway musical turned movie makes our list of the top 10 best dance movies.

West Side Story (1961), a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s tragic tale Romeo and Juliet, tells the story of two opposing New York City gangs and the pair of tragic lovers that are caught in their squabble.

If you liked Romeo + Juliet (yep, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) but thought it was too sad, check out this adaptation which will entertain you with both badass dancing fight scenes and romantic duets before hitting you with the inevitable tragic ending.

7. Grease (1978)

best dance movies Grease (1978)
A still from the movie Grease (1978)

Before John Travolta played Tracy’s mom in 2007’s Hairspray, he was a handsome greaser who fell in love with a square, Sandy in the classic film Grease (1978).

Although another adaptation of a Broadway musical (are you starting to see a pattern here?), Grease the film holds up to be one of the best dance musicals Hollywood has ever made.

Some iconic and memorable scenes include the film’s opening credits which featured the characters as cartoons and, of course, Sandy’s transformation from good girl to a leather-clad bad girl.

6. Billy Elliot (2000)

best dance movies of all time Billy Elliot (2000)
A still from the movie Billy Elliot (2000)

This may seem out of place on this list, but trust us, you’re gonna love this one.

Billy Elliot (2000) is an independent British dance film about a young boy who wants to be a ballerina. The film focuses on how this talented and relentless boy overcomes challenge after challenge that comes his way because of the stereotype that ballet is only for girls and not boys.

This heartfelt drama is the perfect movie to watch when you’re feeling lost and hopeless in pursuing your dreams, whether they’re dance-related or not.

5. Step Up 3D (2010)

best dance movies Step Up 3D (2010)
A still from the movie Step Up 3D (2010)

Of course, our list of best dance movies won’t be complete without the Step Up films.

Next up is Step Up 3D (2010) which is set in New York City and follows the stories of two dancers, Luke and Natalie, as they explore the city’s thriving underground street dance scene.

Come for the dancing, stay for the drama. This installation of Step Up features multiple side stories and drama that surrounds that overlap in the film. Who knew there was more drama in dancing?

Watch out for the well-choreographed dance routines (especially the last one) and of course, the cute, romantic scenes between Luke and Natalie.

4. Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)

best dance movies Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
A still from the movie Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)

Our second Step Up film to make this list is Step Up 2: The Streets (2008).

Here we follow the story of Andie and her struggle to balance her passion for dancing and the pressures that come with being in a new school. We’re sure you’ll be able to relate to this story whether you’re a dancer or not.

One of the best dance scenes you have to watch out for is Channing Tatum’s dance cameo at the beginning of the film where he did some peng dancing in a club.

3. Step Up (2006)

best dance movie Step Up (2006)
A still from the movie Step Up (2006)

Finally, we get to the film that fanned the craze for dance movies in the mid-2000s, the first Step Up movie originally released in 2006.

Before Channing Tatum became a macho dancer with Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike, he was Tyler Gage, a bad boy turned dancer.

Aside from the dancing, people often return to this movie for the romantic love story between Tyler and Nora who eventually becomes his dance partner. Can anything top that?

If you’re planning to go on a dance movie marathon, this hip hop dance film should be first on your list (and followed by its four sequels).

2. Center Stage (2000)

best dance movies Center Stage (2000)
A still from the movie Center Stage (2000)

Center Stage (2000), a movie about a group of young ballet dancers at the American Ballet Academy in New York, is one of the best ballet dance movies to watch with your friends.

It’s got a love story, an eating disorder plot and an artist trying to perfect her art plot all rolled into one fun movie.

Get ready to be entertained by not just ballet routines but also dance fusion ones. One of our favorite scenes is when Jody goes to a non-ballet dance class studio to let her hair down and dance her heart out.

1. Dirty Dancing (1987)

best dance movies of all time Dirty Dancing (1987)
A still from the movie Dirty Dancing (1987)

If you know dance movies, this old classic dance film won’t surprise you anymore.

Everybody and their mother seems to have watched Dirty Dancing (1987) at some point in their lives. Heck, we even know some people who religiously watch the film yearly.

Well, we can’t really blame them. Baby and Johnny’s steamy summer romance is a very watchable film. Even after multiple viewings, Dirty dancing never fails to impress and entertain. Besides, it’s fun to root for someone and see them succeed in the end.

But most importantly, it features young Patrick Swayze in his prime.

Also Read :

Top 10 Best Comedy Movies of All Time

Top 10 Best Action Movies of All Time

Agree with the order of movies on our best dance movies list? Which ones do you think we should’ve ranked higher? Tell us what you think and don’t forget to share this article with your friends.