14 Ultimate Movie Dance Moments That Will Never Fade According to Fans

Mary Poppins (1964)

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A memorable movie moment will delight viewers and stand the test of time. Dance sequences in films, whether in a musical or otherwise, can most assuredly achieve this status. On a popular movie forum, fans discuss the dance moments that captured their hearts and will never lose their luster.

1. “Singin’ in the Rain”- Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin’ in the Rain
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Arguably the most iconic dance in film history, Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain” goes beyond the delightful realm. In the pouring rain, Kelly beams, dancing through the street, jumping onto a lamppost, splashing in puddles, and playing with his umbrella without a care in the world. Kelly makes the exuberant moment look effortless, and amazingly, he performed the entire scene with a fever of 103. One person notes, “He nailed it. [He] turned a simple song into an epic, classic dance scene that echoes the feelings and energy of first love.”

2. “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”- Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing (1987)
Image Credit: Vestron Pictures.

Often imitated but never replicated, most Dirty Dancing fans would admit they have, at least, thought of attempting the epic lift from this iconic dance sequence. At the film’s end, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s Johnny and Baby share this special moment with Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley’s “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.”

The culmination of their relationship and endless hours of rehearsals, their ending might be bittersweet, but their dance is anything but. The entire sequence enchants, but when Johnny lifts Baby into the air, our collective hearts soar, creating a moment that never grows old.

3. “Dance at the Gym”- West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story (1961)
Image Credit: United Artists.

Fans love many of the dance moments from West Side Story. The choreography from Jerome Robbins proves seminal, influential, and synonymous with the film. While the “Prologue,” “America,” and “Cool” all feature incredible dancing, viewers name “Dance at the Gym” as the most memorable and iconic.

With the entire cast in the scene, the rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, have a dance-off of sorts to a Mambo. The completely different dance styles, colors, and high energy create a spectacular scene. Russ Tamblyn is especially impressive with his acrobatic leaps.

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4. “Pick Yourself Up”- Swing Time (1936)

Swing Time (1936)
Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

A movie dance list would only be complete with something from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Their most lively and energetic number comes from the film Swing Time. At a dancing school where Rogers teaches, Astaire pretends to be a novice, and the two engage in the effervescent “Pick Yourself Up.” Their perfect unison leaps over railings and toe-tapping perfection exude joy and enchant the audience. The scene showcases Astaire’s light-as-air footwork and Roger’s ability to match him step for step. After all, as artist Bob Thaves said, “Ginger Rogers did everything [Astaire] did, but backward and in high heels.”

5. “Cooper’s Ballet”- Center Stage (2000)

Center Stage (2000)
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Just because a film portrays dancers doesn’t mean it will bring us dynamic and entertaining musical sequences. But Center Stage delivers on all accounts. The story follows students at the American Ballet Academy in New York. At the film’s end, they put on an epic performance that blends classical and modern music, including Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty,” Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat.”

The latter song dazzles viewers with its boundless energy, bright colors, and impressive performances. One fan asserts, “The choreographers for Center Stage did a really good job of making the last dance number feel magical. I could watch this scene over and over. It hits all the feels.”

6. “Barn Dance”- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Image Credit: MGM Television.

Bright, fun, and colorful, the “Barn Dance” from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers works as a significant plot device and iconic piece of entertainment. In the scene, the backwoodsmen Ponitpee Brothers compete with the town’s gentlemen to dance with several lovely women. They keep trying to one-up each other, showing off their incredible skills. Viewers find themselves in awe. One individual confirms, “The choreography, the athleticism, the costumes, [its] sheer perfection.”

7. “Footloose”- Footloose (1984)

Footloose (1984)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

From the first iconic beats of “Footloose,” we are transported to the effervescent end of the film, where everyone can finally be footloose and fancy-free. The Kevin Bacon-led classic sequence inspires us all to get up and dance with the same enthusiasm. Filled with high energy, confetti, and signature dance moves, Bacon and company create a unique and unforgettable movie moment.

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8. “Step in Time”- Mary Poppins (1964)

Mary Poppins (1964)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

Unsurprisingly, one of the most beloved films of all time, Mary Poppins, features many memorable musical numbers. But of all the dance sequences, “Step in Time” holds the most evergreen appeal, and understandably so. Chimney sweep Bert leads his fellow sweeps in a lively dance sequence across the London rooftops with incredible athletic feats. Someone raves, “The man does a forward roll to a standing jump.”

9. “Cell Block Tango”- Chicago (2002)

Chicago (2002)
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

How often have fans of this dark and dynamic musical begun singing “He had it coming,” bringing out their sultry side? Director Rob Marshall brings the Broadway musical to the screen with unique and creative vigor, including the “Cell Block Tango.” The juxtaposition of shadows and bright red astonishes the audience as the prisoners describe their “justifiable” crimes. The scene features intricate choreography that matches the song’s tone. Several users praise the spectacular performers, particularly Catharine Zeta-Jones, who was pregnant at the time.

10. “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing”- White Christmas (1954)

White Christmas (1954)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In this classic White Christmas moment, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen dance their way into viewers’ hearts with their dreamy, vibrant, romantic dance. The scene showcases their blossoming feelings and the wonders of dance with grace and beauty. One moviegoer states, “[This scene] made me fall in love with dance from a very young age.”

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11. “The Laendler”- The Sound of Music (1964)

The Sound of Music (1964)
Image Credit: 20th Century-Fox.

Dancing need not be up-tempo to be enjoyable or memorable. A pristine example would be “The Laendler,” the Austrian folk song Maria and Captain Von Trapp dance to romantic perfection. The pair exude a palpable chemistry during the lovely moment that moves us. One individual claims, “This scene brought tears to my eyes,” while another denotes it’s their favorite scene ever.

12. “You Can Never Tell”- Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994)
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

In the most iconic scene from Pulp Fiction, and indeed one of the most famous in cinema history, John Travolta and Uma Thurman exude a cool attitude with charisma and simplicity. As one filmgoer remarks, “They caught the mood and the character’s personalities perfectly.” Their uncomplicated dance captures the essence of the film perfectly. It has become a favorite and often imitated moment in popular culture and everyday life.

13. “A Postcard to Henry Purcell”- Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The luminous and utterly romantic quality of Pride and Prejudice can be seen in numerous moments. Most agree that one of these scenes would be Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s dance at the Netherfield Ball. Their bickering masks the simmering tension as their chemistry shines through, especially when the scene shows everyone but the pair disappear as if they’re the only two in the room. One person says, “When it cut to just them, I audibly gasped. The cinematic delight of this film was everything my romantic heart needed. I wish I could watch it again for the first time.”

14. “Jumping Jive”- Stormy Weather (1943)

Stormy Weather (1943)
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The Nicholas Brothers reside in a class all their own. Their amazing dancing feats shine the brightest during the “Jumping Jive” sequence in Stormy Weather. The pair do splits while dancing down a staircase. Their talent feels otherworldly. A cinephile acknowledges, “They literally defy gravity and do things no one can replicate to this day.”

Source: Reddit.


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