30 Dance Movies for Dancers and Dance Fans

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If you love dance, than checkout this list of 30 dance movies that delve into the personal journeys, challenges, and triumphs that make dance a universal language.

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Dance, with its mesmerizing blend of rhythm, expression, and passion, has the remarkable ability to transcend language and touch the deepest corners of our souls. For dancers and enthusiasts alike, the magic of dance extends beyond the studio or stage, finding its captivating allure in movies!

We present “30 Dance Movies for Dancers and Dance Fans,” a celebration of cinematic narratives that twirl, leap, and pirouette through the diverse and enchanting world of dance.

From the grace of ballet to the pulsating beats of hip-hop, each movie on this list tells a unique story, capturing the essence of the art form in its various forms and styles. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer seeking inspiration or a devoted fan of dance in all its splendor, this collection promises a journey through the highs, lows, and intricacies of the dance universe that you will not want to miss.

These films not only showcase extraordinary choreography and performances but also delve into the personal journeys, challenges, and triumphs that make dance a universal language.

Lets get ready for a cinematic dance extravaganza that will make your heart beat to the rhythm of every twirl, jump, and step.

These 30 movies will prove that dance is a powerful and unforgettable expression of the human spirit.

dance movies checklist

30 Best Dance Movies

1. Billy Elliot (2000)

  • Director: Stephen Daldry
  • Cast: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis
  • Genre: Drama, Music
  • Rating: R
  • IMDb: ‘Billy Elliot’ on IMDb

Follow the journey of young Billy Elliot as he trades in his boxing gloves for ballet shoes in a small English town. This heartwarming tale is not just about dance, but a triumph of pursuing one’s passion against all odds. The film’s incredible choreography and Billy’s determination make it a must watch for dance enthusiasts.

2. Flashdance (1983)

  • Director: Adrian Lyne
  • Cast: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri
  • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  • Rating: R
  • IMDb: ‘Flashdance’ on IMDb

Alex Owens welds by day and dances by night, dreaming of making it as a professional dancer. “Flashdance” isn’t just iconic for leg warmers and off the shoulder sweatshirts, it’s a dance fueled journey that speaks to the aspirations of every dancer. The pulsating soundtrack and unforgettable routines are a feast for dance fans.

3. Black Swan (2010)

  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
  • Genre: Drama, Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • IMDb: ‘Black Swan’ on IMDb

Enter the intense and competitive world of professional ballet with Nina, whose pursuit of perfection takes a dark turn. “Black Swan” is a psychological thriller with breathtaking dance sequences, showcasing the beauty and brutality of the art. It’s a mesmerizing exploration of the sacrifices dancers make for their craft.

4. Footloose (1984)

  • Director: Herbert Ross
  • Cast: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow
  • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  • Rating: PG
  • IMDb: ‘Footloose’ on IMDb

Welcome to Bomont, where dancing is banned, and rebel Ren McCormack is determined to change that. “Footloose” is a celebration of freedom, self expression, and, of course, fantastic dance moves. It’s a timeless classic that’ll have dancers itching to kick off their Sunday shoes.

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)

  • Director: Emile Ardolino
  • Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey
  • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: ‘Dirty Dancing’ on IMDb

Nobody puts Baby in a corner! “Dirty Dancing” sizzles with passionate dance scenes as Johnny Castle teaches Baby more than just dance steps. This coming of age tale set against the backdrop of a summer resort is a feel good experience for dance fans, with moves that have become cultural landmarks.

6. Center Stage (2000)

  • Director: Nicholas Hytner
  • Cast: Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Peter Gallagher
  • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: ‘Center Stage’ on IMDb

Join a group of aspiring ballet dancers at the American Ballet Academy as they navigate the challenges of the competitive world of dance. “Center Stage” isn’t just about the perfect pirouettes, it delves into the personal struggles and relationships of the dancers. A must watch for those who crave a behind the scenes look at the ballet world.

7. Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Step into the dazzling world of competitive ballroom dancing with Scott Hastings, a maverick dancer challenging tradition. “Strictly Ballroom” is a whimsical journey filled with vibrant costumes and unforgettable dance sequences. Its unique take on dance competitions makes it a delightful choice for those who love a touch of rebellion on the dance floor.

8. West Side Story (1961)

  • Director: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
  • Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Musical
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • IMDb: ‘West Side Story’ on IMDb

Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” gets a dance infused update in the streets of 1960s New York. “West Side Story” is a cinematic masterpiece that weaves together love, rivalry, and unforgettable dance sequences. A timeless classic, this film is a treat for those who appreciate dance as a storytelling medium.

9. Step Up (2006)

  • Director: Anne Fletcher
  • Cast: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Music
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: ‘Step Up’ on IMDb

“Step Up” brings together two worlds, a privileged dancer and a street dancer, in a tale of collaboration, passion, and jaw dropping dance performances. This film not only showcases impressive moves but also explores the transformative power of dance in bridging divides. A high energy pick for dance enthusiasts.

10. Honey (2003)

  • Director: Bille Woodruff
  • Cast: Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer
  • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: ‘Honey’ on IMDb

Meet Honey Daniels, a dancer with dreams of making it big. “Honey” is a dance film with heart, emphasizing the importance of staying true to oneself while navigating the competitive world of the music industry. With its catchy soundtrack and vibrant choreography, it’s a film that will leave dance fans tapping their feet.

11. Take the Lead (2006)

  •  Director: Liz Friedlander
  •  Cast: Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown
  •  Genre: Drama, Music
  •  Rating: PG-13
  •  IMDb: ‘Take the Lead’ on IMDb

Pierre Dulaine, played by Antonio Banderas, takes dance to an unexpected setting: a high school detention room. “Take the Lead” is a feel good movie that blends ballroom with hip hop, inspiring students to find their rhythm not just on the dance floor but in life. A fusion of dance styles makes it a compelling watch for dance fans of all tastes.

12. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

When dance meets teenage rebellion, you get “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Follow Janey as she breaks free from her strict upbringing to pursue her dream of dancing on TV. Packed with ’80s flair and infectious dance sequences, this film is a delightful escape for those who love a mix of comedy and dance.

13. Stomp the Yard (2007)

  •  Director: Sylvain White
  •  Cast: Columbus Short, Meagan Good
  •  Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  •  Rating: PG-13
  •  IMDb: ‘Stomp the Yard’ on IMDb

“Stomp the Yard” takes you into the competitive world of step dancing at historically black colleges. DJ, a street dancer, finds himself navigating fraternity rivalries through the art of stepping. Fierce dance battles, pulsating beats, and a tale of redemption make this film a must-see for those who crave high-energy dance combined with a compelling story.

14. Showgirls (1995)

  •  Director: Paul Verhoeven
  •  Cast: Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan
  •  Genre: Drama
  •  Rating: NC-17
  •  IMDb: ‘Showgirls’ on IMDb

Enter the glittering world of Las Vegas showgirls in this controversial yet captivating film. “Showgirls” explores the dark side of the entertainment industry through Nomi Malone’s journey. While known for its mature themes, the movie’s dance sequences are extravagant and showcase the demanding world of professional dancing in Las Vegas.

15. White Nights (1985)

  •  Director: Taylor Hackford
  •  Cast: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines
  •  Genre: Drama, Music, Thriller
  •  Rating: PG-13
  •  IMDb: ‘White Nights’ on IMDb

“White Nights” pairs ballet with the intensity of political intrigue. A defector and a tap dancer must navigate Soviet and American tensions. The film not only features incredible dance performances, including a memorable ballet tap duet, but also explores the power of dance in bridging cultural gaps. It’s a unique blend of dance and Cold War drama.

16. Magic Mike (2012)

  •  Director: Steven Soderbergh
  •  Cast: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer
  •  Genre: Comedy, Drama
  •  Rating: R
  •  IMDb: ‘Magic Mike’ on IMDb

Welcome to the world of male stripping in Tampa, Florida, where Mike, played by Channing Tatum, takes a young dancer under his wing. “Magic Mike” is more than just dazzling dance routines; it provides a behind the scenes look at the highs and lows of the entertainment industry. A seductive mix of humor, drama, and, of course, jaw dropping dance sequences.

17. The Company (2003)

  •  Director: Robert Altman
  •  Cast: Neve Campbell, Malcolm McDowell
  •  Genre: Drama, Music
  •  Rating: PG-13
  •  IMDb: ‘The Company’ on IMDb

“The Company” takes you into the world of the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Neve Campbell stars and also co-wrote this dance-centric film that offers an intimate portrayal of the dedication and challenges faced by professional dancers. With stunning choreography and a focus on the artistry of dance, it’s a must see for those who appreciate the beauty of movement.

18. The Red Shoes (1948)

  •  Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  •  Cast: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer
  •  Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  •  Rating: Not Rated
  •  IMDb: ‘The Red Shoes’ on IMDb

Enter the enchanting world of ballet with “The Red Shoes,” a timeless classic that follows the story of a young ballet dancer torn between love and her passion for dance. Known for its stunning visuals and groundbreaking dance sequences, this film is a feast for those who appreciate the artistry and sacrifice that dance demands.

19. The Fits (2015)

  •  Director: Anna Rose Holmer
  •  Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett
  •  Genre: Drama
  •  Rating: Not Rated
  •  IMDb: ‘The Fits’ on IMDb

“The Fits” introduces us to Toni, an 11 year old tomboy who becomes fascinated by a dance team. As she navigates the challenges of fitting in, the film takes a unique approach to dance as a form of self expression and empowerment. Its unconventional narrative and focus on personal growth make it a compelling watch for those seeking something beyond traditional dance stories.

20. Suspiria (2018)

  •  Director: Luca Guadagnino
  •  Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton
  •  Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
  •  Rating: R
  •  IMDb: ‘Suspiria’ on IMDb

This modern remake of the 1977 classic takes you into the mysterious world of a prestigious dance academy with dark secrets. “Suspiria” is a visually stunning and psychologically intense journey that combines horror with dance. Its eerie atmosphere and powerful performances make it a hauntingly captivating experience for those who enjoy dance with a touch of the supernatural.

21. Feel the Beat (2020)

  •  Director: Elissa Down
  •  Cast: Sofia Carson, Enrico Colantoni
  •  Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
  •  Rating: TV-G
  •  IMDb: ‘Feel the Beat’ on IMDb

After a career setback, a talented dancer finds herself teaching a group of young misfits in her hometown. “Feel the Beat” is a heartwarming tale of redemption, showcasing the transformative power of dance. Packed with delightful moments and catchy dance routines, it’s a family friendly choice that resonates with the joy of self discovery through movement.

22. Full Out (2015)

  •  Director: Sean Cisterna
  •  Cast: Sarah Fisher, Ana Golja
  •  Genre: Biography, Drama, Family
  •  Rating: TV-G
  •  IMDb: ‘Full Out’ on IMDb

Based on the true story of gymnast Ariana Berlin, “Full Out” is a tale of resilience and determination. After a car accident derails her gymnastics dreams, Ariana discovers a new passion in dance. This inspiring film not only showcases impressive routines but also emphasizes the importance of adapting to life’s unexpected twists.

23. Save the Last Dance (2001)

Follow Sara, a promising ballet dancer who, after a tragedy, finds herself navigating the world of hip hop dance. “Save the Last Dance” beautifully blends two dance styles with a love story, making it a classic for those who appreciate the fusion of diverse genres and the power of dance to break down cultural barriers.

24. Burlesque (2010)

  •  Director: Steve Antin
  •  Cast: Cher, Christina Aguilera
  •  Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  •  Rating: PG-13
  •  IMDb: ‘Burlesque’ on IMDb

Enter the glamorous world of burlesque with Ali, a small town girl with big dreams. “Burlesque” is a visually stunning musical that combines powerful vocals with sensual dance numbers. Cher and Christina Aguilera headline this film, offering a dazzling spectacle that celebrates the art of performance and self expression.

25. Dancers (1987)

  •  Director: Herbert Ross
  •  Cast: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Julie Kent
  •  Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  •  Rating: R
  •  IMDb: ‘Dancers’ on IMDb

“Dancers” takes you into the world of ballet, where a talented but troubled dancer strives for perfection. This film offers a raw and intense look at the physical and emotional demands of professional dance. With exceptional performances and breathtaking choreography, it’s a must watch for those who crave a deeper exploration of the art form.

26. High Strung (2016)

  •  Director: Michael Damian
  •  Cast: Keenan Kampa, Nicholas Galitzine
  •  Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
  •  Rating: PG
  •  IMDb: ‘High Strung’ on IMDb

“High Strung” brings together a violinist and a hip hop dancer in a collision of classical and contemporary. Set against the backdrop of New York City, this film is a visual and auditory feast. With electrifying dance sequences and a unique blend of musical styles, it’s a celebration of the diversity within the world of performing arts.

27. The White Crow (2018)

“The White Crow” explores the life of Rudolf Nureyev, one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time. This biographical drama delves into Nureyev’s journey from a Soviet upbringing to his defection to the West. With stunning dance performances and a compelling narrative, it’s a captivating tribute to an iconic figure in the dance world.

28. Chicago (2002)

  •  Director: Rob Marshall
  •  Cast: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere
  •  Genre: Comedy, Crime, Musical
  •  Rating: PG-13
  •  IMDb: ‘Chicago’ on IMDb

“Chicago” turns the stage musical into a dazzling cinematic experience. In the jazz fueled world of 1920s Chicago, the film weaves a tale of crime, celebrity, and the pursuit of fame. With show stopping dance numbers and a star studded cast, it’s a musical extravaganza that proves that in the world of entertainment, sometimes you have to razzle dazzle ’em.

29. Dance Academy: The Movie (2017)

The beloved characters from the “Dance Academy” TV series return in this movie continuation. Follow Tara Webster as she faces new challenges in her dance career. “Dance Academy: The Movie” not only delivers on dance sequences but also continues the coming of age stories that made the TV series a hit among dance enthusiasts.

30. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

  •  Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
  •  Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds
  •  Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  •  Rating: G
  •  IMDb: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ on IMDb

“Singin’ in the Rain” is a timeless classic that transports you to the golden age of Hollywood. Filled with iconic dance numbers, including Gene Kelly’s famous dance in the rain, this musical is a jubilant celebration of the joy of performing. A must watch for those who appreciate the magic of song and dance in cinema.


The 30 dance movies featured here are not just tales of choreography and performance, they are windows into the soul of dance, each frame a testament to the universal language that transcends boundaries and connects us all.

Each film celebrates the enduring spirit of dance in all its forms. We hope this list has ignited a newfound appreciation for the artistry, dedication, and sheer joy encapsulated in every dance move.

Dance is a narrative, an emotion, a celebration of the human experience.

May you find inspiration to dance through life with the same passion and grace witnessed in these dance movies. After all, the magic of dance is a timeless invitation to express, connect, and savor the boundless joy of movement. Lets all keep dancing!

dance movies checklist

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So, what are your thoughts on the movies included in this list? What additional movies would you have included? What movies would you have left off?

We encourage all comments and discussion!

Everyone is welcome!


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