There's no shortage of dance movies out there, so it takes something extra special to truly stand out from the pack.
Whether it's the undeniable chemistry between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing or seeing John Travolta in drag in Hairspray, the dance movies on our list combined iconic choreography with entertaining storylines. In honor of Step Up Revolution, the fourth flick in the Step Up franchise hitting theaters tomorrow, check out our rundown of the 11 greatest dance movies of all time!
1. Hairspray (2007)
This remake of the 2002 Broadway musical and 1988 version of the film displays pleasantly plump Tracy Edna Turblad (Nikki Blonsky) pursuing her dancing dreams under the watchful of her mother/agent Edna Turnblad (John Travolta). The movie not only received positive reviews from critics, but made over $200 million at the box office and broke the record at that time for biggest sales at the opening weekend for a movie musical.
2. Chicago (2002)
Adapted from the musical of the same name, this filmed starred Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah and Renee Zellweger. The movie features a determined and psychopathic Roxie Hart (Renee) trying to land a career in vaudeville, with plenty of murder and sex along the way. The film was hailed by both fans and critics, ultimately winning Best Picture and five other oscars at the 2003 Academy Awards.
3. Step Up (2006)
The first movie in this franchise features the professional turned romantic relationship between Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) and Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan). Tyler discovers Nora preparing for her senior showcase and begins to mentor her in dance, but the relationship naturally grows physical with all that close contact on the dance floor! Although the movie got poor reviews, fans ate it up with $120 million in sales at the box office and two sequels that followed, with the third one hitting theaters tomorrow.
4. White Nights (1985)
It's pretty hard for White Nights to not make this list since it features two of the greatest dancers of all time. Nikolai Rodchenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov) is defecting from the Soviet Union (now known as Russia) when his plane is forced to make an emergency landing in Siberia. A KGB officer recognizes him and introduces him to tap dancer Raymond Greenwood (Gregory Hines), who defected to the Soviet Union. Although the film didn't do very well in the box office with just $13 million in sales, the dance scenes are considered to be among the best in any movie and it did win an Academy Award for Best Song with Lionel Richie's track Say You, Say Me.
5. Top Hat (1935)
This classic flick is thought by many to be the first great dance movie in history. Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) comes to London to perform in a show, where he attempts to win the affection of his dance partner Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers). The film was the second-highest grossing movie of that year and considered to be Fred's best known work.
6. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The iconic stills of John Travolta's disco poses make this movie identifiable with almost everyone in the country. His character in the movie, skirt-chasing Tony Romero, is well on his way to successfully wooing Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney) on and off the dance floor before his bad behavior ruins it. Not only did the movie gross $282 million at the box office, which was almost unheard of at that time, the film's soundtrack still remains one of the best selling of all time.
7. Flashdance (1983)
Nearly 30 years later, this iconic still from Flashdance is still hot! Tomboy steel mill welder Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals) works as a dancer at night at a somewhat seedy bar, but has big dreams to be accepted in a dance conservatory. Although the film doesn't reveal whether her dreams came true at the end of her audition, she at least wins the romantic affection of her boss Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri). And the movie clearly won the affection of fans too with over $92 million in sales at the box office.
8. West Side Story (1961)
Considered to be one of the greatest musicals of all time, this movie had some pretty killer dance scenes as well! Somehow, we just don't dancing between a gang of Puerto Rican immigrants and a gang of white Americans happening in real life though! Fans and critics were certainly willing to suspend their belief though as the film not only did well at the box office, but also cleaned up with 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture!
9. Footloose (1984)
Considered to be Kevin Bacon's breakout film, he plays the role of upbeat teen Ren McCormack, who moves to a small town only to find the local minister has helped to ban rock music and dancing there. Through his efforts (and some nifty dance scenes), he eventually gets the town to change their ways and remove the ban. Although the film only received mixed reviews, it did go on to make $80 million at the box office and become an '80s classic.
10. Dirty Dancing (1987)
25 years later, the on-screen chemistry and dance scenes between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in this movie STILL gets people talking! And Jennifer showed she still has some moves when she won Dancing With the Stars in 2010! Sadly, Patrick died in September 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
11. Billy Elliot (2000)
It's cool for boys to dance too! That was the take home message of this flick where Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) pursues his dance dreams against the wishes of his conservative coal miner father. He eventually won over his father and movie-goers as well, with the film raking in nearly $110 million at the box office and receiving several Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Jamie even went on to star in the music video for Green Day's song Wake Me When September Ends
What's your favorite dance movie?
Photos courtesy of New Line Cinema, Miramax Films, Touchstone Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, United Artists, Vestron Pictures and Universal Focus