The best dance scenes in film

Because there’s nothing better than a big screen boogie

There’s nothing quite like a great film dance scene. Who needs dialogue when you’ve got Travolta thrusting his hips like Elvis or Hugh Jackman leading a raucous routine in a bar?

So we couldn’t let International Dance Day pass without paying homage to some of the greatest bops ever committed to the big screen. The hips don’t lie…

Singin’ In The Rain - Singin’ In The Rain

Why it’s iconic: Gene Kelly choreographed, directed and starred in Singin’ In The Rain, one of the most-loved musicals of all time. He filmed his famous umbrella twirling number while sick with a high fever (i.e when being doused with copious amounts of cold water is the last thing you need) and still makes it look effortless. Total class.

Try this at home?
The British weather provides ample opportunities to unleash your inner Gene Kelly. Just watch where you’re swinging that brolly.

Pulp Fiction - Jack Rabbit Slims Dance Contest

Why it’s iconic: In one of the coolest films of the nineties, this is arguably the coolest scene. Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) get on the dancefloor in 1950s diner Jack Rabbit Slims, take twisting to Chuck Berry very seriously and take home the trophy.

Try this at home?
A pair of socks on a tiled floor and you’ll be able to recreate this twist no problem. We can’t guarantee you’ll look as cool, though.

Grease - Greased Lightning

Why it’s iconic: In a film packed with iconic dance numbers, Greased Lightning is the stand out, not only for John Travolta’s Elvis-esque hip swivels, but for somehow making car repairs (“A fuel injection cut off and chrome plated rods, oh yeah”) seem exciting.

Try this at home?
We don’t recommend dancing on top of your neighbour’s/parent’s/friend’s car, no — but chucking on a leather jacket or a pair of overalls, piling on the hair gel and practicing some hip thrusts? Why not.

La La Land - A Lovely Night

Why it’s iconic: You know how it’re walking back to your car after a night out and you spontaneously break into a perfectly choreographed jazz-tap routine, complete with exquisite sunset backdrop. Mia and Sebastian make it look so easy.

Try this at home?
You can put some drawing pins in the soles of your shoes and have a go, but recreating Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s chemistry might prove trickier.

Mean Girls - Christmas Talent Show

Why it’s iconic: Because it’s SO FETCH (look, we’re still trying to make ‘fetch’ happen, ok?). Despite accidentally kicking a portable CD player into the face of an audience member mid-way through, The Plastics still manage to finish their Jingle Bell Rock routine in style. What pros.

Try this at home?
The routine itself isn’t too complex (strut forward, swing your arms over your head and sway your hips a lot...oh, and slap your thigh) — just keep your stereo at a safe distance.

Black Swan - A Swan is Born

Why it’s iconic: The climax to Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, this sequence sees Natalie Portman’s character Nina get totally consumed by her role as the swan queen, eventually transforming into a slightly scary Black Swan.

Try this at home?
Probably not. Even if you do happen to be a classically trained ballerina you’d still struggle to pull off the whole growing-a-pair of wings element.

The Breakfast Club - Dancing in the Library

Why it’s iconic: Proving that dancing really is the great equalizer, five kids who have nothing in common aside from being in detention on a Saturday morning, bond over a communal boogie in the school library.

Try this at home?
Yep. Throw in a bit of air guitar, side shuffling, head banging...anything goes with this one.

13 Going on 30 - Thriller

Why it’s iconic: Because who hasn’t wanted to liven up a dull work party with a group dance routine to Thriller? As a teenager inside a grown woman’s body, Jennifer Garner risks ridicule to be the first one on the dancefloor, but wins everyone over with her commitment to the zombie dance cause. This will make you feel fuzzy inside and want to bop.

Try this at home?
The rule of six means your zombie crew might be limited, but we reckon this will liven up a park picnic no-end.

Dream Girls - Introducing: The Dreamettes

Why it’s iconic: This is probably the only time you’re going to see Beyonce in the back-up role, but she still dances like her life depends on it. Meanwhile Jennifer Hudson is out front killing it on vocals. A dream team indeed.

Try this at home?
Grab your BFFs and some matching outfits and with a bit of practice you’ll have the dancing down in no time. GRAMMY award-winning vocals might be harder to nail.

The Greatest Showman - From Now On

Why it’s iconic: Fun fact: did you know it’s scientifically impossible to watch the From Now On scene from The Greatest Showman and not want to get up and bust a move? It’s also inspired countless viral videos, including this amazing tribute to theatres affected by lockdown.

Try this at home?
You wouldn’t be the first. There are a tonne of online tutorials dedicated to learning the routine….so go forth and spread joy.