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30 Best Dance Movies Of All Time

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30 Best Dance Movies Of All Time

For a period of roughly 18 months, my mom had me take jazz, ballet, and tap classes. I loved watching people dance but I hated doing it myself, and, to be honest, even then I knew I wasn't exactly good at it.

When I told her I didn't want to do it anymore, she didn't argue. She got it. That's because, much like me, my mother was born with a passion for dance and a total lack of ability. 

Thankfully for both of us, we can savor our love of the dance without having to force anyone else to watch us shake our proverbial groove things.

And you can, too — thanks to the power, beauty, and majesty of dance movies! 

RELATED: People Who Dance Are Happier, Healthier & Smarter (Says Study)

Is there any better cure-all than watching your favorite dance movie? Even the ones that are sad tend to lift us up, and that's just one more reason why we love them.

Here, in our humble estimation, are 30 of the best dance movies of all time. 

1. Dirty Dancing 

Nobody puts baby in a corner... and nobody writes a list of the best dance movies without putting Dirty Dancing on it. 

Watch on YouTube

2. Footloose 

Yeah, only the original if you please! The year was 1984, and Kevin Bacon? Boy, was he cutting some moves. 

Watch on Amazon Prime

3. Center Stage 

Jody Sawyer's got "bad feet," but she's got the "it" factor, in this, the best dance movie ever. 

Watch on YouTube

4. Save The Last Dance 

An interracial romance and a passionate union of two dance styles? Say no more.

Watch on Starz

5. Billy Elliot 

Little boy, big dreams? Working class family? Thatcher Era class wars? I mean, what more do you need? 

Watch on YouTube

6. Step Up 

You can watch every single movie the franchise ever whips up, but the OG is the OG for a reason. 

Watch on YouTube

RELATED: 25 Inspirational Quotes About Dancing, Self Expression And Moving Your Body

7. West Side Story 

Jets or Sharks — it doesn't matter which side you're on because both have moves. 

Watch on Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu

8. Strictly Ballroom 

This Baz Lurhman classic is all about celebrating dance, and celebrating a life not lived in fear!

Watch on YouTube

9. All That Jazz 

This semi-autobiographical movie about the life of choreographer Bob Fosse has dance moves for days. 

Purchase on Amazon

10. Grease

Sandy and Danny's summer love gave way to a musical that will have everyone toe-tapping away at the big dance. 

Watch on Amazon Prime

11. Hairspray 

Look, sure, there's a remake of the musical from 2007, but if you want to see real dance moves, check out the first incarnation courtesy of John Waters. 

Watch on YouTube

12. Burlesque 

Is this movie campy? Uh, clearly yes. But is it a dance movie for the ages? Also clearly yes. 

Watch on Netflix

13. Victor/Victoria 

It doesn't matter if she's male or female; in the eponymous role, Julie Andrews rocks it. 

Watch on YouTube

14. High Strung 

Intense ballerina, intense violist, super intense rivals, super-fun to watch. 

Watch on YouTube

RELATED: Best Type Of Movie To Watch On Netflix, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

15. Shall We Dance?

My introduction to Japanese cinema, and a true, sweet, quiet classic. 

Purchase on Amazon

16. The Red Shoes 

If your mom took ballet lessons, this movie is probably the reason why. 

Watch on YouTube

17. Singing In The Rain 

Sure, singing might be in the title, but it's the dancing in the rain that you'll really remember. 

Watch on YouTube

18. White Nights 

Two words: Young Baryshnikov. 

Watch on YouTube

19. Chicago 

The tale of a woman arrested for shooting and killing her lover shouldn't make you want to get up and dance. And yet, here we are. 

Watch on Hulu

20. You Got Served 

A nice reminder that there's more than one style of dance that you can't actually do. 

Watch on YouTube

21. Happy Feet 

Sure it's animated, but the animation itself was captured using technology and real tappers! 

Watch on YouTube

22. Honey 

Gotta love early Jessica Alba as an aspiring big-city dancer. 

Watch on Hulu or Starz

23. Magic Mike 

Two words: Channing Tatum. 

Watch on YouTube

RELATED: 15 Movies To Watch When You Want To Feel Inspired

24. Breakin' 

If you haven't seen this 1984 breakdancing classic, rectify that. 

Purchase on Amazon

25. The Turning Point 

Shirley McClaine is my once and forever queen all thanks to this 1970s flick. 

Purchase on Amazon

26. Black Swan 

This isn't, like, a celebration of dancing — it's a dark psychodrama, but that doesn't mean we can't also appreciate the dancing. 

Watch on YouTube

27. Fame 

The story of kids at New York's High School For The Performing Arts will have you up and dancing by the first number. 

Watch on YouTube

28. Swing Time 

You're very lucky there's only one Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie on this list. 

Watch on YouTube

29. Cabaret 

It was deeply difficult for me not to make this the number one movie on the list for Liza alone. Such dancing! 

Watch on YouTube

30. An American In Paris 

Gene Kelly is considered by many to be the best male dancer of all time. Check this flick out to see why. 

Watch on YouTube

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's the Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, and true crime.