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The Movies and Dance (Part 2)

Updated on August 14, 2008

In a previous Hub, we looked at the most popular dance scenes in movie history. From the disco to the strip club to the rainy sidewalks of New York, those were the most downloaded and viewed clips of all time. But there are those other dance scenes that, although not as popular, hold a special place in movie memory. They represented a piece of Americana and defined for many the link to a generation. They inspired us, made us laugh and just plain took our breath away.

Here are 10 film dance scenes that succeded on all levels and deserve another look.



13 GOING ON 30








Stomp the Yard

1. Save the Last Dance ~ A story about a devoted and talented Ballet dancer named Sara who desperately hopes to be accepted into the prestigious Julliard School in New York. Suddenly, the unimaginable happens and Sara loses her mother to sudden tragedy. Forced to move to Chicago's tough South Side, Sara must face a radical shift on her dream's journey. What emerges is her discovery that her love for dance will survive against all odds.

2. 13 Going on 30 ~ It's 1987 and a 13 year old girl named Jenna is thinking that the supposed "best years of her life" are not all they are cracked up to be. While playing a game called "Seven minutes in Heaven" in a locked closet at her disastorous 13th birthday party, she makes an urgent plea to hurry up and grow up into that glamorous life she imagines it to be. The lesson she quickly learns is that you really do have to be careful what you wish for. This dance scene represents her longing desire to return to childhood innocence.

3. The Breakfast Club ~ Released in 1985, The Breakfast Club takes a definitive look at the 80's and considered by many as the first original "brat pack" film. A Saturday detention that forces 5 very different students, the prom queen, the jock, the nerd, the hood and the outcast into the realization, that they really aren't that different after all. The dance scene in this film was originally written specifically for Molly RIngwald, but the whole cast ended up joining in, making this one of the most entertaining.

4. Billy Elliot ~ A young boy who posseses incredible dancing ability must decided between his family and the chance to showcase his extraordinary talent by performing in the School for the Royal Ballet. If ever a dance scene portrayed powerful emotion and exuded presence, this one would be it. Jaime Bell stars as Billy Elliot, and in one scene, his dance teacher played by Julie Walters, wanting to demonstrate to his dad, just how remarkable Billy is, sums it up simply. "Brace yourself darling".

5. Pee Wee's Big Aventure ~ Directed by genius Tim Burton, and written by Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman and Michael Vorhol, takes viewers on a wild adventure of a rebel and the love of his life, his bike. Somehow, Pee Wee ends up in a biker bar and dances his way out of harms way and in hopes of a magical escape. Here is where the "tequila" scene is born.

6. Big ~ Penny Marshall directed this blockbuster hit that catapulted Tom Hanks into major super-stardom with one of the most charming and best family movies to grace the silver screen. Big conjures up a magical story about a boy who is granted his wish of becoming "big" in order to afford all his most desired luxuries. At one point of the film, this now "adult" man, finds himself in FAO Schwartz, the most famous toy store that ever was. And once again, the line between youth and adulthood becomes blurred.

7. Charlie's Angels ~ The remake of the wildly popular 70's television show brought to the big screen. "Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy and they were each assigned very hazardous duties, but I took them away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie." Cameron Diaz stars along with Lucy Lu and Drew Barrymore as the innocent and naive angel. Here this angel confesses her longtime wish to dance on soul train. Baby got Back.

8. Napoleon Dynamite ~ Napoleon played brilliantly by Jon Heder, may not be the easiest character to connect with, but you can't help but root for the loyal misfit that apparently thinks he can dance. With a movie budget of only 200,000 and directed by a Mormon husband and wife team, Napoleon Dynaminte ironically slammed Steven Spielberg's 100 million dollar "The Terminal" that daringly opened nationally on the same day.

9. Shall We Dance? ~ Richard Gere plays a buttoned-up albeit handsome accountant who decides to take up dance lessons. Especially when he notices how beautiful (Jennifer Lopez) the dance instructor happens to be. What he soon realizes is that the excitement dance brings back into his life also inspires his desire to rekindle a stale relationship with his wife.

10. Stomp the Yard ~ Life is hard for the character of DJ Williams. Amid a rough crowd and losing a younger brother to senseless violence, he attempts to turn his life around before it's too late. DJ enrolls at the aptly named Truth University known for it's respected history and quickly learns how the art of step can elevate him to a higher ground.


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