Posted by: Kiki | June 24, 2009

Let me dance for you!

When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with dancing. lack of rhythm and a tendency to knock violently into others didn’t stop me from prancing and jumping around my room whenever possible.

Unfortunately, instead of ballet lessons, I got signed up for judo and ice hockey (where falling and tackling are actually considered *part* of your performance). The dream of becoming a Broadway Baby died in its infancy.

What I’ve kept from that time though is a love for musicals and dance movies. So put on your tap shoes and shake your jazz hands as we look at some of my faves.

  • A Chorus Line – The drama of casting, put on stage. Everyone has a story to tell, a song to sing and a dance to dance. One of my early favourites.
  • Step Up – One of my go-to movies. Ballet meets hip-hop in a racially charged romance. It’s beautiful, if a little cliche, and the dancing is just fabulous.
  • Dirty Dancing – no really, need I say more?

But wait a minute. We all know those movies, and no matter what the dance is, it’s always the same. It’s always a somewhat tragic love story. Two lovers fated apart who may or may not find each other in the end (often in the rain)/achieve their dream of being dancing superstars.

What makes a great dance movie? (shamelessly stolen from here)

  • A young cast of hotties who dance for their life despite the obstacles the cruel world has thrown at them. These obstacles can be anything from being born into adversity; being ugly or poor; lacking in opportunity; delinquent friends or evil, jealous dancing enemies; or serious issues like racism, pregnancy, arrest, blow-drying mishaps etc.
  • All heroes and heroines of dance films are naturally, innately talented.
  • The film’s climax is often an audition or public performance, upon which rests their whole future.
  • Grueling hours of rehearsal and training are often distilled into one breezy two minute montage set to the best song on the soundtrack.
  • In the course of these montages, the lead will fall in love with their dancing partner, who as well as having troubling issues of their own, are often unsuitable romantic choices according to their parents.
  • Add to any or all of the above difficulties, one impossible dance move that must be mastered and it’s no wonder our heroes often freak out, turn on the one they love, and only make-up again just before the inevitable happy ending.
  • Love and dancing always conquer all obstacles and any hardships are overcome with self-belief, skimpy outfits, wise-cracking friends and determination.

  • Responses

    1. No body puts Baby in the corner!! Sigh, now I have to rewatch it don’t I?

    2. Ah yes, I remember the days as a kid, lining up to do dance routines with my friends. Me, the most uncoordinated one. LOL! I do enjoy a good dance film and this post has made me realise, I haven’t seen on in awhile.

    3. I used to call our choreography sessions at the local theatre group ‘Jackie’s torture workshops’. I had 2 left feet, and then later I managed to break my leg as well. Dancing? Not a hope.

      Speaking of dance movies, I caught Strictly Ballroom again the other day. Sigh, Paul was fabulous then, and bloody good to look at. And even better in real life. And I worked with Tara the year after the movie was made. Lovely gal.

      Surely for dance movies/musicals – you cannot go past West Side Story. Fab choregraphy.

    4. One that I use (& actually fast forward the none dance scenes to boot) is Centre Stage – especially the “Big Dance Performance” at the end (complete with homage to the Red Shoes).

      I love me my dance movies – the boys discreetly either pay no attention or say nothing on the topic *lol*.

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