You can recite every line from Center Stage and have mastered the choreography from at least two of the Step Up films — but have you seen The Red Shoes? Step away from the studio (and YouTube) for a minute and settle into the couch, where a host of amazing dance films await you. Get to know the oldies, the goodies, and the classics. What better way to spend a day off? Here are 17 to start with.
1. The Red Shoes (1948)
Before you dismiss a film for being older than you, your parents, and possibly your grandparents, hear us out. This fairy tale-film stars Vicky Page, who is torn between two loves: her actual love interests and her need to dance. The drama!
2. Footloose (1984)
A rebellious teen comes to a small town where dancing is — gasp! — banned. The horror!
3. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
Sarah Jessica Parker and Holly Hunt rocked this movie about, well, having fun. They skip school to audition for a local dance show. Romance ensues. Naturally.
4. Billy Elliot (2000)
Billy just wants to dance! Let Billy dance!
5. Stomp the Yard (2007)
We dare you to stop your feet from moving when you’re done watching this one.
6. Flashdance (1983)
Jennifer Beals is a welder in Pittsburgh who dreams of joining the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance. Welding aside, who can’t relate?
7. Center Stage (2000)
You’ve already seen it, right? If not, it’s the story of Jody Sawyer and her friends trying to make it at the prestigious American Ballet Academy. Includes such quotable lines as, “As a boyfriend, you kinda suck.”
8. Step Up (2006)
The movie that gave us the epic real-life romance between Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan. Thank you, Step Up. Thank you so much.
9. Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman gets a little dark in this one, so proceed with caution (or at least your parents’ permission). The story is grim and intense, and it was a major Hollywood success story.
10. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
That iconic John Travolta “Stayin’ Alive” move your parents are always busting out at embarrassing times? Well, you have Saturday Night Fever to thank for that. Disco forever!
11. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Nobody puts baby in a corner.
12. Save the Last Dance (2001)
Two people from different worlds come together to make beautiful choreography. Like Step Up, but different.
13. Happy Feet (2006)
What’s cuter than tap dancing penguins?! This animated film — with choreography by Savion Glover — is equal parts heartwarming and impressive. The final dance scene will have you, well, dancing on your feet.
14. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
The romance! The music! The can can can! The high-energy film set in Paris boasts loads of dancing set to songs you know and love. (“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” for example, sung by lovely lead Nicole Kidman.)
15. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
You already know the music — now grab an umbrella and bust out a little soft-shoe.
16. West Side Story (1961)
Duh. The classic Jets vs. Sharks story — choreography by Jerome Robbins — is timeless.
17. Fame (1980)
They’re (as in the mega-talented kids from New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts) gonna live forever!