Baby and Johnny’s final dance in Dirty Dancing. The twist contest in Pulp Fiction. Any dance from Saturday Night Fever. All of these make the lists of best dances scenes in film because they’re so memorable. But what about the sequences that get ignored because they’re not as big and bold, aren’t central to a dance plot, or not part of a movie musical?
Check out my list of underrated movie dance scenes!
9. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
In 500 Days of Summer, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is so ecstatic about getting intimate with Summer (Zooey Deschanel) that he wakes up and has himself a morning dance to Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams (Come True).” It’s kind of the cutest thing ever.
8. Beetlejuice (1988)
While the “Day-O” dinner dance in Beetlejuice always makes the best movie dances list, surprisingly, Lydia (Winona Ryder)’s “Jump in the Line” final scene doesn’t. And that’s bullshit. Because it’s great.
7. The First Wives Club (1996)
I don’t care what you say, The First Wives Club‘s “You Don’t Own Me” was the original girlfriend sleepover favorite, thanks to Brenda (Bette Midler), Annie (Diane Keaton), and Elise (Goldie Hawn).
6. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
There should be no question why Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery‘s “Touch Myself” makes the underrated list. It’s freaking hysterical, and Austin (Mike Myers) is both awkward and sexy.
5. Hairspray (2007)
While the movie adaptation of the musical Hairspray is kind of a given since the whole plot is about dancing, a lot of lists favor the finale’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” and totally miss out on Seaweed (Elijah Kelley)’s “Run and Tell That.” And they shouldn’t.
4. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Other lists practically always include “Good Morning,” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Moses Supposes,” and the titular “Singin’ in the Rain” dance scenes. But the best dance of the whole movie (arguably) is Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly)’s daydream ballet (featuring ballerina Cyd Charisse). AND it’s meant to be a discussion of dance as an art vs. dance as profitable entertainment. Talk about beautiful, right?
3. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
Um, please. You know exactly why this dance moment made the list over Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s assassin’s tango. Because it’s HOT.
2. Kiss Me Kate (1953)
The film adaptation of musical Kiss Me Kate is one of my underrated movie favorites, so it only makes sense that Lois (Ann Miller)’s “Too Darn Hot” dance would be runner-up in my underrated dance list. (Cut to 2:30 if you want to see the best part of her whole dance.)
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Are you shocked about this one? I’m not. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, this dance sequence comes right after Ron leaves Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Hermione (Emma Watson). It’s a moment surrounded by grief and hopelessness. And damn does this dance manage to be poetic, adorable, and sad all at the same time.
What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? What are your favorite underrated movie dances? Tell me in the comments!