15 Dance Numbers From Musicals That The World Had Better Recognize

Musical theater-lovers know that before Michael Jackson came Bob Fosse and “a-5,6,7,8!” went mainstream thanks to A CHORUS LINE. So, if you want to be in the know, take a minute to bow down to these game-changing dance numbers from musicals (on stage and on film). And be sure to check out CAMP BROADWAY DANCE for a chance to learn some of these moves yourself from Broadway choreographers.

1. “Light At The End of the Tunnel” - Starlight Express

Depending on who you ask, you might get very varied reviews of Starlight Express overall, but there is no denying that Arlene Phillips’ use of roller skates in her Broadway choreography was completely wacky, in a good way. Fast-forward to 2:53 for the good stuff.

2. “Steam Heat” - The Pajama Game

The Pajama Game was Bob Fosse’s first musical theater production after transitioning from film work and earned him his first of eight Tony Awards in Best Chreography. “Steam Heat” shows his iconic style that makes use of hats, shrugged shoulders and isolations.

3. “Step In Time” - Mary Poppins

An epic display of dynamic moves and IMPECCABLE timing. You may not have realized the perfection as a kid, so watch with fresh eyes as the chimney sweeps are mind-blowingly in-sync for “kick your knees up.”

4. “Moses Supposes” - Singin’ In the Rain

You should be familiar with the iconic choreography for “Singin’ In the Rain” (the song) already, but how about this number from the film? Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor move EFFORTLESSLY around a room with style like you’ve never seen.

5. “Easy Street” - Annie

Another one of those movies you watched a million times as a kid, but maybe didn’t appreciate. So take a moment to observe the perfection that is Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett and Tim Curry as the skeeviest team in town.

6. “The Time Warp” - The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Obviously.

Not the most complicated choreography, but significant as a party anthem, nonetheless.

7. “Ease On Down the Road” - The Wiz

Michael Jackson’s film debut is as the scarecrow in this re-imagining of THE WIZARD OF OZ is mesmerizing. Plus, the song will make anyone, anywhere want to dance their way through Oz.

8. “One” - A Chorus Line

When any person imagines “Broadway dancing,” gold tuxedos, kick lines, and top hats come to mind, mostly thanks to A CHORUS LINE. Plus, us theater-lovers can’t watch this without getting chills all over. Completely iconic.

9. “Forget About the Boy” - Thoroughly Modern Millie

If there’s one thing a Broadway-lover adores more than a golden kickline, it’s a tap dancing chorus. THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE launched Sutton Foster to fame and this number, complete with tap dancing typists brought traditional “Broadway” choreography back in all its glory in 2002.

10. Dance Sequence - Funny Face

This may not be a traditional musical theater dance number (no singing!), but it is from one of the greatest movie musicals ever, FUNNY FACE. Audrey Hepburn stars alongside Fred Astaire and delivers this adorable, yet fierce dance number which you may recognize from its many re-iterations in pop culture (Beyonce’s “Countdown,” for one).

11. “The Circle of Life” - The Lion King

I’m sorry… if you can’t recognize the amazingness of these dancers channeling Saharan wildlife, then we’re done here.

12. “Seize the Day” - Newsies

When a chorus of young men erupts into some of the most beautiful choreography ever while still managing to communicate a completely raw sense of rebellion, you have this number. It’s incredible. And then they DANCE ON NEWSPAPERS.

13. “Who’s Got the Pain” - Damn Yankees

Someone’s going to school me on this one (please do!), but this song makes no sense both in and out of context. That said, it’s bona fide Broadway god Bob Fosse alongside his real-life wife, Gwen Verdon. The choreography, the orchestrations, the movement just make you wanna go ERP!

14. “All That Jazz” - Chicago

MORE FOSSE, WEEE! But seriously, folks: Bebe Neuwirth is the greatest Velma Kelly this world has ever seen.

15. “Prologue” - West Side Story

The music (Leonard Bernstein… there is no other), the choreography (Jerome Robbins… can we just ugh for a sec?), the dancing… this number is musical theater’s ultimate mic drop. Boom.

Now get out there and get your jazz hands on. (And join us in October for CAMP BROADWAY DANCE!)

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