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The 101 Best Movie Dance Routines Of The Last 35 Years

"God wouldn't have given you maracas if he didn't want you to shake 'em."

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Hollywood has really stepped up its choreography game over the last 35 years, gifting audiences with hundreds of incredibly memorable — and mimicable — routines.

So, I laced up my red shoes to look back on the best live-action (sorry, Beauty and the Beast), American-funded (sorry, Strictly Ballroom) films from the last 35 years (sorry, Grease) to determine which routine set the barre the highest.

And away we go.

101. Peter's evil Spiderman 3 dance (2007)

Columbia Pictures

Choreographed by: Marguerite Derricks and Jennifer Hamilton

Under the influence of an evil alien parasite, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) gains a new wardrobe, an overinflated sense of self, and — apparently — the ability to literally sweep Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) off her feet.

100. The Sweetest Thing's ode to the male organ (2002)

Columbia Pictures

Choreographed by: Robin Antin

Relying on moves popularized by a dozen other films that came before it (but mostly Grease), this salacious song came with an equally memorable dance routine.

98. The Big Lebowski bowls 'em over (1998)

Gramercy Pictures

Choreographed by: Bill Landrum and Jacqui Landrum

While this fantasy sequence doesn't feature a ton of dancing, you have to acknowledge any and all pelvic thrusts from The Dude (Jeff Bridges).

97. High School Musical 3: Senior Year goes out on a high note (2008)


Choreographed by: Charles Klapow, Bayli Baker, Bonnie Story, and Kenny Ortega

For the final performance in HSM history, the gang rocks and rolls at graduation in a classically huge musical number.

95. Grease 2 wants to "Score Tonight" (1982)

Paramount Pictures

Choreographed by: Patricia Birch, Helena Andreyko, and Greg Rosatti

The euphemisms, like Johnny Nogerelli's (Adrian Zmed) shirt, fly fast and loose in this catchy musical moment.

94. Little Miss Sunshine gets her "Super Freak" on (2006)

Fox Searchlight

Choreographed by: Marguerite Derricks and Jennifer Hamilton

The Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, like the Hoover family, will never quite be the same again after Olive (Abigail Breslin) takes the stage for this dance routine that's as charming as it is inappropriate.

92. Big makes me beautiful music (1988)

20th Century Fox

Choreographed by: Patricia Birch

One of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history is more famous for the tunes that come from Tom Hanks' and Robert Loggia's toes, but it wouldn't sound as sweet without their fancy footwork.

90. Rolling into Xanadu (1980)


Choreographed by: Kenny Ortega, Jerry Trent, Greg Smith, and Bob Thompson

The only thing more bizarre than Xandau's plot (Greek muses visit Earth to help a painter fully realize his vision) must have been the meeting where producers informed the choreographers all their routines had to be performed on roller skates.

83. High School Musical 3: Senior Year does prom right (2008)


Choreographed by: Charles Klapow, Bayli Baker, Bonnie Story, and Kenny Ortega

Prom will be "A Night To Remember" if these overly concerned high-schoolers have anything to say about it in this frothy celebration of formalwear, which includes an epic Zac Efron pelvic thrust.

79. Tom Cruise brings the (Tropic) Thunder (2008)

Dreamworks SKG

Choreographed by: Marguerite Derricks and Michelle Elkin

While we clearly knew Tom Cruise could dance (See No. 88), the world's mouth was collectively agape after watching him tear up the floor with this badass hip-hop routine.

71. All That Jazz hits "Broadway" (1979)

Columbia Pictures

Choreographed by: Bob Fosse, Gene Foote, and Kathryn Doby

While there are more memorable routines, the beauty of "On Broadway" is how perfectly it conveys the sheer volume of dancers clamoring for the same spot.

69. A grand entrance to the Moulin Rouge (2001)

Choreographed by: John O'Connell, Sheree Da Costa, and Pamela French

A trio of back-to-back-to-back spectacularly energetic performances introduce Christian (Ewan McGregor) to the Moulin Rouge: The Can-Can, "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend," and "Rhythm of the Night."

66. Everyone secretly learned this routine from She's All That (1999)


Choreographed by: Adam Shankman and Anne Fletcher

This reignited the trend requiring all teen movies to feature an overly complex dance routine that everyone at prom inexplicably knows how to perform flawlessly. (Also, can we bring that back now? Please and thank you!)

64. Chicago gets a double act (2002)


Choreographed by: Rob Marshall, Cynthia Onrubia, Denise Faye, and Joey Pizzi, with a special thanks to Bob Fosse

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger prove that two is always better than one (except when it's not ... but keep reading for that).

62. Footloose gets a new addition (2011)


Choreographed by: Jamal Sims and Dondraico Johnson

For the most part, this 2011 reimagining simply revisits all the iconic routines from the 1984 original — but this elaborate update on the kids' night out is a foot-stomping good time.

61. From strippers to Showgirls (1995)


Choreographed by: Marguerite Pomerhn-Derricks, Michelle Elkin, Andrea Moen, and Nancy O'Meara

After a rocky start, Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) nails her opening night performance in Goddess. Now, can anyone tell me what the fuck this batshit show is actually about?

60. The Breakfast Club's dancebreak (1985)

Choreographed by: Dorain Grusman

Sometimes ya just gotta dance it out after a long morning of mental and emotional upheaval. Also, weed.

57. Something Borrowed pushes it (2011)

Warner Bros.

Choreographed by: John Carrafa

With a quick — and smart — shout-out to their sixth grade talent show, Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) have complete freedom to spontaneously perform a perfectly choreographed dance routine.

56. Honey's sweet success (2003)


Choreographed by: Luther A. Brown, Laurieann Gibson, Monica Gomez, Kennis Marquis, and Vergi Rodriguez

You will believe in Honey's (Jessica Alba) talents as a choreographer after watching her students bring the thunder in this showcase.

54. Welcome to Coyote Ugly (2000)

Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Choreographed by: Travis Payne, Udee McGeoy, and Stacy Walker

The audience and Jersey, née Violet (Piper Perabo), get its first introduction to the wild world of Coyote Ugly through a testosterone-triggering routine that includes ass slapping, hair flipping, and fire dancing.

52. Get ready to Step Up (2006)


Choreographed by: Anne Fletcher, Rosero McCoy, Jamal Sims, and Zachary Woodlee

The prevailing dance franchise all began with a white hot contemporary/hip-hop-hybrid that spawned (at least) four sequels and one real-life marriage for stars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan.

51. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun... and backflips (1985)

Choreographed by: Otis Sallid and Steve LaChance

Janie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Jeff (Lee Montgomery) have been working for this moment to show their stuff on dance T.V. and they absolutely kill it with acrobatics that would even impress McKayla Maroney.

50. That Footloose feeling can strike anywhere (1984)


Choreographed by: Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Spencer Henderson

Mixing intricate aerials and equally complex emotion-driven choreo, Ren's warehouse freakout is a breakout moment for the iconic film.

47. Beetlejuice forces a new day (1988)

The Geffen Company

Choreographed by: Chrissy Bocchino

Demonic possession has never been more fun than it was in Catherine O'Hara's hands, as she leads a dinner party in the most unexpected Jamaican sing-along ever.

43. There's nothing The Wedding Planner can't do (2001)

Columbia Pictures

Choreographed by: Adam Shankman and Anne Fletcher

Jennifer Lopez slays this fiery tango, while Matthew McConaughey is no slouch, keeping a killer frame and wearing a very well-fitting pair of pants.

42. A second stab at Fame (2009)


Choreographed by: Marguerite Derricks, Lyle Beniga, Jennifer Hamilton, and Dan Domenech,

So You Think You Can Dance scene-stealer Kherington Payne runs away with this movie's most memorable routine, set to Sam Sparro's sublime "Black & Gold."

41. Britney stans for Austin Powers: Goldmember (2002)

Choreographed by: Marguerite Derricks and Michelle Elkin

Mike Myers' star-studded franchise tapped Britney Spears — at her ab-flaunting peak — to cameo in the dance-tastic opening credits sequence and revealing, in the process, that she's a Fembot (duh).

39. Step Up Revolution sends out a call to arms (2012)


Choreographed by: Christopher Scott, Chuck Maldonado, Jamal Sims, and Travis Wall

This incendiary seamlessly blends, what feels like, two dozens styles of dance into a tightly packed denouement.

38. Hairspray finds the "Beat" (2007)

New Line Cinema

Choreographed by: Adam Shankman, Anne Fletcher, Jamal Sims, Joey Pizzi, and Zach Woodlee

Even John Travolta's fat suit shaking can't stop the sense of inescapable fun coursing throughout this stunning pastiche of '60s-styles.

35. Nine is a ten (2009)

The Weinstein Company

Choreographed by: Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Denise Faye, Tara Nicole Hughes, and Joey Pizzi

Kate Hudson delivers this mod routine with such a boundless sense of effervescence that it's not surprising the performance dominated promotional materials for the movie. Also, her hairography is unrivaled.

33. Putting the "Dirty" in Dirty Dancing (1987)

Vestron Pictures

Choreographed by: Kenny Ortega and Miranda Garrison

This scene is all watermelons and sweaty, writhing bodies until Patrick Swayze and Cynthia Rhodes arrive to class up the joint and answer the immortal question: "Do You Love Me?"

30. A Drop Dead Gorgeous routine (1999)

Choreographed by: Jerry Mitchell and Pamela Remler

Even if she wasn't surrounded by second-tier talent (which is being generous), Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst) would have wowed the Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant with this rousing tap routine.

28. A Hairspray routine worth running to see (2007)

New Line Cinema

Choreographed by: Adam Shankman, Anne Fletcher, Jamal Sims, Joey Pizzi, and Zach Woodlee

Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) learns a whole new way to dance in detention from Seaweed (Elijah Kelley) and his sister Inez (Taylor Parks).

26. A contemporary classic from Step Up Revolution (2012)


Choreographed by: Christopher Scott, Chuck Maldonado, Jamal Sims, and Travis Wall

The contemporary routine that caps off the franchise's fourth installment is a stunning work of art, showcasing the tremendous talents of lead Kathryn McCormick.

25. Roxanne visits the Moulin Rouge (2001)

20th Century Fox

Choreographed by: John O'Connell, Sheree Da Costa, and Pamela French

For all the film's pomp and circumstance, the single greatest routine in Moulin Rouge doesn't feature stars Nicole Kidman or Ewan McGregor, nor does it rely on quick-cutting and hyper-surreal visuals. Instead, the camera is trained on an intense tango that has far-reaching results.

23. The Masked man sure knows how to dance (1994)