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    10 Movie Dance Scenes That Blow Us Away, And 9 That Are Just Overrated

    There are some terrific movie dance numbers out there, but there are also some really, really rough ones.

    by ,

    Hi there! We're Morgan and Evelina. In our spare time, you can find us on our couches, munching on popcorn and watching movies. And our favorite kind of films? Ones with a killer dance scene, of course!


    Unfortunately, not all dance scenes are created equal. Some stay with you long after the credits roll, and some make you wish you could forget them forever. Here are a few dance scenes totally rock and a few that, well, don't.

    Warner Bros.

    1. The end-of-year showcase in the first Step Up movie is perfect.

    Summit Entertainment

    To this day, the final dance at the end of the first Step Up is the best of the whole franchise. It manages to be flashy without completely overselling what Tyler (Channing Tatum) could have learned in a year. He and Jenna Dewan had some serious chemistry that was as hot as their dance moves.

    2. But the one at the end of Center Stage is full of nonsense.


    We know, we know. How dare we?! Center Stage is an amazing ballet movie. And this scene features great choreography and dancing, but it’s not a feasible end-of-year showcase. Jodie changes outfits, hairstyles, and makeup in the middle of the number!!!! And Cooper rides a motorcycle onstage!

    3. The final dance in Dirty Dancing is the perfect representation of two people in love.

    Great American Films

    The lift. The lift!!! Dirty Dancing is one of the most iconic dance movies of all time for a reason. This scene is the perfect summation of Johnny and Baby’s relationship. He learns to be more caring, she finds her confidence, and it all comes together in a perfect routine. And because it bears repeating, that lift!!

    4. But Peter Parker's moves in Spider-Man 3 literally make our faces flush with embarrassment for him.


    This scene is absolutely cringeworthy. We don't know who choreographed this dance, but they should be fired. And Peter using his date to try and make Mary Jane jealous is rude to both women. Not cool, man.

    5. J. Lo's opening pole dance in Hustlers is honestly one of the best things ever committed to film.

    Nuyorican Productions

    The moment Ramona starts dancing, you immediately know everything you need to know about her: she can make you do whatever she wants and there’s nothing she loves more than money. Never mind the fact that J. Lo was 50 years old when this happened.

    6. But the dancing in this scene in La La Land is very underwhelming.


    This film as a whole is spectacular, and we love what they’re going for here. But this specific scene just doesn’t do it for us. Sebastian and Mia aren’t in sync, the choreography is a bit boring, and the moves are sloppy. Still a cute couple though!

    7. The detention dance scene from The Breakfast Club has become legendary for good reason.


    For a few minutes, five people of different backgrounds and classes are on the same page. They set aside their differences and bond in this moment, having fun and making memories. Dance is the great equalizer! Plus, you gotta love those '80s moves.

    8. But the climax in Bring In On: All Or Nothing is a hot mess.

    Beacon Pictures

    The Crenshaw Heights Warriors come onstage to mimic the other squad’s routine and then, um, krump them off the stage? And then they do a 30-second routine where you can’t tell what the heck is happening because there are soooo many cuts and close-ups. This is the Bring It On sequel that everybody remembers, but this scene ain't it.

    9. The climactic dance in Black Swan is a key part of the main character's arc.

    20th Century Fox

    Throughout the whole movie you watch Nina (Natalie Portman) lose her grip on reality, becoming more consumed by her role as the Swan Queen. The dance sequence near the end shows you how far gone she is when HER ARMS TURN INTO WINGS as she piqué turns and fouettés all over the stage.

    10. But the Thriller scene in 13 Going on 30 is painful to watch.


    Jenna is such a cute character, and we gotta give props for dancing in the middle of a party while everyone just stares at you. But she's just so awkward about it! Even after everyone joins in, her dancing is just unpleasant to look at.

    11. Napoleon Dynamite dances in front of a school that bullies him just so his friend can become the student president.

    Searchlight Pictures

    This is an inspiring moment for nerdy kids everywhere. When they pop the cassette tape in – talk about throwback – Napoleon confidently dances his heart out in front of his whole school. He receives a standing ovation, and Pedro is elected president! This just proves the power of dance.

    12. But Vincent and Mia feel don't deserve all the praise they get for the twist contest in Pulp Fiction.


    For some reason, this dance scene has become iconic, but we just don't see it. After watching John Travolta in Grease, we were expecting some seriously impressive moves, but he never delivers. Yes, his heart isn't in it because he's just babysitting his boss's wife but still. This is definitely one of the weakest dance competitions of all time.

    13. The final hurrah in High School Musical is the sweetest dance number.


    The final scene gives us everything we could want: Sharpay and Ryan getting their time to shine, easy choreography so we can dance along at home, and of course Troy and Gabriella looking inhumanly beautiful together. What's not to love?

    14. But Tanya's beach scene is a total joke in Mamma Mia!.


    Mamma Mia! is a fabulous musical that connects with people of all ages. But we're sorry, this scene right here should have been cut. Christine Baranski is an amazing actress, but even she can't pull off these dorky moves.

    15. The dance battle in White Chicks is a hilarious show down that teaches those spoiled brats a lesson.


    When the bratty Vandergeld sisters beat the squad – with a pretty mediocre routine if you ask us – Kevin and Marcus take over with some old school moves and breakdancing. It's a fun lighthearted way to put the sisters in their place and raise the confidence of their friends.

    16. But the tango scene in Shall We Dance? has almost no chemistry.


    Richard Gere's character isn't supposed to be a great dancer in this scene, but he barely moves while Jennifer Lopez dances around him. Tango is meant to be super passionate, but in this scene the connection between John and Paulina doesn't come through.

    17. The final battle of You Got Served is everything you can hope for in a dance off.

    Screen Gems

    The competition tie breaker is an epic scene with outrageous moves and an emotional win for the Lil’ Saints. Plus, Lil’ Kim is one of the judges! It’s easy to see why You Got Served inspired a generation of street dance movies.

    18. But the final audition scene in Save The Last Dance doesn't have a lot of impact.


    It pains us to say it, but the final dance in Save The Last Dance is hard to watch. The hip-hop/ballet fusion just doesn’t work very well here, and it’s very obvious when a dance double is doing the steps instead of Julia Stiles. When the camera does show her face, it’s pretty expressionless. This is supposed to be her character’s audition for freaking Juilliard?!

    19. And finally, Olive's routine in Little Miss Sunshine is what dancing is all about.

    Searchlight Pictures

    Olive’s routine is just about the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect dedication to her grandfather. We love Olive's sass and confidence as she struts her stuff. She’s a unique kid, and her choreography celebrates that. Yass, girl!

    Did we miss any dance scenes that you love or just love to hate? Let us know in the comments below!

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