Well, as those of you who have known me for a while might know, when I’m not dance teaching or at the studio, I’m famous for being quite the couch potato. One thing I love doing is watching dance movies and musicals and I always find I feel a little bit pumped and excited about dance after watching one.
Well, we have all been doing some couch potatoing in lockdown lately and some of us are feeling a little bit flat about dance. So I have compiled a little list of some great dance movies and musicals I think you will all enjoy and they might spark some inspiration for the kids of MSF.
In no particular order…
- Camilla Cabello Cinderella (2021)
A modern take on the classic tale, the soundtrack is epic and had me wanting to sing and dance the whole time. I love the mix of original and old songs and there is some fabulous dance choreography too. The modern twist on the storyline and the outspoken female leads are more relevant to 2021 and arguably this Cinderella makes for a better role model than the original. Some die hard disney fans have said this film is “too woke” but I think it is fabulous and just what our generation of strong willed princesses need.
RATED: PG WHERE TO WATCH: AMAZON PRIME
- The Prom (2020)
A group of self-obsessed and out of work Broadway stars with huge personalities shake things up when they visit a conservative town in Indiana on a mission. The storyline faces some big topics not usually addressed by traditional and classic musicals and it teaches some good lessons about acceptance. Since watching this star-studded musical last year, I have had the soundtrack on repeat!
RATED: PG WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX
- First Position (2011)
This documentary follows the lives of 6 young, real life ballerinas as they prepare to perform at the Youth America Grand Prix, a global ballet competition. This doco is a real eye opener and show cases just how much hard work, dedication and commitment it takes to make it in the world of ballet. I would LOVE for all of our ballet students to watch this one. I have seen it multiple times and I am always left in awe (and in tears).
RATED: G WHERE TO WATCH: GOOGLE PLAY
- Work It (2020)
While the story line for this one is a tiny bit predictable, it’s still a fun watch and showcases some great choreography. It highlights the fact that it is never too late to start dance, if it’s what you want to do and that you don’t need to look or act a certain way to be a dancer…which is what we’re all about here at Main St Funk.
RATED: M WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX
- Feel the Beat (2020)
After crashing and burning due to some poor decision making (and not poor dancing), a professional dancer returns home and is recruited by her childhood dance school to teach a group of recreational dancers and to prepare them for a competition. A fun watch with an emphasise on starting fresh, team work, inclusion and having fun, this is a great movie for the whole family. You’ll feel inspired and have a few giggles too.
RATED: G WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX
- Hairspray (2007)
Set in the early 1960’s, on the surface this light hearted and fun musical is simply about Tracy Turnblad, a teenager who loves to dance and wants to score a performing role on “The Corny Collins Show” – a local teen dance show that airs on tv every day after school. However, at the heart of the storyline, Tracy and her friends face racial discrimination, body image issues and bullies. This musical is famous for a reason and definitely worth watching. A warning for the grown ups in the house though, this soundtrack will be played over and over and over again! So, if you’re looking for something to replace Frozen’s “Let It Go”, Hairspray is where you’ll find it.
RATED: PG WHERE TO WATCH: STAN, AMAZON PRIME
- Billy Elliot (2000)
An 11-year-old boy takes up ballet in secret while his dad believes he is at boxing training. The local dance teacher discovers that Billy is truly gifted and could have a real future in ballet. This story tackles the notion that “boys don’t dance” during the 1980’s. It’s a beautiful story but it does have some darker moments so some grown ups near by would be a good idea for our younger dancers. Don’t worry, grown ups will love this one too and I would especially hope our young male dancers give this flick a try.
RATED: M WHERE TO WATCH: BINGE
- Ballerina (2016)
Starring Maddie Zeigler (from Dance Moms), a poor orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina but has had no formal training. After escaping the orphanage she has grown up in, she assumes the identity of Camille, a nasty young girl who was accepted into the Paris Opera Ballet School. Soon her lie is discovered but with grit, determination and a few hard lessons learned, she is eventually able to fulfill her ballet dreams. A beautiful, animated story set in Paris in the 1880’s and a reminder that it is passion and heart that set great dancers apart.
RATED: G WHERE TO WATCH: APPLE TV
- Moulin Rouge (2001)
Moulin Rouge is truly a fantastic movie, whether you are into musicals or not. While it is probably geared to an older age group, I did see this one the year it came out at 8 years old and I loved it then as much as I love it now. I even had the soundtrack on CD! (Remember CDs??) The storyline is complex but dancers of all ages will appreciate the huge, cinematic dance numbers. Fun fact, many of the amazing dancers in the cast are Australian, including; Sue Allen Shook, Luke Alleva, Deon Nuku and Andrew Micallef, all of whom I have had the pleasure of training with and learning from when I was studying dance fulltime.
RATED: M WHERE TO WATCH: DISNEY+, AMAZON PRIME
- Strictly Ballroom (1992)
A timeless aussie classic starring Paul Mercurio and Sonia Kruger – need I say more? While ballroom isn’t on our agenda here at MSF, this movie is an all time fave and has our family in stitches every time we watch it. It’s a dance movie even my dad enjoys. And often if you find Kristie, Carla and I sniggering in the corner or doing that embarrassing silent laugh, you can bet we are quoting Strictly Ballroom. If you’re not convinced, I’ll just say this – Are you really an aussie dancer if you haven’t seen Strictly Ballroom?
RATED: PG WHERE TO WATCH: ABC IVIEW, AMAZON PRIME
These movies are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the amazing dance movies and musicals that are out there and I won’t say they are my “top 10” because I’m not discriminatory when it comes to dance flicks. I love them all equally! Seriously. There is not one out there I don’t like. But just writing these out makes me feel like I just want to watch them all, all over again! If only I had the time… *wink emoji*.
I hope you get a chance to have a dance movie night or a dance movie marathon sometime this lockdown. Let me know what you watch and what you think!
Chloe Jobson – Couch Potato and Co-Owner of Main St Funk