Dance Movies to Get You Inspired

We have collected a number of movies to inspire that dancer in you and your child. Some we’ve pulled come from the classic “golden era” of Hollywood, and others bridge the gap between the 1960s and the deluge of dance movies from the early 2000s. If you’re looking for a way to spend a rainy autumn afternoon, check out one of these movies to get your child excited about dance class later this week!

Dance movies for young children and the whole family:

Happy Feet (PG), animated

The Sound of Music (G), live-action
Musical Theater dancing, lyrical

Leap (PG), animated
Ballet/ with some “rustic” elements mixed in, for a musical theater dancing effect

Hairspray (PG), live-action
1960’s boogie

First Position (documentary, not rated)
Follows young dancers ranging from age 9-19 in a world-renowned ballet competition.

High School Musical
Musical Theater dancing, varied


Dance movies for teens and adults:

Oklahoma! (not rated), live-action
Varied, musical theater, ballet

Save the Last Dance (PG – 13)
Ballet meets hip hop

Center Stage (PG – 13)

West Side Story (unrated)
Musical Theater dancing, varied

Step Up (PG – 13)
Varied (ballroom, classical, lyrical, hip hop, etc)

Take the Lead (PG – 13)

Grease (PG – 13)
Musical Theater dancing, modern/jazz informed

Stomp the Yard (PG – 13)
Step dancing

Strictly Ballroom (PG)
Ballroom dancing, with “unorthodox” flair


Staff Favorites:

Mary Poppins (G), live action, some animation

A classic children’s film, from 1964 with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, Mary Poppins features Andrews’ amazing singing voice and capacity for classical, elegant dancing, as she plays a magical nanny for an upper crust London family. One of the most famous scenes depicts Mary Poppins spending an enchanted night off on the rooftops of London, dancing with a squadron of Chimney Sweeps, up above the smoggy city in “Step in Time.”


Dirty Dancing (PG-13), live action

Another classic, but from the 1980s and appropriate for teens, Dirty Dancing follows the story of a young woman at a summer resort with her family, who befriends and falls for the dance instructor. He helps her learn ballroom dancing styles (both standard and latin) to fundraise for a friend in need. The movie culminates in a leap-and-lift maneuver that is finally achieved in the performance.


Anastasia (G), animated

In the vein of the animated fairytales of the 1990s and early 2000s, Anastasia is a cartoon musical which elaborates on the murmurs that the Russian Princess Anastasia was the only member of her family to survive the Bolshevik uprising. Suffering amnesia, and going by the name Anya, two con men take advantage of her likeness in order to claim a reward in Paris. The story has a fair amount of “My Fair Lady” parallels, including many scenes where Anya is learning how to dance, to lovely and memorable songs.

Here at the Omaha School of Music and Dance, we would like to ask the question first posed by Gloria Estefan: Is the rhythm going to get you? If you have caught the bug, OSMD offers a number of dance classes for children up to adults. From ballet to hip hop, from tap to lyrical and jazz, we can register you for the dance class that’s right for you. And keep and eye out this spring: the Omaha School of Music and Dance will be offering wedding dance lessons for brides-and-grooms-to-be!

Register online or call the Omaha School of Music and Dance to sign up for one of our dance classes. Remember, if you refer a friend, both you and the friend get an Amazon gift card!

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