Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #41

In honor of yet another dance show premiering tonight (Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew), I thought I'd focus my Thursday Thirteen on what is probably my favorite genre of movies. See, if you know me at all, you know that if there is one regret I have in life, it is not pursuing dance as a career. There are a million and one reasons why I did not, the main one probably being that I am a realist and a college education and good paying job won over chasing my dreams in an industry that beats you up and spits you out. An industry that can leave you with broken dreams, a broken heart, and a broken down body, unless you manage to be one of the select few that "makes" it. Even then, it can only last so long before the reality of age against a dancer's demanding lifestyle catches up with you. Name me a professional dancer over the age of 30. Right.

But I love dance. I love TO dance, I love to watch others dance, I love to talk about, think about, and examine the world of dance. From ballett to ballroom, from jazz to hip hop, it all fascinates in a way that very few other things in life do. I can stop cold in my tracks watching a young kid breakdance on a piece of cardboard on a street corner. I can watch a ballroom competition on television beginning to end without once taking my eyes of the screen. When I was younger, I could dance for hours out at nightclubs, never needing to get drunk or high like the other partiers, because I really was out there to dance, period. And even now, as I realize I'm way too old for the club scene, but still too young to put away my dance shoes, I've managed to incorporate dance as my main workout, with that fantastic video game invention Dance Dance Revolution.

Therefore, when it comes to television and movies, it should come as no surprise that I'm hooked on anything that even mentions the word dance. As far as television goes, my favorite has got to be So You Think You Can Dance, and I've focused more than one blog post on that show alone already. But with movies? OH, how I love me a good dance movie. In fact, I love me a bad dance movie too. Because as far as dance movies go, about 95% of the time, the plot and storyline (and even the acting) can leave a lot to be desired. But it's not about all that with dance movies, it's about THE DANCING.

Here are 13 dance movies I can watch (and have watched) over and over again (click on the photos to learn more about the movies).

1. Dirty Dancing - Of course.

2. Center Stage - probably one of my favorites on this list. This one not only has an actual plot, but it's about ballett, which is secretly (or not so secretly) my favorite form of dance.

3. Step Up - Dancing and Channing Tatum? How could you go wrong?

4. Save the Last Dance - yes, white girls CAN dance.

5. Honey - Boy, did the plot on this one leave a lot to be desired...and yet, the dancing made up for it.

6. You Got Served - I honestly don't even remember what the story was for this movie, but the dancing was amazing.

7. Flashdance - because you can't possibly have a list of dance movies and not include this one!

8. Footloose - a town where dancing is outlawed? INSANE! And Kevin Bacon dacing on top of cars? Really, isn't that what movie magic is all about?

9. Fame - you know you started singing that song immediately, didn't you?

10. Grease - Who can forget that dance scene with ChaCha DiGreogorio? And the dancing through the fun house at the end? Ah Grease!

11. Bring It On - Cheeky, but oh so much fun. And yes, Virginia, cheerleading really is dance.

12. The Turning Point - an older movie about ballett. A bit more serious than your typical dance movie. And yes, that is Mikhail Baryshnikov.

13. Saturday Night Fever - You didn't think I'd forget, did you? I mean, come on, it's Travolta when he was still hot!

I realize I've probably missed a few, so, please, if you have a favorite dance movie I didn't mention, tell me what it is, because I want to watch it. And don't tell me to go watch Stomp The Yard, I KNOW, I's on my list, I swear. As is the soon to be out Step Up 2 (Feb. 14th). So, what's your fave?


Sandee said...

I've seen 1, 7, 10 and 13. Of those 1 is my favorite. You are right you can watch them over and over. I have too. Have a great TT. :)

Malcolm said...

On your list, I have seen 9, 10, and 13. If you haven't yet, another dance movie you should check out is the 1989 release "Tap". It stars Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, and Sammy Davis Jr. (in his final role). It has some amazing sequences in it.

Karen said...

oh you listed a couple of my faves: Sat Night Fever, Flashdance, Turning Point (because of Misha!) There was also a wonderful dance movie with Gregory Hines and Isabella Rosellini and Misha. they live in Russia and are trying to get out of the country. Very good...but I just can't remember the name!!
Great TT!

ANA said...

I love love love Step Up *Channing Tatum aw the hotness*
I'm sad he's not casting in Step Up 2, but I'm sure it's gonna be equally good....

Rebecca said...

I never realized I loved so many dance movies. You even have one of my secret guilty pleasure movies on there. ;-)

P.S. Rockin' With Frigga has started!! :-)

Unknown said...

Hey, I've seen 9 of those. :)

Anonymous said...

The only one I have seen was Flashdance, which I saw on a plane. I'm not sure why I have never seen Sat Night Fever. I guess I should put it on my Netflix list.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you really DO like dance. I don't think I've seen any of these. Not even the ones that are classics! I am so out of every loop...sigh.

My colleague posted some fun photos---an "easy read" this week:

TT#23 |  13 New York Photos (Part I: Around Town)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Slightly late - okay, 4 days late - but dance movies!! Karina, I am with you! Dance is my life! I am a bona fide Ballet Freak, or as we like to call ourselves, a balletomane. I took ballet when I was young, but I'm too afraid of heights (seriously) and would never have had the courage for lifts. But ballet is the way my heart truly feels. Ballet leaves me in tears all the time - but tears of joy.

That said, 'The Turning Point' is my all-time favorite. Baryshnikov is a god as far as I'm concerned. 'Grease', of course, 'Saturday Night Fever' are all big faves. 'Center Stage' too, of course. I tend to really love ballet so I've got actual full-length ballets on tape or DVD. They're my true favorites. I have Baryshnikov & Makarova's 'Giselle', but I also have Karen Kain & Frank Augustyn's 'Giselle' and I love both of them for different reasons. I need more ballets!! Please, companies - release more copies!!! Thank God for YouTube - I get all my ballet fixes from there.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Me again - forgot to mention I LOVE Gene Kelly. Watch his musicals - he's fabuloso. And how could I not mention 'West Side Story'? TOTAL fave. And the ballet from 'Oklahoma!' - the 50's musical version is very good, but watching Hugh Jackman dance it (okay, mostly partner it, but whatever) in the recent filmed stage version is shivery goodness.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Sorry - just read through the other comments - Lara Angelina is talking about 'White Nights' - yes, very, very good. Real ballet (contemporary) in that one. Plus a truly moving piece that Baryshnikov dances alone.