My Favorite Dance Movies

Here are some of my favorite (and danciest) dance films from the Music, Film & Audio Department, all available for checkout.

Billy Elliot

The story of Billy, a coal miner’s son in England, who secretly wants to become a ballet dancer. This movie was later turned into a Broadway musical, which you can also check out from your library.

Center Stage

Twelve young dancers gain entry into the prestigious American Ballet Academy, where they must compete for coveted positions with a dance company. The film stars real dancers, and the final showcase is especially delightful.

Dirty Dancing

The movie that introduced the world to the late, great Patrick Swayze. Baby and Johnny come from completely different backgrounds, but are brought together through dance one summer in the Catskills.


The story of an ambitious and feisty woman who works as both a welder and an exotic dancer, but dreams of one day attending ballet school. Filmed in Pittsburgh.


While lacking some of the campy fun of the original 1984 teen classic, this remake is surprisingly true to the spirit of the original — yes, we are once again in a small town where dancing is illegal and the teens are dying to rebel. The updated music is fun, and this version actually contains more dancing than the original.

Magic Mike: XXL

Mike and the Kings of Tampa come together for a road trip to Myrtle Beach for one last magic performance. An especially charming dance sequence in a convenience store is performed by Pittsburgher Joe Manganiello.

Step Up 3

Sure, the first Step Up is a pretty good movie with things like plot and character development and Channing Tatum in oversized jeans, but what it doesn’t have is enough dancing. Thankfully, Step Up 3, and 4 and 5, all deliver a dizzying amount of dance goods.

Strictly Ballroom

In this early Baz Luhrmann picture, a champion ballroom dancer (and loose cannon) teams up with a wallflower to compete in the Australian National Championship. Laughs and sparks ensue.