Summer is upon us! While this summer will certainly be different from before, there’s one tradition still going strong: movie night!
Now, I’m definitely a little biased towards a particular type of movie: those with dancing in them. After all, seeing dancers on the big (and little) screen is a great way to motivate myself, learn from them, and -- even if the characters are fictional -- they can be big role models for us.
Below are three fun movies to watch with your little dancer at home, as a reminder that while we can’t be dancing in classrooms and studios right now, we can still have fun.
1) Step Up.
There’s a reason why Step Up has spawned four other movies after it, as well as a spin-off film and an entire television series. The original Step Up features Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, two highly-recognizable actors in Hollywood. Dewan worked as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson, and Tatum was featured as a dancer in a Ricky Martin music video. The movie showcases the talents of two talented young dancers while marrying two different styles of dancing: street dancing and modern dancing. It’s a great coming-of-age story of a dancer, with a wonderful screenplay.
Link to Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz0klawS0sw
2) Singing in the Rain
This one is a classic (and an oldie from 1952). It was also selected as one of 25 films by the US Library of Congress for being culturally, historically and aesthetically important. After all, that scene of Gene Kelly singing, dancing and spinning in the rain and puddles has now become ingrained in our dance world. What better way to spend a summer night watching (or re-watching!) this fun and light-hearted film, watching away as our two main characters and others sing and dance in a wonderfully-created story. And interestingly: the female lead actress, Debbie Reynolds, actually isn’t a dancer, but a gymnast. Yet her determination to act in this film is attestment to the value of hard work and subsequent success in dance.
3) The Red Shoes
Here’s another oldie and classic. This 1948 British movie probably sparked a wave of young girls to learn how to dance after its release -- that’s how popular and impactful this movie is. A whole cast of well-established ballerinas were enlisted in the film, including Moira Shearer and Robert Helpmann. As the name suggests, it’s a remake of the fairy tale “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Anderson, but like all original Anderson fairy tales, it’s definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. But even so, The Red Shoes remains a classic -- a dazzling and ambitious display of ballet in the then-modern day film.
Link to Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRV6LPtRUyc
Bonus: Almost Family: Season 1, Episode 5.
If you don’t want to sit for a full feature film, we recommend Almost Family, a family “dramedy”. Also - how cool is it that one of our own Dancina gymnastics leotards was featured on this show!