TOP TEN AWESOME DANCE SCENES IN FILM:
#1 JAMES McAVOY (SPLIT)
Song: Snails – ‘Frogbass’
During an interview with PopSugar, McAvoy’s Split co-star Anya Taylor-Joy (the terrified looking chick in the video) was asked if there was anything she thought the audience might not pick up on unless they’re looking for it. Because Shyamalan likes to fuck with us like that.
“Oh, yes!” she said. “But it’s not my performance.”
She was talking about McAvoy, of course, and it’s the dance.
“He’s telling a story while he’s dancing. So, at the beginning, he’s a little kid, and he’s imagining that he’s at a club. And someone’s telling him to get into a dance fight with him. And then he tells an entire story of being eaten by a zombie and coming at me as a zombie . . . Most people won’t pick up on that, but he is that specific, and that’s the work that he puts into it.”
#2 LEONARDO DICAPRIO (THE WOLF OF WALL STREET)
Song: Bo Diddley – ‘Pretty Thing’
After appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show some years ago, Winfrey’s researchers learnt that DiCaprio had once won second place in a German break-dancing competition. His moves earned him the nickname ‘The Noodle.’
In The Wolf Of Wall Street, DiCaprio improvised his dance moves on the spot, serving fools up in a few seconds of Pop-and-Lock genius. The only thing I don’t like about it, is that there just isn’t enough.
#3 OSCAR ISAAC & SONOYA MIZUNO (EX MACHINA)
Song: Oliver Cheatham – ‘Get Down Saturday Night’
About halfway through the atmospheric, unsettling sci-fi Ex Machina, something truly magnificent happens; Oscar Isaac decides to ‘tear up the fucking dancefloor.’
And for no good reason, according to the director, Alex Garland.
“It was an instinct to sort of slap the thing in the face a bit,” Garland said in an interview with BuzzFeed, and the amazing thing is – their dance moves work with pretty much every other song imaginable. Isaac has since said that the unforgettable dance scene was cut in half.
“Gotta leave ’em wanting more…”
And oh, we do.
#4 JOHN TRAVOLTA & UMA THURMAN (PULP FICTION)
Song: Chuck Berry – ‘You Never Can Tell’
We all know Travolta can dance. In the late seventies he discoed and hand-jived his way to stardom and a decade later, he was nowhere to be found. Enter Quentin Tarantino, and Pulp Fiction – the film that made Tarantino a household name, introduced us to Samuel L motherfuckin’ Jackson and proved that yes, Travolta’s still got it.
Of this now-iconic dance scene, Tarantino has said “Everybody thinks that I wrote this scene just to have John Travolta dancing. But the scene existed before John Travolta was cast. But once he was cast, it was like, “Great. We get to see John dance. All the better.”… My favorite musical sequences have always been in Godard, because they just come out of nowhere. It’s so infectious, so friendly. And the fact that it’s not a musical, but he’s stopping the movie to have a musical sequence, makes it all the more sweet.”
Also, if you’re into watching this dance scene set to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off – you can check it out HERE. I considered it blasphemy, but like all things evil and sick, the more you do it, the more you enjoy it.
#5 JON HEDER (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE)
Song: Jamiroquai – ‘Canned Heat’
This is by far one of the greatest dance scenes in any film, ever. Of the scene, star Jon Heder said;
“Any other film would have gotten a choreographer to work with me, but they were like, ‘No, Jon, just figure it out’. So I just winged it. I danced three times and they took the best pieces from each of those.”
I found this snippet, by Andrea Grassi, to be immensely interesting:
‘When I think of how dance can be an integral facet of communication of the post-literate future, I can’t help but use the example of Napoleon Dynamite. In the 2004 film, outcast Napoleon has trouble communicating with the rest of the student body because of his otherness. He doesn’t relate to any of the students other than two outsiders. Tormented by his otherness, and other students, he begins to tell fantastic stories about himself as a defense. Napoleon, desperate to be understood, first attempts at communicating with the student body by joining the Happy Hands Club – a student club that perform sign language to the lyrics of popular songs. However, because of the barriers inherent in the language, he is unable to craft an original message. It is only when Napoleon finds an instructional video on dance does he succeed in sending a message to his fellow students in a penultimate dance scene. With this dance, he is able to communicate directly to the student body, who in turn react to the performance with a standing ovation – an explicit understanding. Using dance as a tool, our hero is able to communicate, and perhaps own up to, his own unique culture.’
#6 HUGH GRANT (LOVE ACTUALLY)
Song: The Pointer Sisters – ‘Jump (For My Love)’
In Love Actually, after telling off the President of the United States, the Prime Minister (Grant) is at his home when the radio plays Jump (For My Love) in his honour.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, director Richard Curtis said;
“Hugh was hugely grumpy about it… The fault line was the dance, because there was no way he could do that in a prime ministerial manner. He kept putting it off, and he didn’t like the song—it was originally a Jackson 5 song, but we couldn’t get it—so he was hugely unhappy about it. We didn’t shoot it until the final day and it went so well that when we edited it, it had gone too well, and he was singing along with the words.”
Despite his resilience, Grant nailed it, and in March 2017 reprised his role as the BPM as part of the annual Red Nose Day telethon and recreated the dance to Drake’s Hotline Bling.
#7 THE CAST OF ‘THIS IS THE END’ WITH THE BACKSTREET BOYS
Song: Backstreet Boys – ‘Everybody’
According to This Is The End star, Jay Baruchel, the end heaven sequence was shot over the course of one day, meaning he and co-stars Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson had to learn the Backstreet Boys’ famous dance moves in a very short amount of time.
“We weren’t as prepared as we should have been, which is part of what made it so bloody funny,” Baruchel said.
Originally, co-writer-director Evan Goldberg and Rogen wanted the main cast to go to heaven and be greeted by Morgan Freeman.
“The whole joke was, he shows up, and he’s like, ‘I’m God,'” Goldberg said. “And they’re like, ‘You’re God?’ And Jay goes, ‘Wait, so when we were in Million Dollar Baby together, were you God then? I don’t get it.’ And then God shows up and he’s like, ‘We’re just fucking with you. This is Morgan Freeman. We just play this joke on people when they come to heaven now. Do you guys want to get high and play some video games?’”
Freeman, for some strange reason, didn’t want to participate and rejected them. So it was onto plan B.
“The Backstreet Boys were like, ‘Yeah! Of course we would be in heaven,'” Rogen said. “‘Why wouldn’t we be? We bring joy to the world.'”
#8 JENNIFER LAWRENCE & BRADLEY COOPER (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK)
Song 1. Stevie Wonder – ‘Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing’
Song 2. The White Stripes – ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’
Song 3. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – ‘Maria’
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence went from having no previous dance experience to looking like pros in a month. According to choreographer Mandy Moore, known for her work on So You Think You Can Dance, by the time the final dance scene was shot, the pair were dumbing down their dance skills to appear inept.
In the final dance scene of the film, they’re all over the place, botching shit up left and right, and looking damn good doing it.
#9 SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT (AMERICAN PIE: THE WEDDING)
Songs: Fuck that, there’s too many
Let’s face it, the only good reason for sitting through any American Pie film is watching Seann William Scott’s arrogant, hilarious, idiotic Stifler in action.
In the third movie of the original franchise – The Wedding – Stifler, in a gay bar, gets himself into a full on dance off with that guy who once played Thor for the first time on the big screen, in some god awful Hulk TV Movie.
#10 TOM CRUISE (TROPIC THUNDER)
Song: Ludacris – ‘Get Back’
He was hairy, vulgar, and a killer hip-hop dancer. Tom Cruise surprised us all with his cameo in the incredibly entertaining Tropic Thunder. He stole every scene he was in and gave us not one dance, but two – the best of which comes in right at the end of the film.
There’s nothing better than Tom Cruise in a fat suit dancing to hip-hop.
It should come as no surprise that the foul-mouthed, ill-tempered Les Grossman was created by Cruise himself. Big Dick Playaaa.
BONUS: GIOVANNI RIBISI (TED)
Song: Tiffany – ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’
I stand corrected.
Watching Giovanni Ribisi perform this straw-fellatio dry-humping of the air to ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ is the single greatest thing ever. For fans of Seth McFarlane, Ribisi shows up in A Million Ways To Die In The West doing the very same dance.
It’s fucking great.
THESE SCENES NEARLY MADE THE CUT:
*Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn
*Channing Tatum in Magic Mike
*Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer
*Jennifer Aniston in We’re The Millers
*Gerrard Butler and Thandie Newton in Rock N Rolla