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Top 10 Romantic Dance Scenes in Movies

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Nick Spake These scenes make us want to dance the night away. Join MsMojo, as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Romantic Dance Scenes in Movies. For this list, we’re taking a look at the most heartwarming big screen dance scenes in love stories, although these don’t necessarily have to entail slow dances. We’ve excluded Disney movies, whether they be live-action or animated, because they deserve a list of their own. MsMojo Social Media: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Snapchat:

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Top 10 Romantic Dance Scenes in Movies

These scenes make us want to dance the night away. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Romantic Dance Scenes in Movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most heartwarming big screen dance scenes in love stories, although these don’t necessarily have to entail slow dances. We’ve excluded Disney movies, whether they be live-action or animated, because they deserve a list of their own.

#10: Dancing in the Street
“The Notebook” (2004)

Noah might not have the money to take Allie out for a fancy night on the town, but even when given little to work with, this guy can turn nothing into something. Following a romantic evening of watching the traffic lights change, the heiress and the rebel proceed to dance in the street. Noah isn’t exactly the greatest singer in the world, but he certainly knows how to make beautiful music. Creating a genuinely romantic atmosphere, Noah wins Allie over with his charisma, wit, and lust for life. The fact that he looks like Ryan Gosling certainly doesn’t hurt either.

#9: Turn Me On
“Love Actually” (2003)

Co-workers Sarah and Karl share a mutual attraction, but neither has the guts to instigate a romance. The two finally come together at a Christmas party where the shy Karl asks the awe-struck Sarah to dance. The music changes at just the right time, bringing them closer together than ever before. With a smile on her face, Sarah waits for her dream guy to turn her on. Following their classy dance and an awkward car ride home, they partake in a passionate kiss at long last. It would’ve been the perfect evening if it weren’t for Sarah’s darling brother.

#8: He Loves and She Loves
“Funny Face” (1957)

We couldn’t have a list like this without Fred Astaire, who danced his way into the hearts of millions during Hollywood’s Golden Age. It was a match made in heaven when Astaire starred opposite fellow screen legend Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face,” which follows a photographer who falls for a bashful bookstore clerk. In the film’s final act, the two embrace their feelings with a little song and dance. This number feels like something out of a fairytale, complete with birds and swans aplenty. The picturesque scenery and Hepburn’s stunning wedding dress also significantly add to the romance factor. As their graceful waltz comes to an end, we can practically hear church bells on the horizon.

#7: Dance at the Gym
“West Side Story” (1961)

The dance choreography plays a crucial role in “West Side Story,” perhaps even more so than the music and lyrics. It’s love at first sight when Tony and Maria exchange looks from across the gym auditorium. As our star-crossed lovers make their way to each other, the crazy, energetic mambo suddenly turns into a quiet, tender dance. In this fleeting moment, it feels like as if Tony and Maria are the only two people in the world. Alas, these lovesick teenagers are quickly torn apart by their rival gangs, prompting a tragic romance right out of “Romeo and Juliet.”

#6: You’re the One That I Want
“Grease” (1978)

At the graduation carnival, Danny trades in his greaser jacket for a letterman sweater. However, it’s Sandy that really blows everyone away with her new look. Getting chills all over, Danny falls to his knees while Sandy shows off her wild side. Sparks fly as the couple boogie around the funhouse, ultimately declaring their love for one another. Where most of the scenes on this list are calm and soothing, this dance number is rambunctious and electrifying, but still incredibly romantic nonetheless. Guaranteed to put anybody in a good mood, “You’re the One That I Want” will have you singing along and dancing in the aisles.

#5: A Real Party
“Titanic” (1997)

Under the authority of her controlling mother and arrogant fiancé, Rose DeWitt Bukater is used to a strict, conformist lifestyle. This all changes when she meets the penniless free-spirit Jack Dawson. Following an upscale dinner, Rose is taken down to the Titanic’s third class and experiences a real party. As cultures continue to clash, Rose is finally encouraged to cut loose and dance like there’s notomorrow. It might not be a fancy soirée, but this rowdy gathering is full of cheer and toe-tapping music. Speaking of which, Jack is pretty good on his feet and – to his surprise – Rose is even better.

#4: Cheek to Cheek
“Top Hat” (1935)

The great Fred Astaire appears once again, this time accompanied by his longtime screen partner, Ginger Rogers. In “Top Hat,” Astaire’s Jerry becomes smitten with Rogers’ Dale. While their relationship starts out as unrequited love, Jerry eventually convinces his dream girl to share a dance. This classic number is laidback and elegant while also being rousing and grand, which is only fitting given the message of the song, “Cheek to Cheek.” When you’re in love, nothing is more thrilling than simply dancing alongside your sweetheart. Angelic, uplifting, and exceptionally choreographed, it’s a scene that’ll make your heart swoon and take your breath away.

#3: You Were Meant for Me
“Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)

The art of cinema brings our lovers together in this beloved musical. A large soundstage provides the perfect setting as silent film star Don Lockwood attempts to woo the captivating Kathy. The stage might seem dark and hollow at first, but the proper lighting and a little mist fixes that. Don sets the scene and the mood, expressing his feelings throughout song and dance. Watching them twist and twirl in front of a gorgeous sunset backdrop, it becomes crystal clear these two are meant to be. Just as Don and Kathy begin to fall head over heels for each other, the audience is bound to fall in love with the magic of movies.

#2: The Ländler
“The Sound of Music” (1965)

Like many of the couples on this list, Maria and Captain von Trapp start off on the wrong foot. An unlikely romance blossoms between the stern ex-naval officer and the lively governess, however, thanks to the power of music. Maria is flattered and nervous when the Captain asks her to join in the Ländler, a European folk dance. Like the rest of the movie, this lovely scene overflows with joy and charm. It additionally works up to a pivotal moment as the Captain and Maria begin to see each other in a whole new light. Since the Captain is engaged to another, though, neither is sure how to address the elephant in the room.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Your Song
“Moulin Rouge!” (2001)

Elena & Zorro
“The Mask of Zorro” (1998)

A 5-Point Dance
“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)

A Poetic Dance
“Shakespeare in Love” (1998)

May I Have This Dance?
“The English Patient” (1996)

#1: I've Had The Time of My Life
“Dirty Dancing” (1987)

The touching “Cry to Me” sequence will always hold a special place in our hearts (xref), but nobody puts Baby in the corner. During the stimulating climax of this ‘80s flick, Baby and Johnny proclaim their love through a risqué dance routine. In the process, they tear down class barriers and show Baby’s parents that she’s not a little girl anymore. Complete with an Oscar-winning original song and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, this iconic scene has gone on to have a rich legacy. It’s additionally been referenced in countless other romantic movies, most notably “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” (xref) Seriously, what woman hasn’t dreamed of recreating the “Dirty Dancing” lift?

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite romantic dance scene? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.


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