10 Love Lessons You Can Learn From Popular Dance Movies

There is a lot you can learn from dance films… but I don’t just mean dance moves. You can learn a lot about love from these flicks too. We all know that dance is often a metaphor for love… Whether you’re picking a partner, knowing when to lead and when to follow, or trusting someone else to catch you when you take a leap of faith… the same rules that apply to dancing apply to dating.

So for Valentine’s Day, here’s some advice to live by from the experts (Patrick Swayze, John Travolta, Channing Tatum and more)…


1. Don’t write someone off until you get to know them.

This is one of the staples of dance movies, new and old. There’s often the “bad boy” who  is really a good guy, the seemingly uptight character who finally lets loose, or the mousey girl who takes off her glasses and surprises everyone with her sexy moves. Maybe you should give that person you’ve been overlooking a chance.


Strictly Ballroom, 1993


2. Choose substance over flash.

The counterpoint to the previous lesson…. Don’t be fooled by the flashy rich guy who promises to make you a star (but is really just trying to get in your pants) or the sexy bombshell who is probably just using you. Don’t just buy the hype… look beyond the exterior.


Honey 2003


3. Your parents don’t always know what’s best for you.

Sure it’s a good idea to consider your parents’ input on the people you date… but remember that they’re not always right. If they don’t approve of your significant other, that’s their problem. (Especially if your daddy is a preacher who thinks dancing is sinful.) You’re a grown up. You can make your own decisions.

footloose dad

Footloose, 1984


4. Always be yourself.

You can try to be something you’re not… but who wants to live a lie? If you have to fake it to get someone to like you, then that person isn’t worth it. Find someone who likes you for you.

billy elliot

Billy Elliot, 2000


5. …But be the best version of yourself.

Relationships and dancing both require hard work. Be the best person you can be. Take pride in your appearance, practice your moves and don’t take your partner for granted.


Saturday Night Fever, 1977


6. Sex doesn’t automatically mean you’re dating.

There’s a difference between a one-night-stand and a relationship. If you’re not sure where you stand – ask. Don’t be a clinger.


Center Stage, 2000


7. Take risks.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or try something new. Step outside your comfort zone… Bust out those moves you’ve been practicing at home. Ask out that hottie at the bar you’ve been making eyes at all night. Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself… just take a chance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

step up

Step Up, 2006


8. It’s all about trust.

You need to have faith in your partner… trust them to take the lead or follow your lead. Trust them to catch you when you leap… to be there when you stop spinning… and to always be in step. If you’re too busy worrying about what the other person is doing, you’ll end up falling flat on your ass.

dirty dancing

Dirty Dancing, 1987


9. Never ditch your partner for an ex.



Grease, 1978


and finally…

10. Always bring protection… just in case.


Magic Mike, 2012


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