I love dance movies. I’ve seen both Dirty Dancings, both Center Stages, and every single one of the Step Ups. Sometimes the only thing better than a great dance movie, is a ridiculous dance scene in a non-dance movie. I like to call this “spontaneous choreography” because there’s no logical explanation for how the whole crowd can do a dance scene in perfect unison without it having been pre-planned. Logical or not, it’s usually fun to watch.
These are some of my favorites…
This one starts out normal enough (even though it’s kind of unrealistic that they would be able to hear the music clearly both inside and outside the restaurant, on the roof, in the men’s room, etc.) before launching into full fledged random choreography.
She’s All That
My prom didn’t look anything like that. What did they all learn this number? In gym class?
500 Days of Summer
I wish everyday could feel the way Joseph Gordon Levitt looks in this scene.
40 Year Old Virgin
This actually happens every time Steve Carell has sex. It’s totally inconvenient for him.
(Both the 1984 original and the 2011 remake)
Okay, Footloose is a dance movie but it’s a dance movie about a town where no one is allowed to dance. So how exactly did everyone get so good at dancing?
Enchanted actually lampoons the whole “spontaneous choreography” premise – as it is happening – by creating a fairytale-like scene where everyone knows the song and dance routine, except for Patrick Dempsey’s character who is left saying stuff like “I’ve never heard this song” and “I don’t dance.”
This scene would be weird in any other movie, but in Tank Girl it totally works. Let’s do it.
I love this Bollywood-style routine at the end of Slumdog Millionaire. Technically, it’s not part of the movie (because it would make absolutely no sense if it was) but it’s still totally random to break into dance with a bunch of strangers at the train station.
A Knight’s Tale
Even though it begins with him “teaching” them a dance (that he’s actually making up on the spot), the instructions only last a few seconds before the entire group knows the whole routine flawlessly.
Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion
This is by far my favorite. Even if Romy and Michelle had planned this out in advance, they haven’t seen Sandy in 10 years and none of them would have expected they’d need a 3-way dance routine. Still, this one is epic and might be one of my favorite dance scenes of all time.