10 Movies Where Dancing Saves Lives (Metaphorically Speaking)

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Today, January 10, the 1980s romance that made young girls everywhere want to learn the cha-cha, Dirty Dancing, will screen at Alamo Draft House in Mason Park.

When DD came out in 1987, I was forbidden to watch it by my mother (but Poltergeist was cool) so when it was released on VHS, I sneaked over to my neighbor's house to watch. I don't remember thinking it was that scandalous, I do remember that it occurred to me that dance could save your life, metaphorically speaking. I immediately wanted to be a dancer and wear shiny, high-heeled Capezios. This lasted all of two days, but regardless I would forever be aware of the power of dance, in the movies.

The plot line of "dancing will save the day" has shown up in quite a few movies over the years. And some of them may turn you into a believer.

10. Step Up

Did you know that Channing Tatum is in

Step Up

? I guess this movie prepped him for stripping, or vice versa.

Step Up

is about as stereotypical as any movie about a hoodlum who has a secret passion for dancing who meets an uppity dancer who just happens to need a new partner and sees potential in him, but wait, now they have a connection and they fall in love and there's a big dance number in the end, as it gets. Phew.

9. You Got Served

You Got Served

is about a drug dealing dance crew, which does not go hand in hand. The best part about this movie is that it started a yearlong rage of people decrying that they had just "served" someone else.

8. White Nights

Never has a movie about two men dancing together seemed so heterosexual.

White Nights

is not just about dancing, it's about Russian espionage, race relations and that Lionel Richie song,

Say You, Say Me

, which is one of his best.

7. Breakin'

Take one jazz dancer and combine her with one pop-lockin' genius and one broom and you've got one of the greatest break dance movies of all time.

6. Showgirls

You may not think much of this movie, but have you ever really watched it? Elizabeth Berkley stars as a confused and bitter rolling stone who just wants to be a real dancer, so she becomes a stripper. She is just misunderstood. It's been called one of the worst movies of all time and one of the best movies of all time. My personal opinion is on the latter. Regardless, there's some serious dancing in this flick.

5. Bring It On

Maybe cheerleading is not technically dancing, but it does involve choreography, matching outfits, poor relationships with food and the potential to change your life.

4. Save the Last Dance

Julia Stiles has a lot to master in her life, especially when it comes to dancing with her thug life boyfriend. Forget the fact that she is a learned dancer who has studied classical forms of pirouettes or whatever; no, she needs to learn real dancing from the streets. And learn from the streets she does.

3. Footloose

We have learned that dancing can break through racial boundaries and cultural lines but


teaches us that dance can also change an entire religious faction. Thanks dancing for showing us the light.

2. Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

was like a dream come true for young girls of the '80s generation. Somewhere, in Chicago I think, there was a TV show that was nothing but people dancing like MTV's

The Grind

but more tasteful (think

Solid Gold

) and you could go an audition for it and meet the guy of your dreams and become a real dancer on television! And you were in high school and no one cared.

1. Saturday Night Fever

When you are dancing disco, everything will be all right. You don't need to worry about your crap job, your asshole father, your loser friends or the fact that you live in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Just do the hustle and life will be OK.

Dirty Dancing is playing at the Alamo Draft House Mason Park, Thursday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. Visit drafthouse.com for more information.

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