Entertainment

The Best Dance Movies Of The '80s

List Rules
Vote up your favorite dance films that were released in the 1980s.

The best dance movies of the 1980s have some of the best soundtracks of all time. The '80s were a time when dressing in spandex and jamming out to Oingo Boingo was the recipe for a great weekend, and these dance movies prove it. The genre of dance movies truly peaked in the '80s with films like Flashdance, Footloose, and Hairspray. 

Dirty Dancing brought couples together on the dance floor almost as soon as it came out. Who could forget the iconic moment when Patrick Swayze hoisted Jennifer Grey out of the water in a graceful, sexy lift? While Dirty Dancing encapsulated themes of forbidden love and modern dancing, Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo attempted to portray what was happening on the streets. Also on this list of the best '80s dance movies are Staying Alive (sequel to Saturday Night Fever), White Nights (featuring the great ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov), and the original Hairspray (starring none other than Divine.)

Vote up the best '80s dance movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

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list ordered by
  • Baby (Jennifer Grey) is one listless summer away from the Peace Corps. Hoping to enjoy her youth while it lasts, she's disappointed when her summer plans deposit her at a sleepy resort in the ...more
  • Footloose
    2
    Moving in from Chicago, newcomer Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) is in shock when he discovers the small Midwestern town he now calls home has made dancing and rock music illegal. As he struggles to fit ...more
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    Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals) is a beautiful young woman who works a day job in a steel mill and dances in a bar at night. When Alex discovers that her handsome boss, Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri), is ...more
  • Though she's a talented gymnast, Janey (Sarah Jessica Parker) has always followed the orders of her strict Army colonel father and stayed out of the spotlight. However, when she moves to a new town ...more
  • Fame
    5
    Young men and women audition for coveted spots at the New York High School of Performing Arts. Those who make the cut discover that it takes a lot of hard work to become a star and sometimes ...more
  • After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) -- collectively known as the "Blues Brothers." Jake's first task is to save the orphanage the ...more
  • Six years after his glittering triumph in the disco dance contest of "Saturday Night Fever," an older and wiser Tony Manero (John Travolta) works as a serious dance teacher in New York City and ...more
  • When Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake), an overweight teen, auditions for a spot on a popular teen dance show, she beats out the spiteful Amber von Tussle (Colleen Fitzpatrick), winning over Amber's ...more
  • Kelly (Lucinda Dickey) is a classically trained jazz dancer who's tired of warding off her amorous teacher and hungry for a new outlet. When she befriends street dancers Ozone (Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" ...more
  • After moving to Pasadena, Texas, country boy Bud Davis (John Travolta) starts hanging around a bar called Gilley's, where he falls in love with Sissy (Debra Winger), a cowgirl who believes the sexes ...more
  • Xanadu
    11
    Struggling artist Sonny Malone (Michael Beck) is trapped in a dull job painting album covers. He is instantly attracted to Kira (Olivia Newton-John), an anonymous woman randomly photographed in the ...more
  • When his plane makes an emergency landing in Siberia, ballet dancer Nikolai Rodchenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov) is recognized as a defector and brought into custody. Returned to Leningrad and reunited ...more
  • Disappointed with her small part in the chorus line of a Los Angeles show, jazz dancer Kelly (Lucinda Dickey) quits and heads home. Her father (John Christy Ewing) disapproves of Kelly's friendship ...more
  • Hundreds of hopefuls congregate at a cattle call for Broadway dancers. A sour director, Zach (Michael Douglas), and his brusque assistant (Terrence Mann) whittle down the ranks until they're left ...more
  • Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson. Rather than featuring one continuous narrative, the film is a ...more
  • Tap
    16
    An ex-con just released from jail, Max Washington (Gregory Hines), is a veteran burglar, but he's also a talented tap dancer. Reuniting with his girlfriend, Amy (Suzzanne Douglas), Max is approached ...more
  • At the forefront of early hip-hop culture, DJ Kenny Kirkland (Guy Davis), his B-boy brother, Lee (Robert Taylor), and graffiti artist Ramon (John Chardiet) all have hopes of showcasing their talents ...more
  • Dreaming of making it big, a group of high-school students from Ohio treks to New York City to become dancers. They include Matt (John Scott Clough), Michael (Don Franklin) and June (Tamara Mark), ...more
  • Salsa
    19
    A Puerto Rican auto-shop worker (Robby Rosa) practices with three women for a dance contest in Los Angeles.
  • Iconic figures such as Liza Minnelli, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly lead the viewer through this retrospective of classic dancing numbers throughout the films of the 20th century. From classical ballet ...more
  • Grease 2
    21
    Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the leader of Rydell High School's Pink Ladies, a gang of girls who are counterparts of the school's group of greasers called the T-Birds. Stephanie is tired ...more
  • Dancers
    22
    Dancers is a 1987 film directed by Herbert Ross and stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Julie Kent. The story revolves around a ballet dancer who is planning to make a film version of the ballet Giselle, ...more
  • In this fictional account of the Village People, fashion model Samantha Simpson (Valerie Perrine) helps her roommate, Jack Morrell (Steve Guttenberg), try to get a record deal. Morrell's demo isn't ...more
  • Perfect
    24
    A Rolling Stone reporter (John Travolta) seduces an aerobics instructor (Jamie Lee Curtis) while doing a story on health clubs for singles.
  • Body Rock is a 1984 film directed by Marcelo Epstein about a young man "from the streets" with a talent for break-dancing. It stars Lorenzo Lamas in the lead role of 'Chilly'. The film featured music ...more