The Movies And Ballroom Dancing
Think dancing and you think Hollywood. Whatever kind of dancing you can think of – whether it is the gliding slow dances or the fast tap dances or the modern break dancing, the silver screen has it all. Not only that, it has immortalized both the dance and the dancers in certain movies.
Sometimes, the dance is just a part of the movie. Sometimes, it is the whole movie. Look at all the old Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly movies. It was the dance and the song that was the movie. The story line was present just to string the dance and song sequences together. What you remember are the flawless movements and the steps that never put a wrong foot anywhere. Ginger Rogers of course should probably have been even more feted considering she did all the steps in the highest of heels and backwards at that!
In the great epic movies like Gone With The Wind, even with such a powerful story you remember the great ballroom dance scene when Rhett makes a bid to dance with Scarlett. Then of course, we have movies like the Richard Gere-Jennifer Lopez starrer Shall We Dance where a simple guy learns to dance and prepares for the dancing competition.
There is also that wonderful movie Dance With Me, the story of Rafael, a young Cuban boy who comes to America and becomes a great dancer. The reason the ballroom dancers here look so authentic is because they used actual ballroom competition dancers in the movie. Another hit which received a standing ovation at the Cannes Festival was Strictly Wonderful where a professional dancer and an amateur pair up to enter a competition and all the comedy that follows.
So many movies over the years have had dancing sequences. Look at the old movies like West Side Story and the Little Colonel with Bojangles and Shirley Temple. And who can forget Dorothy dancing her way through The Wizard of Oz? Or the dances in The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins or My Fair Lady? Later, the dances grew more erotic like Flashdance and Dirty Dancing. Why today, you even have all the animated characters doing a great jig! From The Jungle Book to the Shrek series, dance has become part and parcel of most animated movies.
It's always been great to watch ballroom dancing. The great thing about the movies is that they have preserved the different dances or the different ways of doing certain dancing on celluloid so people can watch and enjoy them for years to come.