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10 dance films you need to see

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Step is the latest dance film to be released, an American documentary directed by Amanda Liptz.

The film tells the true story of high school step team which is set in the heart of Baltimore. These young women learn to love, laugh and thrive on and off the stage, even when the world seems to be against them.

Empowered by teachers, teammates, counsellors, coaches and families they chase their dream of winning a state championship and being accepted into college. Step is more than just a hobby for these young women, it’s the source that keeps them united and fighting for their goals.

At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival it won the US Documentary special Jury Award for Inspirational filmmaking and at the 2017 AFI Docs Festival it won the Audience Award for Best Feature.

Step is following some great dance films and it will be hard to live up to the legacy that they have left behind. Take a look at some of these great dance films which have graced the big screen.


1) Grease (1978) 


Grease is an American musical romantic comedy film directed by Randal Kleiser. The film tells the story of Rydell High school students Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) in the late 1950s. An absolute teenage classic, this film showcases some of the best dance moves on film.



2) Dirty Dancing (1987)


A romantic drama dance film directed by Emile Ardolino, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles. The film depicts the life of Baby who is spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, and falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.



3) Bring it on (2000)


Bring it On is an American teen comedy film directed by Peyton Reed staring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, and Gabrielle Union. It was the first in its series, with the film centering around a champion high school cheerleading squad who must try to compete at this year's championships.



4) Billy Elliot (2000)


A British dance film about talented boy who becomes torn between his love for ballet and the disintegration of his family. The film is set in North-eastern England during the 1984–85 coal miners' strike, and was directed by Stephen Daldry. The story was adapted for the West End stage as Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005.



5) Save the Last Dance (2001)


The film follows a teenage interracial couple in Chicago who work together to help the main character, played by Stiles, train for a dance audition.



6) Honey (2003)


This inspirational dance film about reaching out, taking a chance and making it on your own terms was directed by Billie Woodruff, which stars Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer, Romeo Miller, Joy Bryant and David Moscow. The film centers around Honey, a sexy, tough music video choreographer who shakes up her life after her mentor gives her an ultimatum: sleep with him or be blacklisted within their industry.



7) Make it Happen (2008)


Directed by Darren Grant, this dance film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film follows a young dancer who embarks on a journey to fulfill her dreams as a dancer, discovering a new style of dance along the way that will prove to be the source of both conflict and self-discovery.


8) Center Stage: Turn it Up (2008)


This dance drama film is the sequel to Center Stage directed by Steven Jacobson, starring Rachele Brooke Smith as Kate Parker and Kenny Wormald as Tommy Anderson, and also features Sarah Jayne Jensen as Suzanne Von Stroh, with Peter Gallagher and Ethan Stiefel returning from the first film as Jonathan Reeves and Cooper Nielson, respectively. The sequel follows a self-trained dancer from the streets of Detroit who finds her way after auditioning for the most prestigious ballet academy in New York.



9) Street Dance (2010) and Street Dance 2 (2012)


Street Dance is a British 3D dance film which follows a dance crew who is forced to work with ballet dancers from the Royal Dance School in exchange for rehearsal space to try to win the Street Dance Championships. Its sequel, Street Dance 2 was released in 2012 and follows Ash, a street dancer who, after suffering humiliation by the crew Invincible, looks to gather the best dancers from around the world for a rematch.

Both films are directed by Max Giwa and Dania, starring Britain's Got Talent's George Sampson and Flawless who made debut appearances.


10) Step Up: All In (2014)


This series of dance films was directed by Trish Sie. Step Up: All In is the fifth installment in the Step Up series. The film featured the all-stars from the previous Step Up films who have come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.

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