The Top 3 Holiday Movie Dance Scenes

Last night I officially kicked off my holiday movie viewing, with the 2003 American classic film Elf. (I am a self-proclaimed Christmas NUT.) I’ll watch many more Christmas-themed movies over the next 10 days—Meet Me in St. Louis, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Muppet Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Love Actually, Jingle All the Way, The Shop Around the Corner (and this is just a short list, people)—but I’ll definitely make time for holiday films with pretty memorable dance scenes, like these three:

Sure, White Christmas has some memorable dance production numbers (and “Sisters,” despite its limited actual dance moves, has always been a favorite of my two sisters and me, for obvious reasons), but I think the real gem here is “Choreography.” That’s the number Danny Kaye does with a group of modern dancers who are clearly a stand-in for Martha Graham’s company. Not sure why Kaye wears a beret, but his disdain for the drama of modern dance makes me giggle.

I feel like Martha would be proud:

Then there’s the “Jingle Bell Rock” number from Mean Girls, in all its inappropriate glory. I’m not sure what’s better: That first, unexpected thigh slap, or Amy Poehler doing the routine in the aisle as she attempts to videotape.

But for my money, the real holiday tour-de-force is Fred Astaire’s drunk dance in Holiday Inn. He’s just SO GOOD: His plastered dance moves seem uncannily real, yet he still retains the grace and smoothness we’ve come to associate with his style.

Holiday Inn - Drunk Fred Astaire Film Cip by Flixgr

OK, so what are your holiday favorites? And will you be using any of these numbers above as inspiration for your studio’s holiday performances?

Don’t miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

Teachers Trending
Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo courtesy Dance With Me

Listening to Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy riff together makes it crystal-clear why each has mastered the art of partnering in the ballroom—they've long been doing this dance in real life as brothers and business partners.

Along with their "Dancing with the Stars" pedigree (and a combined three mirror-ball trophies between them), Maks and Val (and their father, Sasha) also run Dance With Me, a dance company hosting six ProAm Dancesport competitions annually and running 14 brick-and-mortar studio locations across the U.S.

Last year, the pair launched an online component, Dance & Co. The online video platform offers beginner through advanced instruction in not only ballroom but an array of other styles, as well as dance fitness classes from HIIT to yoga to strength training. "DWTS" fans will recognize such familiar faces as Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater, along with Maks and Val themselves.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
@jayplayimagery, courtesy Kerollis

In the spring of 2012, Barry Kerollis was abruptly forced into treating his career as a small business. Having just moved cross-country to join BalletX, he got injured and was soon let go.

"I'd only ever danced with big companies before," the now-freelance dance-teacher-choreographer-podcaster recalls. "That desperation factor drove me to approach freelancing with a business model and a business plan."

As Kerollis acknowledges, getting the business of you off the ground ("you" as a freelance dance educator, that is) can be filled with unexpected challenges—even for the most seasoned of gigging dancers. But becoming your own CEO can make your work–life balance more sustainable, help you make more money, keep you organized, and get potential employers to offer you more respect and improved working conditions. Here's how to get smart now about branding, finances and other crucial ways to tell the dance world that you mean business.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Courtesy Oleson

American dance educator Shannon Oleson was teaching recreational ballet and street-dance classes in London when the pandemic hit. As she watched many of her fellow U.S. friends pack up and return home from their international adventures, she made the difficult choice to stick with her students (as well as her own training—she was midway through her MFA at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance).

Despite shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, she was able to maintain a teaching schedule that kept her working with her dancers through Zoom, as well as lead some private, in-home acro classes following government guidelines. But keeping rec students interested in the face of pandemic fatigue hasn't been easy.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.