There are few things that excite us more (dance nerds that we are) than a well-executed dance number in the middle of a romantic film. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we offer you nine of the most romantic dance scenes in movie history. From Beauty and the Beast to Dirty dancing, the gang’s all here!
1. Dirty Dancing: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”
There’s no way we could curate a list of romantic dance numbers without including this piece. The lift alone takes our breath away! Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze are all kinds of steamy in this number, and the choreography fits the musicality like a glove.
2. Step Up: “Rooftop Scene”
This is one of those films that gave dancers an opportunity to use the full breadth of their dance training and challenge them as actors. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum had a connection that was so mesmerizing, it’s no wonder they ended up falling in love and getting married in real life.
3. Beauty and the Beast: “Tale As Old As Time”
This is a Disney moment we will never get over. It seems the best relationships are established on the dance floor. The Waltz is dreamy and exciting while Angela Lansbury’s voice fills the speakers.
4. West Side Story: “Dance at the Gym”
This scene is the embodiment of love at first sight. Jerome Robbins knew how to make slow and thoughtful movements feel almost dreamlike. We could watch Maria and Tony fall in love dancing over and over again.
(This whole scene is wonderfully dancey, but the real romance starts at about 5:13—you’re welcome. 😘)
5. Dil Se: “Chaiyya Chaiyya”
Bollywood films host some of the finest moments in dance history, and this piece is no exception. The choreography was filmed while the dancers performed on a moving train. It’s thrilling to watch the dancers execute the intricate movements while racing through the mountains of India.
6. Singin’ In the Rain: “You Were Meant for Me”
Watching Gene Kelly dance evokes the feeling of falling in love and when Debbie Reynolds joins him in “You Were Meant for Me,” the audience is transported into their delightful world. They have charisma and chemistry. This one’s a classic. (Jump ahead to 2:40. That’s when the REALLY good stuff happens)
7. La La Land: “Lovely Night”
Mandy Moore’s choreography in La La Land is about the most wonderful thing we’ve seen in a while. We simply couldn’t list the most romantic dance scenes of all time without including this cheeky moment from the film. Tapping and dazzling their way through their first dance of the movie together, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are in fact—lovely.
8. White Christmas: “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing”
To round off the list, we will finish with the jaw-dropping performance of, “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” danced by Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye. They’ve got talent and movement quality like none other. There’s no wonder this film was produced in the golden-age of Hollywood musicals. It’s phenomenal, and Vera-Ellen is the definition of #goals!