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‘Wednesday’ & 9 Other Movies & TV Shows With Iconic Dance Numbers

There is no doubt that dance sequences are an incredibly effective and creative way to make a movie or TV show more engaging, especially when these scenes are totally unexpected and catch the audience by surprise completely, just like Wednesday Addams (wonderfully played by modern-day scream queen Jenna Ortega) did in co-director Tim Burton’s most recent Netflix hit, Wednesday.


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Apart from being incredibly entertaining and adding extra fun to a scene, dance sequences also allow viewers to get to know characters better — often featuring unique dancing styles that add more dimension to these characters’ personalities (ranging from gothic dances to classical ones), sometimes these scenes are so enthralling and hypnotizing that viewers can’t help but put on their dancing shoes and join the characters behind the screen. From timeless classics like Singin’ In the Rainto iconic crime dramas like Pulp Fiction, these are some movies and TV shows that feature memorable dancing sequences.

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‘Wednesday’ (2022– ) Goo Goo Muck

This Burtonesque take on the oldest child of one of the most beloved pop-culture families family does not disappoint — not only does it feature a gloomy, gothic, incredibly stunning scenario, interesting characters with compelling backstories, and a deeply engaging whodunit plot that will leave audiences glued to their screens, but it also offers one of the most iconic scenes in a Netflix series, which has quickly become an Internet phenomenon with countless TikTok videos recreating the dance.

Fans worldwide were starstruck when they learned that Ortega created the incredible choreography of Wednesday’s unforgettable dance number — it was so well-performed that no one would guess how self-conscious the actress actually was during the scene: “I actually felt really insecure about this. I choreographed that myself and I think it’s very obvious that I’m not a dancer or choreographer,” the actress revealed in a recent video.

‘The Breakfast Club’ (1985) The Library Dance

Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Emilio Estevez dancing in The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club combines four completely different students in detention for a day at the school’s library. Depicting the way that society works to mold people to fit into certain stereotypes, especially when growing up and undergoing a major path of self-discovery, the John Hughes 1985 movie is a great character study that deals with important themes.

Featuring one of the most celebrated scenes in film history, The Breakfast Club is the epitome of fun, and its dance number is nothing short of iconic; the memorable scene transpires major feel-good vibes through the screen, making audiences want to jump in and dance with the characters as well. What is so great about this bit is also the way that each unique dancing style reflects the personality of each character perfectly.

‘The Office’ (2005–2013) Jim and Pam’s Wedding Entrance

Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson and Phyllis Smith dancing in The Office Jim and Pam's Wedding Entrance

The Office is perhaps the most universally loved sitcom ever, and it is everything anyone who appreciates the genre would want it to be and more. With hilarious personalities and countless memorable characters, this This American mockumentary series offers the audience an outlook into the work dynamics of different office employees — and it will have viewers burst out laughing.

In a funny (but also oddly touching) scene during Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam’s (Jenna Fisher) highly anticipated wedding ceremony, all employees of the most beloved fictional office begin dancing in unison to the bride and groom’s surprise. All damages aside, this was a pretty cool, memorable moment for everyone involved; there is no doubt that this scene will hardly ever be forgotten.

‘Spider-Man 3’ (2007) Peter Parker’s Evil Dance

Toby Maguire dancing in Spider-Man 3

In the third installment of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy where the famous character has three new villains to deal with, Toby Maguire‘s Peter Parker makes the world stop in an iconic dance after merging with the Venom symbiote and becoming “evil.” In a scene that global fans simply can not get enough of, a glorious dancing sequence is born.

Like many things, taste is subjective — while some consider this moment cringeworthy, others find it genius and epic. Either way, there is no denying how unforgettable of a scene it was.

‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ (1990–1996) The Carlton

Alfonso Ribeiro dancing to It's Not Unusual in Fresh Prince of Bel Air

There are many great things about Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but Alfonso Ribeiro‘s dance number is undoubtedly the best (and most iconic). Loosely based on Smith’s real-life persona, this entertaining series follows Will Smith‘s character of the same name as he navigates through life in Philadelphia after being sent by his mother to live with his aunt.

Throughout the years, the Carlton has cemented its legacy as one of the most unforgettable dance sequences in a TV show to the point where it’s impossible to listen to Tom Jones‘ “It’s Not Unusual” without immediately attempting to reproduce Ribeiro’s (incredibly improvised) groovy moves.

‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987) Baby and Johnny’s Last Number

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze dancing to I've Had the Time of My Life in Dirty Dancing

One of the most remarkable dance films to date, Dirty Dancing starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze is an amazing watch for those who are obsessed with both dancing and angsty enemies-to-lovers tropes. With impeccable choreography, the treasured 1987 movie remains highly popular nowadays and has impacted pop culture greatly.

There is no doubt that Dirty Dancing‘s final number is the blueprint. Featuring Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes‘ “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life”, the heart-melting Baby and Johnny dance sequence is guaranteed to make any viewer swoon.

‘Ex Machina’ (2014) Oscar Isaac Tears Up the Dance Floor

Oscar Isaac dancing in Ex Machina

Alex Garland‘s Ex Machina‘s intriguing plot is not the only mind-blowing thing about the critically acclaimed sci-fi movie; Oscar Isaac‘s moves are equally unmatched. Following a young programmer who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment, this mind-bending movie is guaranteed to overwhelm its audience.

What many may not expect, though, is Isaac’s character’s dance sequence which comes completely out of nowhere. Since the movie premiered, the character and his unforgettable dance number have been the face of countless Internet memes.

‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994) Mia and Vincent’s Dance Contest Number

John Travolta and Uma Thurman dancing in Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino‘s legendary film also takes a well-deserved spot on this list. Even 28 years later, Pulp Fiction stands the test of time enduring as a pop culture essential film. Following four tales of different characters (mostly criminals), the 1994 movie explores violence and redemption above all.

Funnily enough, one of the most memorable scenes in the film is as wholesome as it can be, in contrast to the film’s main theme. In a brilliantly executed scene, Mia (Uma Thurman) and Vincent (John Travolta) show off their dance skills in a Twist Dance Contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s, a 1950s-themed restaurant.

‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (1952) The Gene Kelly Dance

Gene Kelly dancing with an umbrella in Singin' in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain takes us back to 1920s Hollywood as it centers around the story of a silent film star who falls for a chorus girl. With countless remarkable scenes, this beloved movie about movies is still highly and deservingly praised all over the world up to this day.

While there are many good dancing and singing sequences in the 1952 musical, Gene Kelly‘s exceptional title number is what stands out the most — and what makes it even more impressive is the fact that the actor managed to execute it perfectly with a 103-degree fever while filming.

‘Beau Travail’ (1999) Ending Scene

Denis Lavant dancing in Beau Travail

Focusing on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his life leading troops in Djibouti, Beau Travail is a great study on military life and its impacts. In a brilliant ending, the Claire Denis film offers viewers an incredible dance sequence that beams with meaning by talented actor Denis Lavant.

Dancing away to the “Rhythm of the Night”, Lavant’s character delivers an incredibly unique and spontaneous choreography that perfectly brings closure to the film while simultaneously blowing the audience’s minds away.

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