There are three of us writing for Frock Flicks, and we’ve all got our own preferences and takes on things. Sarah shared her top 5 dance scenes with us, and Trystan shared her top 5 masquerade scenes, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring with my own personal favorites — the scenes from historical costume movies that make me want to get up and dance too!
In no particular order:
Christian Bale & Robert Sean Leonard Make Me Want to Jump Up in Swing Kids (1993)
If you’ve never had the joy of swing dancing (well), then hopefully this clip will give you just a taste of the ridiculous high this kind of dancing can give! This is a great dance scene in a movie FILLED with great dance scenes. Usually paired boy/girl, it is only improved by the fact that two hot guys with great chemistry are dancing side by side. The rest of the movie may be shlock, but the dancing!
The Captain & Maria Define Sexual Tension in The Sound of Music (1965)
Captain von Trapp and Maria — your first thought may be “cheese!” Mine is “hoooooooot.” And the couple is no hotter than the scene where both finally let their attraction seep out subconsciously while they dance a traditional Austrian folk dance.
Okay, so also I used to perform English Country Dance, and this kind of dance is totally fun to do.
All the Bustle-y Goodness in The Age of Innocence (1993)
Okay, so the dancing is well done, but what always captures my mind when I watch this scene from one of the best bustle movies EVAH is all the gorgeous shots and angles you get to see of these faaaaabulous late 1870s gowns. Ruffles and petticoats, oh my! (See also this cool behind-the-scenes footage of them filming this scene!)
Huge Hoops and a Damn Good Polka in The King and I (1956)
Second only to a good, fast swing dance with a strong lead is a good, fast polka. Polka-ing is FUN. You get to whirl around the dance floor like a mad demon. It’s only improved when you’re wearing a ha-uuuuuge hoop and dancing with a hot guy you’re not supposed to like!
A Proper Minuet in A Little Chaos (2015)
So we dinged A Little Chaos for a lot of things, but one thing to praise is the fact that in the final scene, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and company do a proper minuet. If you ask someone who knows historical dance about any number of dances done in historical costume movies, they’ll tell you it’s wrong — wrong for the era, or rechoreographed for what the filmmakers thought would work on camera. I’ve done a minuet, but I’m no expert, so please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but compared to something like the insane hokey-pokey done at the end of Ridicule (jump to 1:00 if you want to see the horror), A Little Chaos‘s good-to-my-not-very-educated-eye minuet made me happy!
If you just want to see the dancing, jump ahead to 2:30:
Which dance scenes in frock flicks make your heart sing?