Dance

How To Choose The Best Latin Dance Movies Reviews For 2021

How To Choose The Best Latin Dance Movies

Seamos realistas y hagamos lo imposible (Let’s be realistic and accomplish the impossible) says the Argentinian-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.


Your Guide

Alexandra Romanmi

Alexandra Romanmi

While our dance quests are not nearly as difficult as leading the guerrillas in South America, the journey of becoming a truly great performer does sometimes require believing in the impossible.

What To Look For 

I believe that we need constant guidance and inspiration on our way to turning into the best version of ourselves.

Mentorship is crucial in this career and I highly recommend you choose a few role models and follow them until you find your own voice.

Along with them, it is also important to read about dancers and their careers, to go and see them perform live, to watch movies or documentaries and let them inspire you.

In my own quest of becoming a better dancer, I’ve come across yet another beautiful story told by our beloved Antonio Banderas.

Inspired by the real-life story of Pierre Dulaine, which Banderas himself saw as fascinating, the movie Take the Lead (2006) tells the story of a dance teacher who believes in the talent of his students and serves as a role-model, guiding them not only on the dance floor, but through their very troubled lives.

He takes a group of teenagers struggling with different issues such as poverty and gang vioence and turns them into a team, giving their life a purpose through dance.

For example, LaRhette is the daughter of a prostitute and Rock, a high school gang member, is forced to take a job (that he later on loses) to sustain himself financially as he gets kicked out of his house by his own drunken father.

As Chicago Sun film critic Roger Ebert said, the movie begins with rudeness, ends with good manners, and argues that poor inner city schools can be redeemed by dancing.

Although it seems like a very optimistic viewpoint, sometimes it actually works in real life.

Recommendation For You - Take The Lead (2006)

Pierre is a fascinating character for his students and his idea to teach them how to dance in their detention class is at first resisted and then highly appreciated and transforms the rebellious, resentful, potentially criminal students into respectable dancers and members of the society.

There is salsa, there is tango and there is Banderas. The recipe of a great dance movie is in place and waiting for you to enjoy it. I definitely recommend it.

Best Movies About Dance Competitions And Dance Battles Reviews For 2021

How To Choose The Best Movies About Dance Competitions And Dance Battles

What’s it like to be a dancer and never enter a competition or a battle? It feels a little unnatural only to think about it, doesn’t it?


Your Guide

Alexandra Romanmi

Alexandra Romanmi

I think it is in our blood to compete with our fellow dancers and not just to show off, but as a means of learning and perfecting our skills.

From street and club battles to school competitions, from national to world cups and championships, this kind of events happen all the time and each of us is eager to participate and potentially win.

What To Look For 

Whether we do it for the adrenaline, for the show, for the prize, for the recognition or for the pure pleasure of dancing and meeting new people who share the same passion as us, participating in dance competitions makes us better performers.

And this is how I get to recommend an entire dance movie franchise that is very dear to me –probably because they were amongst the first dance movies I have watched as a kid – the Step Up films.

The main series has five movies in total: Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Step Up Revolution, Step Up All In. There is also a spin-off Step Up: Year of Dance and a TV series Step Up: High Waters.

My favourite one is Step Up 3D (2010) as it features some of the best dance battle scenes.

The plot itself is very easy to follow and it revolves around Luke, Natalie, Moose and Camille. Moose is majoring in electrical engineering and promised his father he would concentrate on his career and he will give up dancing.

 However, old habits die hard and Moose finds himself in a dance battle with Kid Darkness from the House of Samurai crew.

Recommendation For You - Step Up 3D (2010)

After seeing this Luke Katcher, the leader of the House of Pirates crew takes Moose to his place, a warehouse that got turned into a club, and tries to convince him to join his dance crew for a chance to win the grand prize in the World Jam Championships.

Natalie has to choose between her romantic relationship and her family who happens to be Luke’s rivals.

Two love stories, anger, energy and betrayal mixed up with lots of great choreographies will follow.

Amy Biancolli from San Francisco chronicle describes the dancing scenes in the movie as propulsive streetwise breaking, the kind of head-spinning, hand-springing, joint-popping explosion of movement that would break bones if it weren’t already breaking the law of gravity.

And she is totally right.

I will leave this really cute Fred Astaire remake of I won’t dance to convince you to sit back, relax and enjoy this movie.

And if that was not enough, here’s the movie’s most awesome dance battle that I’m sure you won’t forget too soon.

How To Choose The Best Bollywood Dance Movie Reviews In 2021

How to choose best bollywood movie

What is the most colourful, energetic and extroverted dance style in the world?

If I were to ask you that question, I am willing to bet that one of the most common answers I‘d get would be “Bollywood”. And I tend to agree.


Your Guide

Alexandra Romanmi

Alexandra Romanmi

What To Look For 

Sangeet Natak Akademi, which is the National Academy of Performing Art in India, describes eight Indian classical dance styles (or Shastriya Nritya):

Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathkali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohiniyattam.  Other scholars and authorities include Chhau, Yakshagana and Bhagavata Mela in this category.

Honestly, when I first encountered this list I felt overwhelmed. I could barely pronounce most of the names in it.

Mastering any of these styles seemed close to impossible. But later on, things have changed. Right now, I find it hard to believe that there are choreographers out there in the world that have yet to study the Indian dance tradition.

It is such an endless source of inspiration that you simply cannot look past it. I highly recommend you to dedicate a few months of your dancing career to this tradition, no matter what your actual style is.

A great way to begin your journey into this exotic universe is to start watching a few Bollywood movies.

 They take a little bit from the Indian classical dance tradition, a little bit from the modern western dance, a little bit of jazz and put it all together in colourful productions that will do nothing but entertain you.

According to a paper written by Sangita Shresthova and published by the Department of Comparative Media Studies at MIT, the popularity of Bollywood dance classes has reached its peak in the Western world nowadays and it continues to increase.

That doesn’t come as a surprise to me. Bollywood is a fantastic style. I have always been a big fan of Shiamak Davar, the famous Indian choreographer and his dance company.

They put on fabulous shows combining traditional Bollywood dances with contemporary jazz styles and the result is brilliant.

Deva Shree Ganesha is one of my favourite performances wearing Shiamak’s signature on it and I encourage you to watch it.

Recommendation For You - Dhoom 2 (2006)

My number one recommendation when it comes to Bollywood movies will be Dhoom 2 (2006).

You simply cannot sit down and relax while listening to Dhoom Again or Crazy Kiya Re and watching brilliant dancers like Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan perform. You have to get up and dance.

I loved it so much I actually had these two songs incorporated in my variety shows for a long time.

With this movie, Shiamak Davar won the Technical Award for the Best Choreography at Screen Awards India in 2006.

The story starts in the Namib Desert with Mr A, a fearless thief, who skydives onto the train that the Queen is travelling in.

He manages to steal her crown along with other very valuable artefacts. He teams up with Sunehri, a very beautiful woman, and plans their next heists together.

 Following them are three police officers. We move on to Rio de Janeiro where Mr A finds out that Sunehri, who became his lover, is not who she said she was.

 All in all, a very good action movie with a real fabulous example of modern Bollywood dance that will most likely make you want to take up some classes.

It sure had this effect on lots of dancers across the world, as there are hundreds of dance covers after the scenes Dhoom 2. You already know I am waiting for your version!

How To Choose The Best Tap Dance Movie Reviews In 2021

How To Choose The Best Tap Dance Movie

Tap Dance traces its origins in the Unites States and it was born as a result of the mixture between the African, Irish and English cultures at the beginning of the 19th century.


Your Guide

Alexandra Romanmi

Alexandra Romanmi

How To Choose The Best Tap Dance Movies

Tap Dance traces its origins in the Unites States and it was born as a result of the mixture between the African, Irish and English cultures at the beginning of the 19th century.

The combination of borrowed and adapted moves from clog dances, hornpipes and jigs created this new percussive dance style later popularized by legendary names like Fred Astaire.

What To Look For 

In the mid-1800s, during the rise of the minstrel shows, William Henry Lane, known as Master Juba, became one of a handful of black performers who were accepted in a white dance troupe.

He is also considered to be one of the first celebrated tap dancers in the world.

Later on, John “Bubbles” Sublett and Ford “Buck” Washington, a famous duo (that I encourage you to watch and read about), perfected  “the class act” which required the performers to wear impeccable tuxedos, displaying stylish excellence while dancing and thus created the elegant image that now pops up in our heads whenever we think about tap dance.

This played an important cultural role, as black dancers were usually held to other standards.

They were supposed to be the embodiment of minstrel show stereotypes, grinning and dancing clowns, lazy and incompetent fools.

Artists like Bubbles, Cholly Atkins and Charles Coles stood against this racist tradition and boldly rejected it.

Once again, dance changes the course of history. 

Or at least shakes up the social order a little bit. With these central figures in our mind and with many others serving as models, lots of us took up tap dance classes.

Honestly, I’ve become interested in this style after a Fred Astaire movie marathon that included Top Hat, Holiday Inn, Swing Time, The Band Wagon and of course, my all-time favourite – Broadway Melody of 1940.

Apart from Astaire, the movie stars another brilliant dancer, actually considered the most exceptional tap-female dancer of her generation, Eleanor Powell.

Fred talks about his dance partner Eleanor in his autobiography Steps in Time where he remarks: She put ‘em down like a man, no ricky-ticky-sissy stuff with Ellie. She really knocked out a tap dance in a class by herself.

Now that’s the type of role-model I want for my dancing career!

Recommendation For You - Broadway Melody of 1940

Directed by Norman Taurog, the movie tells the story of Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) and King Shaw (George Murphy), a broke dance team, and Clare Bennett (Eleanor Powell), a rich Broadway superstar.

Producer Bob Casey mistakenly confuses Shaw with Johnny and gives him the lead role in a new Broadway show, partnering him up with Clare.

Even when the newfound fame and fortune go to his head, making Shaw hard to deal with, Johnny still helps him.

However, later on Clare discovers Johnny is the better dancer and the one who was supposed to be her partner in the new musical. They fall in love. And the rest will be for you to discover.

What I do need to tell you though is that there is a scene in this movie that is and will remain very important in the history of dance – the Begin the Beguine dance, on Cole Porter’s music.

The Beguine was described as a slow Rumba, resembling both the French ballroom dancing and Latin folk dancing.

What a mix!

And what a delightful choreography!

So delightful that it is now, decades later, celebrated and re-enacted by dancers across the world.

I’d be very happy if after watching this movie, you feel like trying to do a remake of the dance yourself and you’d share the result with me and our dancing community!

Give it a try! Astaire will watch and applaud you from above! And so will we!

How To Choose The Best Salsa Dance Movie Reviews In 2021

How To Choose The Best Salsa Dance Movie

La Vida Es Un Carnaval says Celia Cruz and any Latin dancer takes her word for it. And it is great that they do, because it is from that mind-frame that the zestful choreographies they perform come from.


Your Guide

Alexandra Romanmi

Alexandra Romanmi

Whenever I see someone dancing Salsa it feels like I am watching someone who truly understood what being happy feels like and it makes me want to dance to too.

There’s something about that rhythm that simply won’t let you sit down. It’s contagious and I love it.

What To Look For 

Born in Cuba, Salsa is a fresh combination between the Danzón, African Rumbas and Són, which are traditional dance styles coming from people all around the world.

Its expansion to the United States is a very important milestone in the history of dance, with a peak in popularity around the ‘70s, as it allowed for amazing artists like Hector Lavoe (please watch El Cantante), Fania All-Stars, Ruben Blades, Ismael Rivera, Joe Arroyo and of course our beloved Celia Cruz to rise to fame.

And when there’s good music, great dance will follow – so great that they make movies about it.

Recommendation For You - Shine (2018)

If you are already a salsa dancer or plan on becoming one, there is one film I recommend you watch before your next rehearsal – Shine (2018).

As the winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2017 Urbanworld Film Festival this movie pays homage to a rich and beautiful culture and tradition, while telling the story of two brothers Ralphi and Junior, two highly acclaimed Spanish Harlem salsa dancers.

In the face of tragedy, Ralphi wants to abandon everything that defined his life, including his family, his culture and his lover. 

He returns after seven years and upon reuniting with his brother he realizes they are on the opposite sides of gentrification.

Junior became an elite salsa dancer and an activist who fights to preserve his community, while his brother is the perfect emblem of the corporate world.

This movie shows once again the power of dance through the community that comes to life around it.

The dance scenes are high-powered and underline how important it is to save one’s traditional heritage from being engulfed by money-hungry corporations and globalization.

Ralphi, who needs to confront his past and risk his life to help his brother save the community that was once so dear to both of them, is portrayed by a very talented dancer Jorge “Ataca” Burgos.

Together with his partner Tanja “La Alemana” Kensinger, Burgos turned into a celebrity in the Latino dance world in 2008 when their bachata routine on “Te Extrano” by Xtreme became viral on YouTube.

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