Dancing is an art that has long been a part of human existence. It is an invaluable form of expression that has evolved along with us and will continue to remain an integral part of the performing arts. That being said, the 1980s saw a surge in the dance mania like never before. It was so potent that many hit movies were inspired by it giving us a lot of the iconic lines and dance moves that we love down to our day.

As a fan, you may be surprised to know that a lot of the famous names you’ve come to love in Hollywood were, in one way or the other, a part of the production of dance/musical movies in the eighties. Household names such as John Travolta, Sydney Poitier, Jenifer Beals, etc., had such an impact in these movies that cannot be over-emphasized.

Now, let’s rereview some of the best dancing movies made in the 80s. that are guaranteed to get you up and grooving.


This was a real jewel of dance movies in the eighties. Starring Jenifer Beals as an exotic dancer with big dreams of becoming a professional dancer. The movie was tailored to a more mature audience and was the third biggest film made in 1983.


John Travolta was the ultimate dance machine in this very successful 80s hit. The movie was directed by the legendary action hero duo Rocky and Sylvester Stallone and was very successful at the box office, raking in over 65 million dollars!


This epic movie, made in 1984, has no doubt cemented its place in pop culture history. It told the captivating story of a little town where pop music was banned, stealing the hearts of a whole generation. Although not highly favored by critics, Footloose was undeniably a success.


This coming-of-age movie tells the story of young people carving their way through a school of performing arts, which ultimately climaxes in an outstanding performance of I Sing The Body Electric. The song went ahead to win two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe, becoming a pop culture masterpiece.


This list would  be incomplete without this Iconic masterpiece on it. This iconic movie shot Jenifer Grey and Patrick Swayze to stardom, and fans were so obsessed with it that it became the first-ever film to sell well over a million copies on home video! Two of its soundtracks went platinum, including the iconic I’ve Had The Time Of My Life, which bagged an Academy Award and Golden Globe, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Duet.


The 80s indeed was the birth year of an astonishing number of musical/dance hit movies. Although many more dancing movies have been made in recent times, they do nothing to take away the magic and appeal of these classics. A few honorable mentions include; Beat Street, Breakin’2: Electric Boogaloo, Urban Cowboy, Fast Forward, and many others.

Whatever could have been the reason for the dance craze in the eighties, we can’t deny that it yielded phenomenal results.