15 Best Dance Movies to Watch with Your Kids
Kids who love dance can find their inspiration from so many different places; by observing their parents, teachers, coaches, watching TV, and, of course watching movies. If you are trying to encourage your kids to dance or if your kids are interested in dance, watching an entertaining dance movie is a great way to introduce them to the magic of dance and inspire your child.
For the younger child, a dance movie should have a good story, fun music, and of course dancing. For the older child, it’s exciting and inspirational to watch professional dancers perform. The movies for the older child usually have compelling drama such as competition between dancers competing for roles or feuds among dance rivals. These dance movies always seem to keep us guessing until the very end. Dance movies are super entertaining!
We have put together a list of dance movies that we love, listed by age and its movie rating for your convenience. All of the movies on this list are rated NR, G, PG or PG-13. So, make yourself a big bowl of popcorn, settle in, and let your kids enjoy these family-friendly dance movies and see if your children get inspired to get up and dance. Enjoy!
Dance Movies for Children Ages 3 – 5
(Ages 3+, Rating: G).
On Angelina’s first day at Camembert Academy, she discovers new forms of music and dance, like jazz, tap, and hip-hop. Together with her friends, Angelina realizes that becoming a prima ballerina requires collaboration and compromise – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
(Ages 4+, Rating: G).
Dance your way to a magical adventure with Barbie as Kristyn, a ballerina who is whisked away to a fantastical ballet world where if you dance with your heart, dreams come true!
(Ages 4+, Rating: G).
“Practically Perfect In Every Way” Mary Poppins flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert, the spirited nanny turns every chore into a game and every day into a “Jolly Holiday.” Mary Poppins is a dance movie classic and a family favorite.
(Ages 5+, Rating: G).
Nine-year-old Isabelle is an inspired dancer with a flair for fashion design. She’s thrilled to be studying ballet at a prestigious performing arts school, but her classmates are so talented. When her idol, a famous ballerina, encourages her to audition for a professional ballet, Isabelle isn’t sure she can land the role. Can she find the courage to step into the spotlight and discover her own way to shine?
(Ages 5+, Rating: G).
One day, Annie is chosen to stay for one week with the famous billionaire “Daddy” Warbucks. One week turns into many weeks and the only person standing in the way of Annie’s fun is Miss Hannigan, the gin-soaked ruler of the orphanage. Will Miss Hannigan’s zany attempts to kidnap the irrepressible Annie succeed?
Dance Movies for Children Ages 6 – 9
(Ages 6+, Rating: G).
Singing in the Rain is a lighthearted movie of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to “talkies.” This movie is very funny and has amazing!
(Ages 8+, Rating: NR).
Getting to the Nutcracker follows a troupe of young dancers as they prepare to perform the classic ballet. The children range in age from very young to teenagers. Most of the film focuses on the older kids who discuss why they love to dance and what it means to them. The featured Los Angeles studio is run by Marat Daukayav, once a star of Russia’s Kirov Ballet, who is very traditional and very stern, yet very loving and protective of his students.
(Ages 9+, Rating PG)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is Disney’s adaptation of the classic Christmas ballet about young Clara, who receives a special gift from her godfather. Clara gains access to a magical, Narnia-like world called the Four Realms, where she meets a brave Nutcracker soldier, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Mother Ginger, and more. Clara’s interest in science/invention is celebrated, as are courage, perseverance, trusting yourself, and learning from your mistakes.
Dance Movies for Children Ages 10 – 12
(Ages 10+ Rating: NR)
Newsies: The Broadway Musical is a filmed musical play, shot live at a performance in the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. Set at the turn of the 20th century when workers were often exploited by “captains of industry,” Newsies tells the true story of a ragtag team of newsboys who form a union to fight the greediness of New York’s major newspapers. In this musical version, there are a few swear words. This film offers a rare opportunity to witness a live Broadway show, with extraordinary dancing, acting, and music that will appeal to musical lovers and introduce the theater musical to new fans.
(Ages 11+, Rating: G).
West Side Story is a classic Broadway musical and dance movie. It tells an updated Romeo and Juliet story that explores race relations and immigration within a musical format. Street fighting and suggested choreographed violence are present in the movie and some parents may want to watch the movie first to determine if it is acceptable for their children to watch .
(Ages 12+, Rating: PG).
A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner. There is a bit of cursing, some drinking, and one brief scene with a half-clothed couple. Younger kids may need a little help understanding why Fran’s father is so outraged over his grown-up daughter’s relationship with a personable young man. The “mockumentary” format and the exaggerated, over-the-top humor might leave younger kids lost, but teens and sophisticated tweens will enjoy it.
Dance Movies for Teenagers
(Ages 13+, Rating: PG)
Set at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, students from all walks of life get the chance to hone their skills as singers, actors, dancers, and more. Over four years, these young men and women will see if they truly have the dedication and talent to achieve success, while still juggling regular schoolwork, feelings of self-doubt, and budding romances.
(Ages 13+, Rating: PG-13)
Tyler Gage has been in and out of trouble for most of his life and after finding himself before the judge again, he is sentenced to 200 hours of community service mopping floors at the Maryland School of the Arts. He quickly catches the eye of Nora, a gifted ballet student, who is trying to use hip-hop moves with her classical routines. After some initial hesitation, Nora convinces Tyler to help her with her dance routines and the sparks fly.
(Ages 14+, Rating PG-13)
White Nights is a drama that recalls an era before the Soviet Union collapsed economically and became less of a military threat to the United States in the 1990s. Using a famous dancer as a political pawn, the plot illustrates the flaws in both societies. The expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is forced to become a dancer for the Bolshoi again, but he wishes to escape… but can he trust the American?
(Ages 14+, Rating: PG-13)
After his brother’s death, a troubled but gifted street dancer enrolls in Atlanta’s Truth University. As he tries to concentrate on his studies and woo a pretty classmate, he finds himself in the middle of a tug-of-war between fraternities, who want to utilize his talents in an upcoming dance competition.
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