Fall or Autumn, however you choose to refer to it, is the #2 favourite season according to numerous online polls. Why? Could it be the leaves changing color? Maybe it’s the fashion such as boots, jackets and scarves! It might even be the popular craze of making EVERYTHING pumpkin spice flavored. For most people, it’s simply the change in weather. And with good reason, too! This change in weather usually includes gloomier, cloudier days or rainy days. Sometimes, when it’s raining outside, all you want to do is grab a warm blanket and watch a movie. When we see this kind of weather coming, we’ve got a particular selection of movies that are reserved for days like this. These are what are commonly referred to Rainy Day Movies. But, wait, this is a blog all about ballet and dance! So, what do you think the theme of today’s movie list is going to be? Dance, of course! This list will be in order of most recently released to the old classics.
So, grab your favorite fuzzy blanket, pour yourself your favorite warm tea, dim the lights and enjoy these amazing movies for a perfect rainy day!
A Ballerina’s Tale
What dancer doesn’t love Misty Copeland?
This documentary, made in 2015, introduced the world to the ballerina who would soon take the world by storm. With her fame already rising by the time the film came out, Misty Copeland is now a household name for those privy to the world of ballet. For those unaware of her story, this documentary takes you along on her journey through triumphs and obstacles such as race and injury.
If you’re stuck inside while the rain comes down and you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, watching anything that has to do with Misty Copeland will put an extra pep in your step. This film, in particular though, will give you hope for your wildest dreams and motivation to see them through.
Watch the trailer here! –> A Ballerina’s Tale
This suspenseful film from 2010 was the one to take Academy Award season by storm. This film is rated R, so viewer discretion is advised.
The film follows Nina who wishes to portray the roles of Odette and Odile in Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet, Swan Lake. Unable to portray the darker of the two, Odile, Nina struggles to find her footing in the company. With another dancer beginning to seem like strong competition, Nina spirals out of control and begins to lose grip with reality.
That’s as much as can be said without giving away the ending. But, if you’re age-appropriate, this is definitely an intriguing and fascinating story to watch unfold.
Watch the trailer here! –> Black Swan
2007’s summer hit, Hairspray, took the box office by storm and made the idea of the movie musical cool again! The story follow Tracy Turnblad who lives in Baltimore and rushes home everyday after school with her best friend, Penny Pingleton, to watch the Corny Collins Show, a popular local dance show. The teens on the show are the most popular kids in town and have the after school job that everyone dreams of having, dancing on television!
Tracy dreams of dancing on the show someday but is body shamed by the mean girls at the audition. Determined to make everyone feel beautiful and to bring to segregation in Baltimore to an end, she rallies with her friends to fight for justice. Doesn’t sound like much of a dance flick, huh? Well, you’d be surprised! Known as one of the most dance-heavy shows on Broadway, this film adaptation is no different!
Watch a movie clip here! –> Hairspray Movie Clip
After years on the Broadway stage, the inspirational story of Billy Elliot was brought to the big screen in 2007. Raised by a tough-as-nails father who’s facing a strike as a miner in 1984’s England, Billy is enrolled in boxing lessons (which he has no interest in) just like his brothers and his father before him. One day, Billy accidentally wanders his way into a neighboring studio where a ballet class is in session. Unexpectedly, he finds a love for the art and hopes to make it his life’s work. Surrounded by naysayers, especially his own father, Billy must rise above all those who would oppose his dreams.
Gritty and heart-wrenching at times, this is one film that will have you rooting for the underdog and inspire you to dream big.
Watch the trailer here! –> Billy Elliot
“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”
Who hasn’t seen this movie or said that line before?
Dirty Dancing came out in 1987 to critical acclaim as a smash hit. Today, it’s still revered as a classic dance flick. The story follows Baby, the daughter in a wealthy family who makes their summer trip to a prestigious country club. Appearing as a pretty sheltered young lady, Baby meets Johnny who works at the club and teaches dancing lessons to the women there. After some time, Baby finds her way into the staff hangout where, you guessed it, they’re “dirty” dancing, a.k.a. basically any dance that would shock the old fogies.
Johnny begins to give private lessons to Baby and the sparks start to fly between them.
Watch the trailer here! –> Dirty Dancing trailer
West Side Story
An absolute classic for any dancer, 1961’s West Side Story, which stars Natalie Wood at the height of her career, is the story of Maria and Tony, two star-crossed lovers from the two rivaling sides of town. The Jets hate the Sharks and the Sharks hate the Jets. Tony and Maria accidentally meet and fall in love despite their communities. Considered the 60’s remake of Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story is filled with amazing dances and timeless songs such as Tonight, Tonight and I Feel Pretty. With themes like social and racial prejudices, and street violence, this film has remained a favorite passed on through generations.
So which team are you on? Are you a Jet or a Shark?
Watch the trailer here! –> West Side Story trailer
Singin’ In The Rain
You see the irony in this choice, right?
If you’ve never seen the classic 1952 movie musical Singin’ in the Rain, then congratulations on finally coming out from under that rock you’ve been living in.
This movie stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor who sing and dance their way into your hearts. Set during the introduction of “talking pictures”, a.k.a. movies with sound, a movie studio struggles and begins teaching their top stars how to act for this new development in cinematic technology. This movie is jam-packed with songs that everybody knows such as Good Mornin’, Make ‘Em Laugh, and of course Singin’ in the Rain!
Considered one of the greatest, possibly the greatest, movie musicals of all time, this movie is still one of the best selling films even on the digital market! For dancers in particular who are looking to be amazed, watch out for the song and dance called Moses Supposes. This, too, is considered one of the greatest tap numbers ever performed. And, amazingly, it was all shot in one take!
Watch the trailer here! –> Singin’ in the Rain trailer
Here Are Some Honorable Mentions (All Old Classics)
Baby Take a Bow from 1934’s Stand Up and Cheer starring Shirley Temple –> WATCH HERE!
I Like Myself from 1955’s It’s Always Fair Weather starring Gene Kelly –> WATCH HERE!
At the Codfish Ball from Captain January starring Shirley Temple –> WATCH HERE!
You’re All The World To Me from Royal Wedding starring Fred Astaire –> WATCH HERE!
You’re Gonna Dance With ME from Living It Up starring Jerry Lewis –> WATCH HERE!