Top 11 Best 80s Dance Movies for Nostalgic Feeling, Youtube Trailers

Best 80s Dance Movies for Nostalgic Feeling

Get ready to groove with the best 80s dance movies! Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive the magic of 80s dance films.

I enjoy watching movies that feature music and dancing. With so many options on streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+, there’s no shortage of old and new films.

If you’re looking for recommendations, here are some of the best 80s dance movies to check out.

1. Beat Street (1984)

Beat Street (1984)

Beat Street provides a glimpse into the early years of hip-hop dance. Although it may not be as well-known as Breakin’, it is not inferior.

Beat Street takes a more severe approach to presenting the most authentic representation of culture and life. It teaches us how street dance emphasizes self-expression and what it’s like to reside in a slum.

When you place yourself in the context of the Bronx in 1984, you can feel the excitement of invading the subways and transforming the streets into your stage.

Apart from being a movie about dancing, Beat Street can also be considered a decent coming-of-age film.

Kenny, the aspiring DJ and performer. His brother Lee, a talented dancer, and Ramon, the graffiti artist. Each of them has a story where they must overcome obstacles and mature.

Although it has some interesting quirks, you won’t find any mind-bending plot twists here. Nevertheless, we must acknowledge that the movie features some talented individuals and teams.

2. Salsa (1988)

Salsa (1988)

Salsa is a Latin dance movie from the 80s with many elements that make it deserving of a place here. It has a simple slice-of-life plot and a lot of dancing.

Rico is another aspiring dancer who has to work instead of dancing and is always dancing when living his dream at night. He feels more alive and confident, even becoming the King of salsa.

However, he is fiercely protective of his sister and caught between love and ambition, leading to the desired dramatics.

If there were one complaint, it would be that they didn’t show the footwork on the screen, only the dancers’ knees.

3. Footloose (1984)

Footloose (1984)

Footloose (1984), in this movie, we’ll witness a unique storyline that involves a ban on dancing and rock music in a small town. The main character, who is rebellious, strives to change the residents’ perspective on this matter.

The ban creates a dystopian atmosphere that feels out of place. However, the relationships between the characters in the movie Footloose are typical yet amusing.

Ren McCormack, a young character, falls for Ariel, a beautiful yet troubled blonde. Her jealous boyfriend and father are responsible for enforcing the ban.

Although Footloose is a well-known dance movie from the 80s, it has fewer dance scenes than anticipated. The director and writer aimed to portray a small town with conflicts, flashy teenagers, and music.

However, taking on multiple agendas sometimes backfires. It’s unclear why the town banned rock music and dancing. Also, people might wonder how Kevin Bacon looked when he was younger.

To discover the answers and enjoy the movie’s performances, viewers must watch it in its entirety and immerse themselves in the settings.

4. Flashdance (1983)

Flashdance (1983)

One of the most well-known dance movies of the 80s is Flashdance, and it’s more than just a movie. The story is reminiscent of a fairytale, with the main character pursuing their dream while navigating life’s challenges.

Alex is a welder by day, but at night she’s an exotic dancer with aspirations of becoming a ballerina. Though there are judgments and obstacles, they’re not overly complicated or tragic.

Compared to other films of its time, Flashdance was certainly bold with its dramatic elements. While working as a dancer, Alex catches the eye of her boss, who is unaware she works for him until it’s pointed out.

This movie was aimed at a younger audience. The protagonist is relatable to young viewers, and the lively soundtrack, particularly the hit song “What a Feeling!”, adds to the appeal.

If you enjoy this song or don’t mind hearing it at any opportunity, you’re ready for Flashdance!

5. Fame (1980)

Fame (1980)

When you watch Fame, one of the most iconic dance movies of the 1980s, you’ll notice that it’s different from modern movies. It feels like a mini-series with a more realistic vibe.

The film follows seven teenagers who attend a school for gifted art students in New York.

They’re sorted into three central departments: Dance, Music, and Drama. Some excel in multiple fields, while others don’t enjoy their chosen department.

As you watch, the movie progresses through freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. Along the way, the teens learn more about themselves and the challenges they’ll face if they want to succeed.

The production team deserves praise for addressing sensitive topics like abortion, self-harm, and homosexuality in the early 80s.

Some might consider Fame a musical rather than a dance movie since it features more than just dancing.

But with a few great soundtracks and dramatic moments, the transition should be smooth enough for most viewers!

6. Breakin’ (1984)

Breakin’ (1984)

If you’re not in the mood for a movie about school and you prefer breakdancing, Breakin’ (1984) is an excellent choice for your watchlist.

What can we say about it?

The story may be clumsy, but the dancers are fantastic and worth your attention.

The plot is straightforward – Kelly, a dancer who only focuses on technique, meets two breakdancers in Venice. She becomes fond of them because of their love for dance and music.

Of course, some dramatic moments may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Professional dancers look down on the team, and a famous photographer tries to prevent them from joining a big dance competition because he’s interested in Kelly.

Despite some flaws in the script, breakdance enthusiasts will appreciate the graceful dancers and the excitement of the competition.

7. Fast Forward (1985)

Fast Forward (1985)

The movie Fast Forward explores the concept of a dance competition and the challenges eight young dancers from Ohio face as they strive for stardom.

The competition’s host promises to support them upon their arrival in New York. Still, they are met with the unfortunate news that the firm’s owner has passed away, leaving them to struggle for survival just three weeks before the competition begins.

However, a savior arises to help our teens when hope seems lost, leading to a happy ending for all.

What sets this movie apart is its attempt to bridge the gap between races and classes without getting bogged down in such issues.

The high school dance sequences and battles are also a highlight, as they ring true to reality and feature impressive dance moves from all the kids.

Additionally, the strong sisterhood between all the ladies is inspiring and motivating, a rarity in films from this era.

It’s refreshing to see women given significant screen time, earning the movie an extra point for its portrayal of women.

8. Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing (1987)

This iconic dance movie tells the story of Baby, portrayed by Jennifer Grey, a young woman who unexpectedly discovers the world of sultry and sensual dancing during her summer vacation at a family resort in the Catskills.

She meets Johnny Castle, played by Patrick Swayze, a charming and skilled dance instructor who becomes her mentor and love interest as they face the challenges of class differences and personal development.

The remarkable chemistry between Grey and Swayze, with unforgettable dance performances and an iconic soundtrack featuring the song “The Time of My Life,” makes this movie an enduring classic of the 80s.

9. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1987)

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1987)

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is the perfect celebration of 80s dance movies.

Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt as two teen friends who compete against rival dancers for a chance at stardom, this delightful comedy captures the vibrant energy and spirit of youth that made films of this era so special.

From its talented cast, bright visuals, and a memorable soundtrack featuring Cyndi Lauper’s iconic title track: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” it is one of the great 80s Dance Movies ever.

Lee Montgomery also performs excellently, making it a must-watch for anyone looking to reminisce about one of the most beloved decades in film.

10. Can’t Stop The Music (1980)

Can’t Stop The Music (1980)

Can’t Stop The Music (1980) might not have been the most iconic of 80s films, but it has some fantastic stars from the 70s and 80s!

Who doesn’t love The Village People, a pre-op Caitlyn Jenner in her post-Olympic days, and those oh-so-iconic handlebar mustaches?

It may leave you wondering how this movie was made, but I think it’s worth watching if you can!

11. Staying Alive (1983)

Staying Alive (1983)

“Staying Alive (1983) is an iconic 80’s dance movie directed by Sylvester Stallone and starring John Travolta.

It follows the story of Tony Manero, a struggling Brooklyn dancer who dreams of becoming a professional dancer in New York City.

Along the way, he encounters obstacles such as jealousy among his fellow dancers and problems at home with his family.

However, with sheer determination and hard work, Tony finally gets his break and succeeds on Broadway.

The iconic soundtrack, energetic choreography, and Travolta’s undeniable star power make it an absolute classic!”


If you’re looking for nostalgia, these top Best 80s Dance Movies will surely deliver!

Despite their current reviews, these films inspire us to pursue our dreams and achieve success. Their positive energy will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Leave a Comment