Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"I like listening to music. And I like doing gymnastics... and I LOVE to dance"

Those are the immortal words uttered by Sarah Jessica Parker in the opening scene to the 1985 teen dance classic "Girls Just Want To Have fun". Ah, the dance films of the 80's... I love how so many of them combined the Aerobics craze of the era into their storylines. Heck, if any film was made in the 80's it seemed required to have at least one scene of Aerobics. Some more than others (Perfect, anyone?) I can't forget to mention American Anthem. A whole movie about Gymnastics. Oh... the Breakdancing. Oh how I miss all the Breakdancing battles in movies! The late 70's mega successes of Saturday Night Fever & Grease (along with the blink and you missed it Roller Disco craze found in the totally awesome movie shows Roller Boogie and Skatetown USA--both 1979) provided the foundation of what was to come in the next decade. And they came... to wildly varying degrees of success.

I wonder if Jennifer Beals' dance double still has that wig.

After a long dry spell known as the 1990's and first half of the 2000's, there has been a resurgence of the dance film in the last few years. A few of which were bonafide hits (TV has picked up on this crazy with some fairly successful TV dance Shows as well) I know I'll be there with those pesky teenagers watching Step Up 3D later this year. The promise of freestyling and glitter being thrown at you in 3D is just too much to resist. As a companion piece to the blog "A Celebration Of 80's Movie Musicals" found here that I posted last summer, I ask you to once again put on your leg warmers & french cut leotards, get your best beat box going, put your dusty Thriller album on and enjoy this quick visual history. 











And better late than nevah.. March 1990's

And if you've gotten this far, you're my kind of brave and daring film fan. Now don't you have the urge to burn up the dance floor? Or the very least some barn, warehouse or living room in your underwear?


The Film Connoisseur said...

Wow, those Golam Globus dudes sure squeezed the hell out of the whole breakdancing thing...they made, Breaking, Breakin 2 and Rappin'. That tag line for Rappin is so old fashion! "Its the sensation thats sweeping the nation!" ha.

Watching Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo is such a crazy experience. Its so nuts its fun to watch.

I must have seen Fast Forward like a thousand times! They gave it a lot on HBO. I have to admit I had not seen or heard from it until now.

All these movies are about "believing in your self and following your dreams!" I guess producers associate dancing with that theme a lot.

Always wanted to see Beat Street but never got around to it!

The Vicar of VHS said...

XANADU! Olivia Newton John! Andy Gibb! Gene Kelly ON ROLLER SKATES! It's too much awesome not to love. :)

My favorite leg-warmers/headband movie of the 80s: 1986's AEROBICIDE. But I can see why it's often overlooked. ;)

Cinema Du Meep said...

Ah, Aerobicide. A movie that I've been trying to watch for 20 years. It eludes me ever so...

LitaMalibu said...

I love knowing that there are other people out there who have seen "Fast Forward" and "Sing." "Sing" was the start of my ongoing Peter Dobson crush. The happiest day was when I realized he was in "Modern Girls!"

Yum-Yum said...

While I can't say that I've been trying to see it for twenty years, my desire to see Aerobicide is still quite pronounced.

Yeah, baby! Xanadu, Heavenly Bodies, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Staying Alive, and Dream to Believe are crotch-tastic!

My fave aerobics moment in cinema happens during Tomboy -- you know, the flick with Betsy Russell and Kristi Somers.

wiec? said...

never heard of Can You Feel Me Dancing but now i'm going to hunt it down. anything to see a young Justine Bateman.

Cinema Du Meep said...


I know that feeling as well. I had that when I realized Virginia Madsen was in "Class".


Tomboy. Good call. That Aerobics scene is STELLAR. I was OBSESSED with this movie in my youth. Probably for obvious reasons, but also because I really wanted to see Betsy beat the boy. Then of course she gets him. And that scene where she makes the basket freehanded... OH. MY. GOD.


That's the reason I searched for it as well. It of course is a big letdown. It might be worth it for the unintended laughs... And to complete any Justine Bateman collection...

Mitch said...

Great post Meep! You forgot a little known film, another Arizona shot film called The Zoo Gang.

Stephen Langlois said...

Great list! I'll be seeking quite a few of these out.

I second the love for Aerobicide (aka Killer Workout) by the great b-movie auteur David A. Prior, and starring Ted "Mike Danton" Prior. Not as good as Deadly Prey--the Priors' masterpiece--but still very entertaining. The amount of leg warmers on display throughout the film is almost mind-numbing.

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