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Dance Movies (and Munchies) to Get You On Your Feet

It’s all about movement for this next selection of films in MERRY JANE's weekly movie/munchie pairings.

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If you can move your feet, you can dance. If you’re on a stage, in the bar, or on a barre (for those up to speed on their terminology), people have used the art form to express themselves for years upon years, heavily drunk or otherwise. And for those who are too embarrassed to show off their skills in public, the next best thing is to watch.

This week in MERRY JANE's "Smoke, Flicks, and Chill" it’s all about movement for this next selection of films.

If you don’t get up and start your own dance party, then I don’t know what will. Here’s the list of some dance movie favorites (in no particular order) to watch while stoned. And bopping during that final sequence is most certainly allowed.

Step Up (2006)

Our first real introduction to actor Channing Tatum and his suave, macho-esque moves, this beginning installment in the long running dance franchise is quite possibly the best. Courtesy of its powerful, yet typical, story, some pretty fancy feet, and a killer soundtrack, you should feel no shame in googling how to enroll in the fictional Maryland School of Arts at the film’s conclusion. And for all you romantics out there, all the on-screen romance is as authentic as you can get, with Tatum and co-star Jenna Dewan tying the knot just 3 years later. It doesn’t get any cuter than that.

Munchie: Pizza and ice cream – just curl up and feel the love.

Black Swan (2010)

A repeat offender in this franchise, Natalie Portman’s psychological ballerina outing lands on this list for a while other reason aside from it being amazing: The girl can dance. When she’s not ripping off her skin or you know, morphing into a swan, the Israeli-born actress is demonstrating her ballet skills from youth, combined with dance training, cardio, and choreography learned during Black Swan preparation. Those training scenes cut into the film’s run time? All real. You can see Portman’s bones shift and crack enough to make that high of yours turn against your own body – but it’s so worth it.

Munchie: Grapefruit.. so pretty.

Bring It On (2000)  

Call it what you want, but this early 2000s teen comedy about rival cheerleading squads sparked a revolution (and an array of completely unnecessary direct-to-video sequels). Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Gabrielle Union led this cult classic that dealt with race and equality while still staying humorous and playing off the ridiculous ideals of high school cheerleading drama on the West Coast. Can you really go wrong with a movie Roger Ebert labeled ‘the Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies?’ I don’t think so.

Munchie: Cherry pie – you’ll get it eventually.

Magic Mike (2012)

Yes, yes, I am well aware that this is an adventurous tale of male strippers – but who cares? If you’re a woman, you can thank me later. If you’re a guy, maybe you'll thank me later too or learn something here, or both. This raunchy dance flick is in the books as the highest grossing film in the genre, and it’s hard to argue why. Fair warning: If you’re high while watching this and attempt to perform a lap dance of your own, we are not to blame for the repercussions of your actions. But, please, make sure you videotape it.

Munchie: After staring at all those abs? Probably nothing.. or maybe some carrots.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

You’ll have the time of your life honoring Swayze with one of the all-around best movies out there (and to make this list). This low-budget, coming-of-age tale brings about two people from the wrong sides of the track who finds themselves unable to deny their natural attraction. Partnered with a great soundtrack and the underrated use of some of Hollywood’s finest, it doesn’t get much better than this ‘80s classic. And I mean, have you seen that lift? Better yet, have you tried that lift?!

Munchie: Is anybody craving watermelon?