The 15 greatest dance movies of all time


Take a trip down memory lane with one of these flicks — in no particular order, the 15 best dance movies Hollywood’s ever made.

‘Center Stage’ (2000)

Before there were Edward and Jacob, there were Charlie and Cooper. This teen drama has everything — romance! Sensuality! Backstage back-stabbing!

You can’t top the drama of finding out who makes it into a company, and that finale sequence has inspired legions of young choreographers to colour outside the lines.


‘Step Up’ (2006)

Not only did the original “Step Up” give us Channing Tatum, it gave Channing Tatum a wife — co-star Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The dancing is great, but it’s made all the better as you see the two stars fall for each other for real.


‘Footloose’ (1984)

“Footloose” isn’t nearly as good as you remember, but ask anyone what their favorite dance movie is, and this is probably the one they’ll name — despite the limited amount of footwork in the film.


Blame the uber-charming Kevin Bacon, who teaches us all about the power of dance.


‘Shall We Dance’ (1937)

Yes, we shall! This Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers team-up is one for the ages. Astaire plays a ballet dancer who falls for Rogers, a famous tapper.

There’s more to it than that, but all you need to know is that it culminates in this splashy finale.


‘Billy Elliot’ (2000)

Any male dancer — or anyone who’s ever dared to be different — could identify with 11-year-old Billy, who dreamed of becoming a ballet star, despite his conservative coal miner father’s protests.


‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987)

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey brought the heat in this coming-of-age story that became a box-office smash. It’s basically impossible not to have the time of your life watching it (see what we did there?).


‘Black Swan’ (2010)

Who’d have thought a psycho thriller about a ballerina, would become a major Oscar player? Natalie Portman took home the gold for her haunting turn in Darren Aronofsky’s powerful film.


‘Flashdance’ (1983)

It was panned by the critics, but those who grew up in the ’80s have a special place in their hearts for the tale of a welder/bar dancer with big ballet dreams. No audition has ever topped this one.


‘Strictly Ballroom’ (1992)

Although Baz Luhrmann’s directorial debut is largely forgotten, this romantic comedy follows an Australian ballroom dancer stifled by the genre’s suffocating rules. Poignant stuff for us rule-breakers.


‘Happy Feet’ (2006)

Basically “Footloose” with penguins, “Happy Feet” brings some killer tap dance numbers courtesy of a heck of a lot of birds. When will you ever see that in real life?


‘Saturday Night Fever’ (1977)

There is not a person in the world who has not attempted John Travolta’s “Stayin’ Alive” number — and for that reason alone, this list wouldn’t be complete without it.


‘Swing Time’ (1936)

Another Astaire-Rogers pairing, “Swing Time” is widely considered one of their greatest works. Just try not to get swept up in this!


‘Breakin’’ (1984)

The original break dance movie has its flaws, but it laid the groundwork for the dance genre we know today, from the “Step Up” films to “Stomp The Yard” and “You Got Served.”


It also gifted us with the beginning of Ice-T’s illustrious acting career.


‘The Red Shoes’ (1948)

Adapting a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this classic tackles the age-old battle between career and love.


‘Magic Mike’ (2012)

OK, technically, this movie is about stripping. But in the midst of that stripping, there’s a whole lot of dancing! Channing Tatum’s moves are on full display, especially in one memorable routine to Ginuwine’s “Pony.” Now that’s art.





Swing into Spring with Fred Astaire Roodepoort

With evenings getting lighter, people daring to remove their thick, winter coats and the sun beginning to shine optimistically from behind the clouds it can only mean one thing… Spring is here!

We are here to help you gain confidence in your gorgeous bod, get you to ditch those woolly jumpers right in time for summer… and much, much more.

How? You ask.

You’re probably aware that dancing isn’t just an expression of art but also:

A form of exercise for all age groups

Dancing energizes your entire body and helps you lose all those extra calories that are sitting on your waist, hips and arms.

When you dance using rhythmic steps, you move all your body parts or exercise your entire body. If you do this systematically for about 30 minutes, you can lose about 100 calories.

You don’t even burn as many calories by cycling, walking or swimming, so it’s a good investment in your time to go dancing. Besides, you have much better cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure rates and a slower heart rate. You also build good bone density and have more strength and energy, besides coordination and muscle tone.

An intimate couple’s exercise

When was the last time your spouse did something so spontaneous and out of character that you asked “Who are you” – in a good way? Dancing builds confidence. It can turn a mild-mannered research scientist into a matador. So when he boldly executes a Tango manoeuvre that you’ve never done before, enjoy it. Whisper the question in his ear for added points.

A great way to meet new people

If you’re looking to meet new people without going to bars and clubs, one of the best places to go are dance classes.

Social dancing like Latin and swing are all about meeting and dancing with new people of every level of skill and experience. You’re actively encouraged to talk to strangers, take them in your arms and learn how to move together as one.

A skill building activity for kids

Whilst there are many benefits of traditional team sports, such sports may not be suitable for younger children. If you are looking for a way to channel your child’s seemingly unwavering energy, you may like to consider the benefits of dance classes.

With child obesity on the increase, we can of course appreciate the physical benefits of encouraging children to dance. But in addition to helping children burn off excess energy and stay healthy, dance offers numerous other benefits.

At Fred Astaire Roodepoort we are firm believers that an early year’s dance experience will help children to develop body control, coordination, balance and spatial awareness. Children also get to experience a range of gross motor movements and fine motor movements.

Fred Astaire Roodepoort’s trained instructors know just how to make you move to achieve all of the above.

What are you waiting for, this is your last chance before the calendar turns to summer. Have fun, make friends, get in shape and associate yourself with one of the country’s top dance studios.

Great news your first lesson is on us, click here to claim yours now:


The healing power of dance

Some of the physical effects are obvious: dance can – among other things — boost cardiovascular health and bone strength (because it’s weight-bearing exercise), as well as improve balance and flexibility. But there’s evidence it does much more.

Parkinsons Disease (PD)

Dance and in particular Argentine tango, is used as a form of exercise for people with PD for several reasons. First, the basic step of tango is walking and depending on whether one is dancing the leader or follower role, this walking is primarily in the forward or the backward direction, respectively. Given the particular difficulty that many with PD experience with balancing and moving in the backward direction, tango is a means of teaching specific strategies for moving backward and then practicing them repeatedly within the context of the dance. Other aspects of tango also seems particularly suited to dealing with PD, such as practicing moving at different speeds to address the slowness of movement associated with PD, practicing turning and moving in tight spaces which are situations known to trigger freezing of gait in PD, and moving to music as an external cue to facilitate movement.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

New research shows that dancing dramatically reduces the occurrence of dementia and Alzheimer¹s disease. But not just any dancing will do.

Freestyle dancing requires constant split-second, rapid-fire decision making, which is the key to maintaining intelligence because it forces your brain to regularly rewire its neural pathways, giving you greater cognitive reserve and increased complexity of neuronal synapses. Frequent freestyle dancing was shown by the study to reduce the risk of dementia by 76 percent—twice as much as reading—and playing sports or practicing choreographed dance sequences which had no benefit at all.

Heart disease

A world-first study from two Sydney universities has found people over the age of 40 who take part in dancing almost halve their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from Western Sydney University and Sydney University studied more than 48,000 people in Great Britain for a decade to find out how exercise affected their health.

Published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the study is the first is its kind to track the impact of dance on mortality from heart disease.

It found people who participated in dancing had a 46 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular death over a decade, compared to those who rarely or never danced.

Depression and emotional eating

Dancing may also be good for your mood. It has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress and boost self-esteem, body image, coping ability, and overall sense of well-being, with the benefits lasting over time. In one study, it even helped control “emotional eating” in obese women who eat as a response to stress.

What are you waiting for put on your dancing shoes and begin the healing process?

Contact Fred Astaire today.


Turn the heat up this winter: Learn to Salsa

The use of the word salsa originates from a 1933 song by composer Ignacio Pinerio. The title, “Echale Salsita,” translates to “spice it up a little.” This brief guide offers an introduction to the origins, history and current trends in the exciting and exotic world of salsa dancing.

History of Salsa

Salsa dancing initially developed into a particular style in the 1940s and comes from a tradition of Latin dance styles that dates back to the early 1900s. It is heavily influenced by Afro-Cuban traditions and dance styles such as mambo, guaguanco and danzon. As people moved to new locations and assimilated into new cultures, salsa evolved into fresh styles. Some of today’s most popular forms of salsa include styles influenced by the cultures of New York, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles.

Basic Movements

Salsa can be as fluid and passionate as the dancers who perform it. Some dancers prefer to adhere to choreography while others adopt a freestyle approach. However, there are a few general principles that guide most salsa dances. Typically, dancers take three steps within each four-beat measure of the song. On one of the four beats, dancers may kick, turn or tap their feet. The upper body is usually held fairly still and dancers move primarily from their hips.

Popular Styles

As traditions change and cultures blend together, salsa continues to evolve. Styles are discernible by elements like foot movements, dance patterns, timing and the attitudes of the dancers. North American styles like Los Angeles salsa and New York salsa typically break on the first or second beats and dancers may perform in a line. In Latin American styles such as casino rueda salsa, the dancers move around one another in a circular form.

Famous Dancers

With such a rich history behind the different types of salsa dancing, it’s little wonder that dancers from around the world have left their mark on the tradition. Among North American styles, Joe Cassini, Albert Torres and Laura Canellias influenced early Los Angeles salsa significantly. Dancers like Liz Rojas, Janette Valenzuela and Joby Martinez also helped cultivate modern elements of salsa. Eddie Torres helped bring popularity to New York salsa dancing.

Want to learn this passion filled dance style?

Get in touch with Fred Astaire Roodepoort today.



Wedding lessons: Yes you need them

Wondering what the fuss is all about when it comes to wedding dance lessons? In this article we break it down.

Reduce Your Stress
One major factor eating away at a couple’s nerves when it comes to their wedding dance is being in the spotlight. The last thing one wants is to look like a high school couple swaying back and forth or stepping on one another’s feet.
The pressure of having a bunch of wedding guests staring at you as the music cues is enough to make anyone stress.
Taking dance lessons ahead of your wedding will prepare you on what to expect reducing stress levels. With training comes confidence, confidence reduces stress.

Make an Impression
The lights dim and the disc jockey announce the first dance of the newly married couple- nothing will wow the crowd more than a well choreographed routine.
In addition your dedication to train will score you some great brownie points with the bride and her family. A subtitle gesture to show your future dedication- wink.

Create Memories
A handful of things remain after the big day, those include:
– The rings
– The love and care for each other
– The photos
– The videos
And most important the memories.
Generations after yours will see the videos of your first dance why not make it one to remember and maybe impress your grandchildren with your nifty moves.

What are you waiting for? Take those wedding dance lessons at Fred Astaire Roodepoort.

Find us at:

Fred Astaire Dance Studio Roodepoort
Shop 13 & 14 Wilro Corner Shopping Centre
Cnr Mimosa Street and CR Swart Road
Tel: 011 764-2177


East versus West Coast swing: What is the difference?


If you are not a professional dancer, the names of certain dance styles can be confusing.
One such example is the East Coast swing vs. the West Coast swing.
For the purpose of the article we will define both in an effort to broaden your dance knowledge.

East Coast Swing

The East Coast Swing goes by other aliases like “jitterbug” and is said to have evolved from Lindy Hop during the 1940s. It is generally performed along with swing music, though modern dancers can arrange it to fit along with everything from rock and roll to boogie-woogie. East Coast generally holds a circular pattern, as the dancers move around and around and use a lot of space on the dance floor. This dance also includes lots of energetic turns, twists, and tunnels.

West Coast Swing

This routine on the other hand is generally seen as a slower, more formal swing style than East Coast, although they are both fun dances. Unlike the circular patterns of East Coast Swing, West Coast dancers often staying within a specific rectangular slot on the dance floor, moving in an up and down section.

Where East Coast is spirited and wild, West Coast Swing is more sensual. Much like the East Coast Swing, West Coast can be performed to music other than swing, including pop, country, and blues music.

There you have it. The main difference is the tempo, slot and music pieces these dances are performed to.

To learn either of these sign up for your FREE lesson at Fred Astaire Roodepoort today:


The kind of gentleman they do not make anymore

fred_astaire“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”

The very famous quote by Fred Astaire himself depicted the old fashioned gentleman image he portrayed.

Astaire and the term genteel dancing are often mentioned in the same context and after a taking look into his character and dancing style we found out why.

The word genteel is characterized by exaggerated or affected politeness, refinement, or respectability; add the verb dancing to that and viola! It makes more sense.

Being a ladies’ man Astaire was known for winning hearts over with his genteel styled dancing.

At Fred Astaire Roodepoort we believe in teaching this very iconic way of a winning a lady’s heart to every man that sign up to take a class with us.

One often hears that they do not make gentlemen like Astaire anymore; at Fred Astaire Roodepoort we tend to disagree.

We can make a gentleman out of anyone who decide to take up the art of dancing.

Here are more reasons why we believe that men should take up dancing.

–           You cannot avoid it: There will be that one occasion that you would need to dance

–           You learn respectful gender interaction

–           You learn to lead (that counts for life too)

–           You build confidence

–           You learn to appreciate music

–           You learn a whole lot about women

–           You become part of a bigger community

–           You get fit

See you at the at the studio then? Thought so.

Contact us for more info:


Tel: 011 764-2177


Turn Me into Patrick Swayze


So you are a first time dancer and you chose the best studio in town (Fred Astaire Roodepoort) to learn the art.

Now what?

You might picture a scene straight from Dirty Dancing and see yourself wowing the crowd at the next wedding – right?

Although it is a sure thing that you will pick up some impressive moves from the get go, learning to dance is somewhat of a personal journey that you will have to pursue at your own pace.

For your first few lessons you fall under the beginner category and beginner dancers commonly find themselves asking some real questions such as:

  • Am I the only one who does not seem to get this?
  • Is my pace affecting the other students?
  • Do I look silly?
  • Will the instructor put me on the spot?

Now this applies to every dance studio in the world- although the culture might be one of fun and learning, you will still find yourself asking these and some more questions.

You will be happy to know that – it is normal.

Fred Astaire Roodepoort provides the following tips to make it easier on you.

Genuinely Have Fun

So you might not like what you see in the oversized studio mirrors but instead of frowning on it like a member of the Adams family, you might as well laugh at yourself.

Don’t Look At Your Feet

There is no level of awkward – that is unless you keep bumping heads with your instructor because you were looking at your feet. The reality is that unless you’re in a dance competition, no one really cares. Practice your moves, fumble a bit, and try again just do not look down.

Don’t Bounce too Much

Many students bounce their heads and/or bodies on every beat, which for most songs looks too bouncy. For a two step as an example, bounce only on 2 and 4, and the dance looks much smoother. If you’re bouncing to keep rhythm, try subtly snapping your fingers or padding a hand against your hip instead.

Practice In Front of a Mirror

Follow Michael Jackson’s advice- start with the man in the mirror. This will not only help you perfect execution of moves but will help you look off your feet.

Sometimes you won’t be able to see the awkward movements because as a beginner, you may be too focused on keeping rhythm. In that case, recording yourself is also a good idea.


All that is left to do is just have fun and enjoy the therapeutic sport called dancing.





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