Whenever I feel down, stressed, or uncertain (thanks to having to wait for news or for something else), nothing lifts my mood quicker than watching a dance-themed movie or binge-watching the animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender.
So recently I watched Dance with Me, the 1998 dance movie directed by Randa Haines, and starring Vanessa Williams and Chayanne—a movie I’ve seen countless times. The dance movie of choice used to be Strictly Ballroom until I gave that DVD to a friend who also needed a dance movie to perk her up. Perhaps I will get around to seeing Step Up one day. 🙂
What is it about watching two or more people dancing that is such a reminder of how great life can be—that joie de vivre? And of course it doesn’t hurt that Chayanne is hotness incarnate. Muy atractivo!
Dance with Me features the requisite dance competition and romance. Hey, they’ve gotta do something after demonstrating how to rumba. And of course dance is the perfect metaphor for bringing two people together as we observe their first faltering steps toward love and dance proficiency.
Here’s a dance scene from that movie. It’s about four minutes long. This comes toward the end, so SPOILER ALERT.
I love how people in the movie work out their frustrations via salsa dancing. I usually work out my frustrations via salsa and chips, so their method seems better. But wouldn’t it be great if all of life’s problems could be solved just by busting a move on the dance floor?
Sometimes, however, a dance is almost an act of war. I can’t help thinking about Pride and Prejudice now (either the Keira Knightley version or the 1995 A&E version), when Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy dance together for the first time. I love the tension of that scene, with them on opposite sides, having to maintain the correct social boundaries though they want to scream at each other. Lizzy fires off the first salvo, with Darcy returning fire in a polite way, as they wend their way through the dance. Good stuff.
Have you seen Dance with Me or that scene I mentioned in Pride and Prejudice? Do you have a favorite movie or show that you binge watch when you need a pick me up? While you think of that, here are some random photos I took while on a walk. I love how the daisy clings to life.
Chayanne photo from somewhere on Pinterest. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) photo from janeaustenfilmclub.blogspot.com. All other photos by L. Marie.
Back in the day, I was a fairly decent salsa dancer, L. Marie. LOL! I dated a fella from Peru who was quite the dancer. The energy in the club where we danced was amazing.
“Muy atractivo!: I agree!
That is so awesome, Jill!!! I can just picture you at the club! I wish I had known you then.! I totally would have gone with you. I love to dance! I enjoyed swing dancing back in the day.
Picture me dripping in sweat, L. Marie. That’s a major workout! LOL!
Never got heavily into those movies, but my wife loved ‘Save the Last Dance’ when we were dating. She did dancing herself, which made sense. Everything seems to be Step Up these days.
Oh yeah. Channing Tatum! Wasn’t his wife also in that movie?
Forgot about Save the Last Dance! That was the movie for a while!
I think so. Never saw it and too lazy to Google today.
I went ahead and Googled since I was curious. She was!
I loved Dirty Dancing and I remember my friends and I trying to figure out the merengue together. I haven’t watched a dance movie in forever! I LOVE seeing people dance well. There’s something about the synchronicity that speaks to me. I also love the dance scene in Along Came Polly where Ben Stiller ends up knocking over the entire band in his attempts to woo Jennifer Aniston. That’s probably more realistic. haha. My go-to shows when I need a pick-me-up are Gilmore Girls or Buffy. But thanks to your post, I think I might dig up an old dance movie next time!
I thought of you when I wrote my go to show. 🙂 Ha, Dirty Dancing was great! That’s my sister-in-law’s favorite.
I agree about the synchronicity. When I feel out of control in my life, watching two people work well together is very soothing.
I seldom need an invitation to start dancing. In fact, I sometimes dance in the ice cream aisle at Publix while perusing the freezer cases for buckets of Blue Bell Pralines and Pecan. But only if there is a really good song playing over the loudspeakers.
Music connects us to the shared heart beat of life.
* Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass . . . it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. ~ Vivian Greene
* Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. ~ Anonymous
* On with the dance . . . let JOY be unconfined. ~ Lord Byron
And, yes, I adore that scene from Pride and Prejudice. Big fan of Elizabeth Bennet
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ~ Elizabeth Bennet, ch. 31
Great quotes, Nancy! I agree! Let joy be unconfined! I can just picture you at the frozen section cutting a rug. 🙂 I’ll do that next time I look for ice cream.
Gotta love Lizzy. That dance scene is one of my favorites. Lizzy is so determined to dislike Mr. Darcy. 🙂
Now it is my turn to say that this is just what I needed today.
I love dance movies and Shall We Dance? is among my favorites. All three versions, which include an old Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire movie. While I love the Richard Gere movie, there is a Japanese version, basically the same movie, filmed earlier (late 1990’s) that is even better. Sub-titles don’t matter as the dancing says it all.
If Dirty Dancing is on, I will always watch it.
I haven’t seen Dance With Me, but, after seeing the trailer, I will find it. I’m currently laid up with a broken foot, L. Marie, and dance movies are just what I need.
I do know that scene in Pride and Prejudice and I think there is a similar one on the same line in Gone With the Wind.
PS Love your photos. Those last bits of summer hanging on. 🙂
Oh no!!! So sorry to hear you have a broken foot, Penny! How did it happen? Do you discuss it on your blog? I was going to head there soon. Hope it heals quickly. Do you have a walking cast?
I thought about Fred and Ginger and would have added them. But I wanted to keep the post somewhat short. So glad you brought them up. Also I can’t help thinking of Gene Kelly. He was a wonderful dancer.
I’m definitely in the old school camp, watching Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
There is a travelogue show that airs on PBS called “California’s Gold” that I used to watch a lot with friends and family. The host (Huell Howser, may he rest in peace) had an affable southern charm, a constant smile, and a way of making the most mundane things interesting. He’s definitely my go-to for comfort TV. The best part is they’ve archived all of the shows online so that I can pull up old favorites: https://blogs.chapman.edu/huell-howser-archives/
Lovely flora photos, BTW!
I’ll have to check that out. I love a show that does what you just mentioned: makes the mundane interesting. I think that’s why I like Garrison Keillor’s stories. He has a way of making a story about a dog worth a Pulitzer.
Yes! Love listening to Garrison Keillor as well.
Usually I prefer to read a story, rather than listen to one. But Garrison Keillor’s stories are the ones I listening to.
Funnily enough, I’ve been binge watching the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing the last couple of days, trying to catch up before it gets to crunch time. Films-wise, I tend to go further back to the old Gene Kelly musicals for a burst of cheering up. On the Town is probably the one that I love most. But of course the Darcy/Lizzie dance is very special to me too – the Colin Firth version… which I’m sure doesn’t surprise you! 😉
I’m not surprised at that, FF. 🙂 I love that version too. I watch it every year or so. It’s probably time for me to watch it again.
Gene Kelly is wonderful. I enjoy his dancing as well. So fluid!
Many years ago, a visiting student from Nicaragua tried to teach me salsa dancing. Bad move. He was hobbling around with bruised toes for days. So I’m with you on the salsa and chips.
Ha! It’s not easy, is it? The movie makes the dance moves look very easy!
You have opened up a part of us yearning for freedom of the rhythm and the beat…. thank you 💛
I hope it was as good for you as it was for me 😎
Hey, Val! It was! 😀 We could all use that freedom!
I loved this post about dancing. You always inspire me! Such a talented writer and passionate woman. Thank you
Thanks, Martha! I hope you’re doing well! You definitely inspire me!
Step up is a nice feel good movie.
It’s good to know how to cheer one’s self up. An important life skill. I walk and pray, preferring to walk along the dunes overlooking the ocean. Music helps too.
Hope you’ve been able to put things in perspective and tried out a bit of salsa? 🙂
I walk and pray too! Yes, music helps. I’ll definitely have to check out Step Up.
I’ve tried salsa dancing. It’s great! My niece is into it. 🙂
When I’m feeling stressed, it’s usually because I’ve been sitting down too long, trying to write something. That’s when I want to turn on the music and dance. I love to dance. It’s another creative activity.
When you mention dancing movies, I think back to the 50s and early 60s when it seemed like there was a new movie filled with dancing every week or two–Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, Ann Miller. The stories were sometimes a little thin, but the dancing was always good.
Good choices! Yes, they were great entertainment. I can’t help thinking of Singin’ in the Rain. We used to watch that on TV. 🙂
Everyone thinks of Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain. But my favorite is Donald O’Connor. He’s magnificent in Make ’em Laugh.
I so love that one!!! Thanks for the reminder, Nicki.