After you've watched Dance Moms, Glee and all the Step Ups for the 20th rotation, it might be time for some new contenders to enter the ring. All hosted on Netflix; these seven picks will have something for all the family.
If Ru Paul's Drag Race and Dance Moms had a baby, their child's name would be Dancing Queen. A series that closely follows the competition lead up period of a studio which Justin Johnson, aka famous drag queen Alyssa Edwards, has been running since 2003. Beyond Belief Dance Company has all the child tantrums, Mom-to-Mom drama and insane dance qualities, that is required from an American dance group. Filmed in 2018 here's hoping that a second series will join the lonely 8-part series soon — the perfect answer to an afternoon of bingeing during the lockdown.
This exceptional film has only been added to this list as a gentle reminder of its existence. If you haven't watched this Cher and Christina Aguilera piece of art, then you should really check yourself. With a belting soundtrack and ensembles which would get anyone in the mood, there shouldn't be any more persuasion required. Burlesque is a movie which carefully tends to the big dream, romantic, theatric part of the soul.
There is a thin line in dance series or films between toe-curling cringe and an accurate representation of a group of performers. Many of these shows can include painful dubbing, body-doubles and only focus on Western dance culture. Yeh Ballet is the most recent addition to Netflix out of the picks on this list. Based in India, this 2020 film tells the story of two male ballet dancers who strive for a career in dance despite different obstacles, one being their faith. Originally a short documentary in 2017, it has since been developed into a feature film under the directorship of Sooni Taraporevala. A must-see for those who are tired of the repetitive storylines that dominate popular dance media.
The name says it all – this series has an exceptional range of music throughout. Ranging from Lily Allen, Basement Jaxx, Nat King Cole and Amy Winehouse, the songs carry this show's storyline. Even though at times it does border on the cringe line previously mentioned, it just about manages to not fall into the dreaded depths through clever use of character storylines. If you were, or still are, a fan of Glee then there is a very high chance you'll also love this heartwrenching show. Yes, that is hinting that there may be moments of spontaneous singing, but it all adds to the series' charm.
Wolverhampton probably isn't one of the first places that jumps to mind when thinking about cities well known for dance, but this is the setting for our next pick, Baby Ballroom. The show is what it says on the tin. A series is similar to Dancing Queen in the way it follows a ballroom dance studio through their prep and competition stages. Going inside Zig Zag Dance Factory, the series focuses on the tanned tots as they go head-to-head with other studios from around the country, all in the name of ballroom dancing.
You Got Served
It would have been easy to throw one of Step Up, Honey or Bring It On movies into this mix but after you've watched them for the 24th time, they start to lose their edge. However, You Got Served does have an element of these 2000s dance movies. Released in 2004, this is a classic LA dance battle movie that may be the newest addition to your carousel of nostalgic afternoons.
We Speak Dance
The final spot on this list is awarded to an extraordinary dance docu-series. Created and hosted by former UN advisor and So You Think You Can Dance judge Vandana Heart, the series documents her journey to five different places around the world exploring the possibilities of dance. Visiting Lagos, Vietnam, Beirut, Bali and Paris, the series creates an awareness of how movement changes around the world and the reasons behind it for different people. With short 22 minute episodes, this is perfect for dipping in and out of between your daily Zoom calls.
By Niamh Rooney
Yeh Ballet Image: @netflix_in
Soundtrack Image: @soundtracknetflix
You Got Served Image: @2000sera
We Got Served Image: @vandanahart