White Christmas (1954)

#4 Radio City Christmas Spectacular (2007)

Okay, so I'm not sure if this *technically* counts as a movie, but it's definitely dance-y! This is one of the most famous Christmas productions. Thousands of people flock to Radio City Music Hall each year to watch lines of talented, tall, lovely ladies do a lot of high kicks. And - it's surprisingly delightful! Sure, the choreography isn't going to change your life. But if you can take it for what it is - a family-friendly holiday tradition - then it can be a really enjoyable thing to watch to get you in the Christmas mood! Order the DVD on Amazon.

#3 The Nutcracker (1993)

This movie is really personal for me, and I think I'll always love it. This was one of the first VHS's my parents ever bought me, and one of the only things I was allowed to watch whenever I wanted. The Nutcracker prince - played by Macaulay Culkin - is very sweet alongside his young Clara, but the real reason to watch this is the dancing. The film has some big names - Darci Kistler is the Sugarplum Fairy, and Damian Woetzel is her Cavalier; Kyra Nichols makes a sprightly Dewdrop, and Wendy Whelan is a sultry Arabian. As it's New York City Ballet, the film features the original Balanchine choreography, which is honestly stunning. All of those grands jetés during the snow scene always make me feel like Christmas is really coming! (But sometimes I also get stressed - anyone else have reoccurring nightmares about missing their cue because of that complicated music? Just me? Cool.) The best part? You can actually watch the whole thing on YouTube and Netflix!

#2 Holiday Inn (1942)

This one has 'holiday' built into the title, so you know it's going to be super festive. Written by Christmas master composer Irving Berlin, this musical is set in a country hotel that is only open during the holidays (of course). A singer (Bing Crosby) and a dancer (Fred Astaire) are caught in a love triangle with another performer, played by Marjorie Reynolds. Though the film is best known for introducing the song White Christmas to the world, there are a number of really fabulous dance sequences. Watch free on Amazon Prime.

#1 White Christmas (1954)

Of course, this one makes the top of my list! This is probably one of the most famous holiday dance films. To start, it has a really stellar cast - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. And though you may only know those first two from your mom's Christmas records, (and yes, Rosemary Clooney is George's aunt), you should really know about the dance queen that is Vera-Ellen! She began dancing at age ten, and performed in numerous Broadway shows throughout the 1940's. However, she's especially known for performances with dancers like Fred Astaire in The Belle of New York and Gene Kelly in On The Town. Her tapping ability is out of this world! And she dances a lot in this film - the plot centers around four talented people who all end up in Vermont to put on an over-the-top holiday show for a good cause. Watch the clip below to see her in action, and rent the full movie for $3.99 on Amazon.

No matter what you watch, there are plenty of movies that will kick-start the holiday season for you. What are some of your favorite movies, dance related or not? Leave a comment!

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.