Maybe you sought out a Latin dance movie, or maybe you were just pleasantly surprised by a stunningly choreographed routine that became the highlight of an otherwise ho-hum feature film. We all have our most memorable dance scenes—some of us have even mimicked them for our first wedding dance! Nothing is more inspiring than watching a flawlessly executed salsa dance scene where the choreography, the actors, the music and the editing all come together to create sheer magic.
Looking for the perfect salsa-infused film for your next “Insert the blank” and chill fest? Take a look at our top 10 salsa scenes from movies:
- Dance with Me – You can’t go wrong with Vanessa Williams in her heyday. Just be forewarned: This romantica salsa scene, set in a fictional club, showcases everything you wish your local salsa club offered. The perfect live music, mood lighting, and a partner dance so tantalizing it makes the entire crowd (and it’s a big one!) form a circle around you, and you’ll be smitten.
- Along Came Polly – Okay, technically this is a far cry from a “best” salsa scene, but you can’t fault Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston from instilling some humor into the dance. We’ve all felt like Stiller at one point in our salsa career—likely in the early days and after one mojito too many. It’s more a lesson in what not to do, but it certainly will make you feel better about your own moves!
- Street Dance – If you haven’t heard of this film, or even “Street Dance” the original, you’re not alone (and don’t worry, you’re not missing out on any misplaced Oscar gold). However, any salsa scene done street style in a boxing ring is well worth a watch. Shine, tricks and flair galore. It’s got sexiness to spare and you might just get so caught up in this scene that it compels you watch the entire film.
- Bravetown – Here’s another film you likely haven’t heard about, but it features a stunning sequence which proves group dance doesn’t necessarily mean partner. Complete with plenty of high school spirit and set in a gym auditorium, it’ll have you wishing your pep rallies were like this. It’s also a generous source of inspiration for your next shine work at the local club.
- Step Up 2 – Let’s all ignore the horrendous dubbing from this clip and focus instead on the dance and music. Fortunately for us, the subpar dialogue is only a few seconds long. The series that (kind of) made Channing Tatum and wife Jenna Dewan household names might not have maintained a star headliner in the sequel, but there wasn’t a single missed step with the choreography.
- Desi Boyz – Bollywood is already known for mind-blowing choreography, but it’s usually reserved for very unique Indian-style dancing—not salsa. The film “Desi Boyz” proves that desis can, indeed, move to whatever beat they desire. In this salsa scene, Bollywood A-lister Akshay Kumar proves that he can lead the ladies around to any beat in the world.
- The Forbidden Dance is Lambada – Here’s evidence that the right costuming can take a dance from great to very, very memorable. Sultry, sexy and with the kind of moves that gets the whole crowd into it, this old school scene is considered a classic amongst some salseros.
- Step Up Revolution – Yes, another “Step Up” offering makes the list. Granted, this is more salsa-inspired then pure salsa—but what’s “pure salsa” anyway? This scene alone is what makes the film worth watching, and it’ll provide plenty of inspiration for those crafting a special performance for events and competitions.
- Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights – The original “Dirty Dancing” may feature one of the most famous dance scenes of all, but it was in the much-anticipated sequel decades later where salsa stole the show. Just as authentic, dirty and innovative as the original choreography, it had everyone wishing for a getaway to Cuba.
- La Salsa Cubana – Okay, this isn’t a salsa scene—it’s a complete documentary that you can watch in totality on YouTube! Documenting the salsa scene in Cuba, filmmakers take you deep into the underground of salsa music, dancing and history. English subtitles included.
Which scene is your favorite—or did we miss one? Share your most beloved salsa scenes and other Latin dance clips now.