I was born in 1980, so it’s hard for me not to like everything about that decade. I remember wearing suspenders that had silver Michael Jackson gloves attached to them, and blasting Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” even though I was five years old and clueless about its meaning. I used to watch bootleg VHS copies of My Little Pony and He-Man that my sister would send my brother and I in the mail. And of course, I rocked the side ponytail like it was my job.
However, my fondest memory of the 80s was listening to cheesy pop and hip hop tunes and trying to imitate breakdance moves. Back then it looked awesome and groundbreaking, but now it just looks ridiculous.
Still, some of the most memorable scenes from 80s movies came from dance sequences. Need proof? Here are ten of my favorites:
10. Pretty in Pink (1986) — The Duckie Dance
Before Jon Cryer became known as the nerdy brother of Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, he was known as the nerd with a crush on Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. Here he is trying to show that white boys can somewhat dance (but they are horrible at lip syncing).
9. Teen Wolf (1985) — The Wolf Dance
This was Michael J. Fox’s second big box office hit after Back to the Future. In this scene it looks like the students went back three years into the past to imitate Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” moves — and failed.
8. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) — The TV Show Final Dance
This movie is the epitome of everything 80s. Neon spandex. Crimped hair. Shoulder pads. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex in the City would be appalled at herself.
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) — Twist and Shout Dance
Ferris Bueller was THE COOLEST — not just because of this scene, but because he could pull off that leopard-print vest.
6. Sixteen Candles (1984) — The Geek Dance
Anthony Michael Hall played the geek perfectly in this film, mastering both headgear and how to bust a move on the dance floor.
5. The Last Dragon (1985) — Sum Dum Goy Dance
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Not only does it have characters named Bruce Leroy and Sho’nuff in it, it’s responsible for this hilarious scene.
4. The Breakfast Club (1985) — In School Suspension Dance
I don’t know if you can call anything in this scene dancing (more like convulsions or spastic reactions), but it’s still awesome.
3. Coming to America (1988) — Tribal Dance
Eddie Murphy was THE MAN back in the 80s. In my opinion, Coming to America is one of his funniest films. Soul Glo. Sexual Chocolate. McDowell’s. And this dance scene.
2. Beetlejuice (1988) — Day-O Dance
This was Tim Burton’s best film because of its great cast (Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis), awesome special effects and this memorable scene.
1. Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) — On the Ceiling Dance
This is hands-down the BEST 80s dance scene ever. The music + Turbo breakdancing on the ceiling = AWESOME.