10 Movies That End With a Dance Party

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10 Movies That End With a Dance Party

The American musical artform has fallen by the wayside in Hollywood’s inexorable march towards better special effects and bigger car chases/explosions. But filmmakers are still aware of the power of a strategically placed song and dance number to make the audience experience a different kind of thrill than anything that even the most sophisticated CGI action scenes can deliver.

That is why, despite movies rarely being fully fledged musicals anymore, they can sometimes feature one or two memorable musical montages. Sometimes these montages appear at the very end of the movie, to wrap up the narrative on an exuberant note. Let us take a look at some of the most well-loved dance party scenes featured during the climax of a movie.



10 This Is the End

Sony Pictures Releasing

While most movies about the end of the world focus on the horror and tragedy of the event, This Is the End chooses to highlight the absurdity of the scenario using real-life celebrities playing fictional versions of themselves. When Jay Baruchel is invited to a party at Seth Rogen’s house, the festivities are interrupted by the literal apocalypse as described in the Bible.

RELATED: Best Apocalyptic Movies, Ranked

Rogen’s circle of friends try to band together to deal with Earth being turned into a version of Hell. Amidst demonic possessions, public decapitations, and humanity falling into depravity almost immediately, the gang learns that the only way to ascend to heaven is through selfless deeds. After a bit of character growth and some near escapes, Seth and his friends manage to get into heaven. They celebrate their achievement in the best way possible, with an epic dance party set to “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys, performed by the actual band.

9 Mamma Mia!

A scene from Mamma Mia!
Universal Pictures

Mamma Mia! was released at a time when musicals were not particularly well-received by American audiences. But the makers of the film knew they had something special on their hands since the movie uses the best hits of the iconic Swedish pop group ABBA, and features an A-list cast of talent headed by Meryl Streep in one of the most joyful roles of her career.

On an enchanting Greek island, a wedding is being planned for Donna’s daughter Sophie. Unknown to Donna, Sophie has invited three men from her mother’s past to the wedding, one of whom is her biological father. Miscommunications, secrets, and confusion abound as Donna tries to cope with the wedding and the unexpected reminders from her past. The good-natured rom-com musical ends things on a high note with Sophie’s entire guest list rocking out to ABBA’s “Take a Chance on Me” and “Waterloo.”

Kevin Bacon in Footloose
Paramount Pictures

Kevin Bacon has long made his presence felt in strong supporting roles. But it was Footloose that turned the character actor into a movie star leading man. Bacon brings a mature intensity to the character of Ren McCormack, a high schooler from Chicago who is forced to move to a quiet town where dancing and drinking among the youth are strictly forbidden by the local town council.

Chafing under the rule, Ren vents his feelings by dancing in secret, and planning a cultural revolution with the other members of his school. After a final showdown with the town council and its leader Reverend Shaw Moore, Ren finally manages to convince the adults that singing and dancing are an essential and welcome part of life. In celebration of their victory, the movie ends with one of the most iconic dance scenes in Hollywood history, as Ren and his friends dance it up to Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” song at their prom.

7 Shrek 2

The Main Characters of Shrek 2

The first Shrek movie earned a special place in the history of animated films by cleverly skewering the fairy tale tropes that Disney cartoons had been peddling for decades. The sequel Shrek 2 doubles down on the satire by not only making fun of fairy tale tropes but also real life events like reality television and Hollywood’s obsession with outer beauty and being relatable.

All of this culminates in the final moments of the film. After the villain has been disposed of, the main characters get together to host an impromptu version of American Idol complete with Simon Cowell acting as judge. While the other characters give the contest their best shot, it is Donkey and Puss in Boots who steal the show with a lively dance rendition of Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”


Naatu Naatu in RRR
Variance Films

Indian movies are well-known for featuring song-and-dance numbers in the middle of any and every genre of film they make. RRR makes good on that tradition with a number of song-and-dance numbers interspersing the narrative of an Indian rebellion against the British occupation of their country, with each song serving to further the narrative rather than being tacked on willy-nilly.

The song that got the most attention from the movie was “Naatu Naatu,” which won an Oscar for best original song. The movie also ends with a dance number called “Sholay,” in which the main cast from the film get together to pay tribute to real-life freedom fighters from all over India who were instrumental in getting their country liberated from British rule.

5 High School Musical

High School Musical

There was a time when Disney Channel movies were considered barely more than shortened kids tv shows with cheap budgets and generic storylines. But 2006’s High School Musical changed that perception with its spirited take on Romeo and Juliet as viewed through the lens of a high school where studies, arts and sports are seen as polar opposites of each other and not capable of mixing.

RELATED: 8 Best Romeo & Juliet Movie Adaptations Ever Made, Ranked

This proves a problem for talented basketball player Troy, and straight-A student Gabriella. The two want to take part in the school musical while working out their feelings for each other. The school is scandalized by the idea of a sports star and a Braniac student taking part in artistic activities. But eventually Troy and Gabriella’s conviction manages to sway the entire student body, and everyone joins together for a show-stopping musical number to end the film with.

4 Dirty Dancing

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing
Vestron Pictures

Much like its name suggests, Dirty Dancing brought about a sexual awakening for an entire generation of audiences who saw Patrick Swayze gyrating alongside Jennifer Grey on the big screen to a now-iconic soundtrack filled with catchy tunes. Young adult Frances “Baby” Houseman is vacationing with her parents at a summer resort where she feels an attraction to the local dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Being lured into Johnny’s lower-class but passionate world, Baby feels out of her depth when she becomes Johnny’s dance partner for an important contest. The duo start working together rigorously, in the process discovering a sparkling chemistry and a forbidden passion that threatens to upend the established social order. This does indeed come to pass during the movie’s climax, when the resort’s working staff and guests finally learn to ignore social conventions and dance together alongside Johnny and Baby.

3 Hitch

Columbia Pictures

Will Smith does not have a lot of romantic movies to his credit, but he starred in one of the best-received rom-coms of the 2000s in Hitch. The actor plays Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a love guru-type consultant who is tasked with helping schlubby corporate executive Albert land a date with beautiful socialite Allegra Cole.

Hitch tries to help Albert get with Allegra, but his attention keeps getting diverted by feisty journalist Sara, who is determined to uncover the truth behind a mysterious “date-doctor,” not knowing she is dating the man herself in the form of Hitch. Naturally, some misunderstandings occur. But finally Albert manages to become Allegra’s betrothed, and Hitch seals the deal with Sara, in time for the climactic song-and-dance number where the four characters get jiggy with it together at Albert and Allegra’s wedding.

2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

James Gunn is a filmmaker who strongly believes in infusing his action-adventure movies with a pop music feel from bygone eras. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continues with this tradition, using a number of hit songs from the previous decades to underline the emotional journey of the main characters despite the entire story taking place off-Earth, in the deepest reaches of space. The movie features a number of main characters, and, in keeping with Gunn’s declarations that this will be his last movie in the franchise, the story includes a farewell for each individual character.

After the dust has settled and some of the Guardians gone their separate ways, Drax, Nebula, Rocket, and Groot throw a dance party on their home city of Knowhere for the children they have rescued from the High Evolutionary. The fact that the song they are dancing to is from Earth is a touching reminder that while Peter Quill aka Star-Lord might have left the Guardians, the other members still feel the positive impact of his presence and have embraced his love of singing and dancing joyfully in the face of doom and gloom.

1 Slumdog Millionaire

Dev Patel as Jamal Malik
Pathé Distribution

When British director Danny Boyle set out to make a movie in India, he carried with himself Boyle’s trademark gritty style of filmmaking. But even Boyle could not resist putting a bombastic Bollywood touch to his Indian tale of poverty and crime, Slumdog Millionaire. The movie takes an unflinching look at the life of a child named Jamal who is raised on the streets of Mumbai.

After years of hardship and toil, and multiple near-death experiences, Jamal finally reunites with the love of his life Latika, and the movie ends on a positive note. To underline the climax, Boyle fires up a song-and-dance number named “Jai Ho,” which sees the various adult and child main actors from the movie all dancing together happily. The song became the first Indian melody to win an Oscar, and proved hugely popular in the west, complete with a remix by The Pussycat Dolls.

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