Top Five… Male Solo Dance Scenes

In the words of David Bowie and Chris Rea, let’s dance. But there are no dance partners in this Top Five – here we count down the moments when Hollywood’s finest men followed Billy Idol’s advice and went dancing with themselves…

Gene Kelly doesn’t feature on this list. Let’s get that out of the way right from the start. You can feel angry now rather than feel it after scrolling down the page and discovering he’s been replaced by something you think is totally lame. I like his slick moves on roller skates and with an umbrella, but you know what: I don’t love them. They’re too smooth, too polished, too perfect. I like my solo dancing heroes because of their imperfections, or else this list would be made up of Patrick Swayze and Gregory Hines. Yes, they have undoubted talent, but there is something about the five hoofers below that just get me at a gut-level. Even if some of them have no rhythm whatsoever. Tell me your favourite male solo dance moments in the comments section below.

5. Jim Carrey (The Mask)

Watch the Rubber-faced Funnyman™ lead the police on a merry dance in this number. Had I not included this sequence in the list Ross McD would not have been a happy camper, but I can report that we actually agree on this one. In a film packed with great routines, the Cuban Pete skit still manages to stand out. Simply because it’s so much fun.

4. Mel Gibson (What Women Want)

They can take our land… but they can never take… MY DANCE MOVES! Who knew Mad Max could shuffle like this? If Martin Riggs ever saw this he’d probably jump off a building. But who cares? Mel is a natural mover, using a hat stand and a hat to the ironic sounds of Sinatra’s I Won’t Dance. You will dance, Mel Gibson, and you will dance very entertainingly indeed. This is what women want.

3. Hugh Grant (Love Actually)

Okay, so calling this ‘dancing’ is a little like calling Vince Vaughn an ‘actor’, but that doesn’t stop it being an immensely enjoyable scene. Grant is the king of awkward comedy and here he proves why.

2. Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite)

No matter what he does for the rest of his career, this is the moment Jon Heder will be remembered for. The brilliance of this scene is that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the movie. It also draws from the secret fantasy within all of us of wowing the entire school in the assembly hall. I like your dance moves, Napoleon, they’re real big.

1. Kevin Kline (In & Out)

What a great scene this is. Not many actors have the comic timing to pull this sequence off, so we should be thankful that the often underrated Kevin Kline is playing the closet gay guy attempting to prove his masculinity to himself. Thankfully, he fails spectacularly, allowing him to bust a move like it’s nobody’s business. Only Kline could take a simple platform of a man and a talking tape and make it golden. The tape’s frantic pleas as Kline gets down are priceless: ‘Think about John Wayne! Arnold Schwarzenegger! Arnold doesn’t dance. He can barely walk!’ That may be true, but Kevin Kline sure can dance…



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16 Responses to “Top Five… Male Solo Dance Scenes”

  1. this list must have been McD’s idea…

  2. Phil Smith Says:

    OK, not a movie, but Christopher Walken letting rip in a hotel on the promo of Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon Of Choice is priceless

  3. Fantastic list!

    Jim Carrey in The Mask is hilarious love that part.

    I also totally loved Mel Gibson in What Women Want especially that dancing scene, he’s just brilliant and makes you want to really dance with him.

    Hugh Grant in Love Actually is a brilliant moment as well!

  4. I’ve only seen No.s 3, 4 and 5 of them but all classic moments. Always loved that dance in The Mask

  5. I have to vote for Donald O’Connor doing “Make ‘Em Laugh” in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.

  6. You have your top five; I have mine.
    Top Solo Dances
    Gene Kelly: Newspaper Dance from Summer Stock
    Gene Kelly: Alter Ego Dance from Cover Girl
    Gene Kelly: Garden Dance from Living in a Big Way
    Gene Kelly: Dancing on Roller Skates in It’s Always Fair Weather
    Gene Kelly: Dancing in the Rain in Singin’ In the Rain

  7. I completely forgot about Napolean Dynamite. That’s great!!! I’m also, personally, kind of fond of Martin Short rocking out, with Dennis Quaid inside of him, in Innerspace. Dunno if you guys remember that one.
    P.S. Was able to get my custom header up on my site. Thanks for the help!!!

  8. I love Jim Carrey’s in The Mask!!!!!!!

    I might have added Tom Cruise in Risky Business and there are a few great Austin Powers moments with Mike Myers as well.

    Cool List though!

  9. great shout Kai B – here you are just for you –

  10. Absolutely nothing beats JCVD busting his moves out in Kickboxer!!!! He’s my queer-o / Hero!!! :-p –

  11. Paragraph… if i could give you a prize for posting that link i would.
    when that clip got going i was about to call you on it for not being a solo dance, but despite the two girls beside him, you can tell VD is only interested in himself
    great clip.

  12. “…kind of fond of Martin Short rocking out, with Dennis Quaid inside of him.” – this made me laugh. Thank god I’ve seen the movie and understand the reference! 🙂

  13. Kline’s dance in In & Out was actually one of the only reasons, other than Joan Cusack, that I actually enjoyed the film.

  14. I know, Dan. Thought about that right as I hit the Submit button! 🙂

  15. I only interjected the Dennis Quaid part because technically that keeps it from being a “solo” dance performance!

  16. I whole heatedly agree with Heather that there needs to be a shout out for Tom Cruise in Risky Business…at least as an honorable mention?

    But when I read the title of this post, I first thought of Hugh Grant…very glad he’s on the list:)

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