A diverse range of films highlighting the world of stepping, ballet, and even competitive youth ballroom dancing are currently available to stream online. Whether it's putting on a rendition of a holiday classic or creating a new piece from scratch, these documentarians capture choreographers and performers as they push themselves to new heights.
Check out this list of 14 dance documentaries below, featuring Tony winner Justin Peck, Honi Coles, Joan Myers Brown, and more. Looking for even more dance documentaries? Check out our list of 11 biographical docs here.
Alive and Kicking
Swing is the name of the game in this energetic film, which explores the artform from its historic origins to its cultural impact in the 21st century.
Follow five Russian ballerinas from the Vagonova Academy and the Mariinsky Theatre in Bertrand Normand's documentary, narrated by Diane Baker.
Choreographer Justin Peck highlights the journey from a new ballet’s initial concept to its world premiere. Set against the backdrop of New York City Ballet, the Jody Lee Lipes-directed documentary also features Tiler Peck and Cameron Grant.
Frances McElroy's 2016 film tells the stories of Black ballerinas over various generations who have navigated racism, exclusion, and disadvantages in an industry largely comprised of white artists.
The Youth America Grand Prix, one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions, is the focal point in this documentary from Bess Kargman that follows six young dancers as they compete for jobs and scholarships.
Getting to the Nutcracker
Go behind-the-scenes—from auditions to the final performance—as the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet prepares to put on one of the world’s most popular holiday traditions. Directed by Serene Meshel-Dillman.
Mad Hot Ballroom
Go inside the world of youth ballroom competitions in this documentary following the 5th grade students at several public schools in NYC as they learn to tango, foxtrot, and more. Marilyn Agrelo directs with Amy Sewell serving as writer.
Rebels on Pointe
A ballet documentary with a twist: learn more about Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the drag dance company that has garnered a cult following since its founding over 40 years ago on the heels of the Stonewall riot.
David LaChapelle’s documentary debut follows the subculture scene of clowning and krumping. Filmed at several competitions in Los Angeles’ South Central district, and featuring interviews with the originators of the form, RIZE examines how a disadvantaged neighborhood can protect its own through dance.
Shake the Dust
Rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones and journalist Adam Sjöberg join forces to break down break dancing in various underserved communities around the world.
A group of steppers at a Baltimore high school use the form as a way to create new opportunities for their future and heal from social injustice in America today. More than a dance documentary, Amanda Lipitz’s film is one of young women on the brink of change and a group of teenagers supporting each other.
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Strike a Pose
Following the dancers who backed Madonna on her Blond Ambition World Tour in 1990, Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan highlight what it took to join Madge on stage—and what happened when the music stopped playing.
Learn the story of a truly American dance form beginning with its origins in the early 20th century to its niche popularity today. Christian Blackwood’s film features archival footage from hit performances and stars like Honi Coles, John Bubbles, and Harold Nicolas.