Magic Mike XXL is warming up this winter with its abundance of oiled up abs, cheeky laughs and sexy dance moves. This genre of movie – dancers/singers who need to make a living doing some semi-seedy things – has its roots in the 70s and 80s with movies like Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Here are five of the more recent hits to get your legs moving and your heart pounding.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Set in the 60's at a summer retreat called Kellerman’s, the story follows Baby, the youngest daughter of a wealthy family who decides to take dance classes to fill in time. Socially conscious Baby gets caught up in the lowbrow world of the staff who run a seamy backyard club night where they dance sexed-up versions of the salsa, tango and twist. Baby falls in love with Johnny Castle, one of the dance instructors, and a world of rebellion, sensuality and dangerous fun opens up before her.
Coyote Ugly (2000)
Piper Perabo plays a singer songwriter ingénue trying to crack the highly competitive New York music scene. The acoustic guitar-toting babe has to make ends meet and thus begins her career as a barmaid at Coyote Ugly, a bar that encourages a lot of dancing atop said bar. The shy young musician gradually gains confidence from her interactions with customers and her bolshie co-workers and comes out of her shell.
Save the Last Dance (2001)
Julia Stiles plays the goodie-goodie ballerina who is as stiff as three fingers of gin and Sean Patrick Thomas plays the smooth black hottie from the wrong side of the tracks. He offers to help her loosen up – and loosen up she does, when she finds herself in the underground world of New York’s hip hop clubs. The pair fall in love but come up against opposition from their respective worlds, neither of which approve of the partnership.
Step Up (2006)
The first of a very successful dance movie franchise, Step Up focuses on Tyler Gage (played by a young Channing Tatum), a juvenile delinquent who winds up in front of a judge for vandalising a performing arts school. His punishment is that he has to do community service at the centre where he meets and falls in love with Nora, a ballet teacher who sees something special in her new friend’s dance moves.
Magic Mike (2012)
The first movie in what might become a long-running franchise is all about a young man trying to earn a living any way he can. With a passion for making furniture, Mike is doing odd jobs during the day and headlining an all-male revue at night in order to scrape enough cash together to focus on his design business. Throw in an unscrupulous club boss, played by Matthew McConaughey, and an up-and-coming performer who is dabbling with a life of criminality, and the tension runs high (and not just in the y-fronts of the male cast).