11 of Our Favorite Dance Videos on YouTube

May 5, 2015

If you’re reading this, just accept the fact that for the next 30 minutes, you’re not going to be productive. Instead, you’re going to take a nice trip down memory lane, courtesy of the Dance Magazine staff. Why? YouTube is celebrating double digits this year. And in light of its anniversary, the site has put together a special shout-out to dance, complete with a playlist of some of the most memorable dance videos ever—from the Harlem Shake to the Ryan Heffington/Sia/Maddie Ziegler extravaganza that is “Chandelier.” According to the site’s analytics, over 24 million dance-related clips have been uploaded to date. And “Evolution of Dance,” the viral video from 2006 that walks viewers through social dances of several past decades, is still being watched an average of 1,000 hours per day.


Yes, we’ve lived through 10 years of cat videos, makeup tutorials and songify-ing the news. But YouTube is also a go-to place for dancers to watch excerpts of their favorite choreography, post their own reels and dig through archival footage of phenomenal stars. In celebration, here are DM‘s favorite dance videos on YouTube. Happy surfing!


Jennifer Stahl

Editor in chief

Okay, I’m old school, but this is my all-time favorite: Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca in the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet. It’s a horrible quality, fuzzy performance footage from ages ago, but my God, their lines and musicality and passion still move me to tears even just watching on a tiny screen. It’s magic.


Raymond Mingst

Creative director

It’s amazing to have access to vintage footage. Here’s to the manic wonder of Ann Miller: Too Darn Hot’ from Kiss Me Kate (1953).


Madeline Schrock

Managing editor

This is my go-to clip whenever I need a dance video break during the workday. The excerpt from Ohad Naharin’s Three became a favorite of mine years ago. Even after seeing the piece live, I still couldn’t get enough. I love the juxtaposition of the dancers standing still amidst the blaring music before they explode into a perfect pandemonium of contortions, high legs and quirky leaps—all with the utmost control.


Kristin Schwab

Associate editor

William Forsythe’s 
One Flat Thing Reproduced
 is definitely up there on my list of favorites. Sure, you can catch the piece in real life. But the intensity the video is able to create is incredible. You feel like you’re watching the work from what would be the orchestra, the balcony, the rehearsal director’s chair, the rafters above the stage—all at once! And the sound of tables scraping and limbs slapping heighten the experience.


I also love getting lost in throwback videos of now superstar dancers during their training years. I could watch old ballet competition variations endlessly. Look at how grossly talented dancers like Beckanne SiskWhitney Jensen and Melissa Hamilton were—and how far they’ve come since then! Though I will say it can be a little depressing. I wasn’t half this good when I was 14.


Suzannah Friscia

Assistant editor

I went through a phase in college where I would watch videos of Fred Astaire every night before bed. He’s one of the reasons I grew to love tap. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in “I’ll Be Hard to Handle” from Roberta is one of my favorite clips. It’s shot in one long take, and you really get a sense of how much fun they’re having, and the conversation they’re having through dance.


Gregory Hines is another one of my favorite tap dancers, and I love how inventive this solo from White Nights is and how it has the feel of watching someone experiment in the studio. I’ve looked up this clip over and over again.


Lauren Wingenroth

Editorial assistant

Yanis Marshall’s choreography 
for his street jazz heels classes
 is absurdly intricate, and you can’t beat his heel collection. I love all his videos, but especially the ones where he’s just taught the combination in a class. I’ve taken his class and it’s ridiculously hard—watching people who have just learned these dances absolutely kill it is always so amazing to me.


Alexandra Castro

Editorial assistant

I think every time I go on YouTube, I watch the Sigur Rós “Valtari” video at least once. It’s absolutely magical. The first time I saw it, probably around two years ago, I was totally spellbound. The connection between Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s choreography and the dancers is sublime, sensual and captivating.