All the Best Dance Scenes from Your Favorite Christmas Movies

Watching Christmas movies is one of our favorite holiday festivities, and when there's dance involved it's even better. Whether you're wrapping up Nutcracker runs, feverishly finishing your shopping or hopping from party to party, these flicks provide a lighthearted escape from the holiday bustle. Grab a fleece blanket and a mug of hot cocoa, but be prepared to dance along when these classic scenes come on.

"Jump for My Love" from Love Actually (2003)

Who doesn't love a dancing prime minister in the form of Hugh Grant? This scene is basically us whenever our favorite song comes on at home, in the car, at the studio—just about anywhere.

"Linus and Lucy" from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

They may only be cartoons, but that doesn't stop the beloved Peanuts gang from letting loose. It's just basic repetition but they all get a 10/10 for energy, confidence and execution.

"Mandy" from White Christmas (1954)

White Christmas is filled with spectacular song-and-dance scenes, ranging from the romantic "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" to the hilarious "Sisters" reprise, with Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby playing two flirtatious ladies. But when it comes to holiday glitz, the red-and-green themed "Mandy" takes the cake. Don't miss the number's over-the-top finale, where Vera-Ellen floats through the air in a cascading series of dives, lifts and flips.

"Hot Chocolate" from The Polar Express (2004)

A bevy of waiters tap dance through a train car as they serve hot chocolate. This may or may not be a description of our wildest dream. They're surprisingly crisp tappers and quite the acrobatic bunch.

"Whoomp There It Is," or the Mail-Room Dance, from Elf (2003)

Looking for a new cardio workout? Try Will Ferrell's spirited mail-room jig as Buddy the Elf. If you ask us, it looks like the choreography may have been inspired by the Nutcracker's Russian divertissement.

"Jingle Bell Rock" from Mean Girls (2004)

Okay, so Mean Girls isn't technically a Christmas movie, but how could we leave out this rockin' scene, especially since Mean Girls is Broadway bound this March? (May we also suggest Larsen Thompson's recent parody of the dance.) In the words of Gretchen Wieners, we hope you have a "fetch" holiday season.

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

December 2020