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10 Dance Scenes We Once Thought Were Amazing But Actually Kinda Sucked

I have a terrible memory, but one thing I can recall at a moment’s notice is any dance scene in any movie.

Growing up, I watched every dance movie ever released, and was generally obsessed with any odd dance scene in popular movies, from the final performance in Center Stage to the prom dance in She’s All That. These are dances that have only gotten better over time, but sadly, I can’t say the same for all dances.

There are a few dance scenes that we fondly recall as straight-up amazing, but when we watch them back now, we’re left absolutely cringing. Pour one out for all our destroyed childhoods.

Here are 10 dance scenes we thought were amazing but actually kinda sucked:

#1. Julia Stiles in Save the Last Dance

While this dance that fuses hip hop and ballet was very emotional, in terms of it being an impressive dance on its own merit (let alone an audition-worthy piece for Juilliard?!), it massively missed the mark. Watching it now, Julia just does a whole heap of confusing hand gestures while hopping around the stage.


#2. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Make It Happen

Like the above audition in Save the Last Dance, I had fond memories of Mary absolutely killing her audition for a Chicago dance school in Make It Happen. But watching it back now, this ain’t it sis. What’s with the hoodie? Are you just back from 8 Mile?!


#3. Tobey Maguire in Spider Man 3

Tobey dancing down the streets of Manhattan as ‘Evil Spidey’ has long been a meme, but the scene where he’s in the jazz club is also just bonkers on every level. I don’t know if we ever thought this was cool, but it’s pretty criminal it even ended up in the final film.

I often hear Tobey whisper, “Now, dig on thissssss” in my nightmares.


#4. Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly

Aside from being one of the greatest films of the noughties, Coyote Ugly served some of the greatest dance scenes ever put to film. The coyotes line-dancing along to ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ on the bar is still straight fire, but Piper singing and slinking along to ‘One Way Or Another’ isn’t what I remember. First of all, you can barely hear her singing at all. Secondly, she just doesn’t…do much.

THIS got her photo in the newspaper?!


#5. Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On

This isn’t a cheerleading routine, but rather the scene when Torrance listens to Cliff’s tape and dances on her bed. In my mind, it was extremely cool but watching back as an adult, Kirsten: r u OK????


#6. Hayden Panettiere in Bring It On: All or Nothing

Nothing compares to this godawful scene in the Bring It On sequel, where Hayden attempts to krump and it’s just a mess. I really thought she nailed this at the time, but instead it just looks like she’s had some type of allergic reaction to her own arms.


#7. Jennifer Garner in Suddenly 30

Suddenly 30 is the perfect movie, and in my memory the ‘Thriller’ dance was the perfect scene, but after rewatching it I’ve realised how terrible Jennifer is at dancing, or just moving her body to a basic beat.

What is wrong with you, Jennifer?? Do I need to call a priest??


#8. Everyone in A Knight’s Tale

Ooft, I really thought this was a cool dance, but what the shit even is this??

Am I on drugs?!!


#9. Emma Roberts in Wild Child

This was the sexiest dance I had ever seen growing up, so watching it now — and seeing recycled Beyoncé dance moves and not much else — has truly ruined my childhood.

Learn some new moves, Emma!


#10. Zac Efron in High School Musical 2

It pains me to say this but…Zac Efron cannot dance. He just can’t. While this song might still slap, watching Zac stomping around a golf course and trying to work in random choreography is just hitting differently.

You do you, Zac. Follow your heart…