They Don’t Dance Like They Used To. Watching Jerry Lewis Doing The Jitterbug Gives Me Goosebumps

Updated October 5, 2016

It does seem like the “good ole days” had a lot more dancing going on than today. Remember those great old MGM movies with the huge chorus lines and unbelievable dance numbers?

We just found a little gem from 1954 showing the ever hilarious Jerry Lewis doing an absolute number on Sheree North. You will not believe the moves he puts on her, and how she keeps pace in this uptempo jitterbug scene from “Living It Up.”

Watching Lewis and North cut the rug made us think of all the other dance couples in film history that have entertained and inspired us to this day. We thought we’d look at a few of the best dance scenes in movie history and share them with you here.

We have to start at the beginning with the king and queen of motion picture dancing, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Between 1933 and 1949 the couple made 10 movies together, dazzling audiences with their elegance and stamina. The finest moments on the dance floor can be seen in “The Gay Divorcee,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Top Hat”. Astaire has commonly been considered to be one of the greatest popular dancers in history, although, as Rogers once famously said “I did everything he did, but backwards and in heels.” Score for the gal.

Gene kelly was a triple threat as an actor, singer and dance machine, but he was also an incredible partner on screen who shared some of the most amazing moments in movie history with both men and women and even a mouse. He partnered with Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Jerry the mouse (of Tom and Jerry fame). In the mid forties, his movie studios started letting him choreograph the dance numbers himself and he went on to earn a reputation as one of the most important figures in American dance. His great numbers can be found in “An American in Paris,” and “Singing in the Rain,” which has one of the sexiest dance duets ever featuring Kelly and Cyd Charisse.

While the popularity of song and dance movies waned after the mid 1950s, every so often, Hollywood has found great pairings to delight us.

The 1970s saw the hit movie musical “Grease.” Thanks to Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, this dance and song partnership is a classic that can be considered the inspiration leading to such 21st century musicals like “High School Musical.” All in all, it’s the music, and the dancing that make this partnership so much fun to watch.

And of course who can forget the classic 1980s film “Dirty Dancing?” Not only were girls attracted to the magnetic Patrick Swayze, but also to the idea of choosing one’s future instead of having it chosen for you. And Jennifer Grey shines in her most memorable role as his partner “Baby.”

The 1980s also brought us “Breakin’” and “Breakin’ Two: Electric Boogaloo” which not only launched the careers of Shabba Doo and Boogaloo Shrimp, it also brought breakdancing into the popular consciousness.

What is your favorite dance movie of all time? Please share it with us here.