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April 13, 2021

Great Dance Shows


Put your best foot forward with these great shows featuring stand-out dance numbers!

Whether you like tap, ballet or hip hop, or even if you’re a complete beginner, you’re sure to find something in these shows with dance styles for everyone who wants to boogie. Though each of the shows below features several styles of dance, we’ve loosely grouped them by predominant theme.

And remember— the choreography is up to you! You can make the dance as simple or as challenging as your dancers can handle. Happy dancing!

2015 Broadway Production of An American in Paris (Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)


An American in Paris by Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin and Craig Lucas (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballet, Classic Musical Theatre
Set in the French capital in the wake of World War II, An American in Paris tells the romantic story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl, and an indomitable European city – each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of international conflict.

Carousel by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballet, Classic Musical Theatre
Opening with the sweeping “Carousel Waltz,” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s celebrated musical features several dance sequences, including “Blow High, Blow Low” and the extensive second act ballet. In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker Billy Bigelow dies during an attempted robbery, but returns to earth for one day to right his wrongs.

Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballet, Classic Musical Theatre, Western/Square Dance
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, setting the standards and rules of modern musical theatre. In a Western territory just after the turn of the 20th century, a high-spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys provides a colorful background for Curly, a charming cowboy, and Laurey, a feisty farm girl, to play out their love story.

On the Town by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jerome Robbins (US)
Dance styles: Ballet, Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz
Inspired by ballet pieces created by Jerome Robbins, this energetic wartime musical features three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City. With thrilling music by Leonard Bernstein and playful book and lyrics by Comden & Green, the show includes a number of great dance sequences along with musical theatre standards like “Come Up to My Place,” “I Can Cook, Too” and “New York, New York.”

On Your Toes by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and George Abbott (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballet, Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz
A vaudevillian named Junior, along with pals Sydney and Frankie, tries to sell a new jazz ballet, “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue,” to a Russian ballet company. This landmark musical was directed by the legendary George Abbott and choreographed by newcomer George Balanchine, whose use of ballet here marked the first time in musical comedy that dance was a direct proponent of the plot.

2017 Broadway Production of Anastasia: The Musical (Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)


Anastasia: The Musical by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballroom, Classic Musical Theatre
From Tony winners Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, creators of such Broadway classics as Ragtime and Once On This Island, this dazzling show transports its audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past.

Ballroom by Jerome Kass, Bill Goldenberg, Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballroom, Classic Musical Theatre
Based on the CBS television movie The Queen of the Stardust Ballroom starring Maureen Stapleton, Ballroom is the story of aging widow Bea Asher, who begins life anew at the Stardust Ballroom, an old-school dance palace in the Bronx. Poignant, tuneful and charming, this honest and moving musical was developed by director Michael Bennett, co-creator of A Chorus Line.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Broadway Version) by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and Douglas Carter Beane (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballroom, Classic Musical Theatre
The Broadway adaptation of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical features new characters, a hilarious libretto, surprising twists and an unforgettable score. “Ten Minutes Ago,” Ella and Topher’s first dance together, is a sweeping waltz for a roomful of luxuriously dressed ballroom guests.

Steel Pier by David Thompson, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Scott Ellis and Susan Stroman (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballroom, Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz
In the honky-tonk world of marathon dancing in Atlantic City in 1933, a captivating assortment of depression-era souls gather on the Steel Pier, hoping to dance their way to fame and prizes. The sophisticated songs, by the creators of Chicago, Cabaret and other Broadway classics, perfectly capture the rhythms of the 1930s dance era. 

Top Hat by Irving Berlin, Howard Jacques and Matthew White (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballroom, Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz
Top Hat brings the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age and the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ world-famous dance partnership to the stage. This 2011 musical, based on the 1935 film of the same name, tells the story of Broadway sensation Jerry Travers, who dances his way across Europe to win the heart of society girl Dale Tremont.

2019 Roundabout Theatre Company Production of Kiss Me, Kate (Joan Marcus)


Can-Can by Abe Burrows and Cole Porter (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballet, Can-Can, Classic Musical Theatre
C’est Magnifique! Lively, funny, and thoroughly entertaining, Can-Can captures the energy and spirit of Bohemian Paris in the late 19th century. In 1893 Paris, La Môme Pistache, the proud owner of a Montmartre dance hall, battles with a self-righteous judge determined to close her establishment for presenting the scandalous can-can. In addition to plenty of flinging skirts, the musical features a Garden of Eden ballet.

Crazy for You® by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Ken Ludwig, Mike Ockrent, Guy Bolton and John McGowan (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
A zany rich-boy-meets-hometown-girl romantic comedy, Crazy For You® tells the story of young New York banker Bobby Child, who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theatre. In Deadrock, Bobby falls for spunky Polly Baker, the theatre owner’s daughter. But Polly takes an instant dislike to the city slicker, so Bobby vows – through cunning, razzmatazz, and a hilarious case of mistaken identity – to win Polly’s heart and save the theatre. Memorable Gershwin tunes from the score include “I Got Rhythm,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” and “Nice Work if You Can Get It.”

Holiday Inn by Irving Berlin, Gordon Greenberg, Chad Hodge (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
The beloved film classic comes to the stage in a charming crowd-pleaser featuring one glorious Irving Berlin number after another, each celebrating a different festivity. The parade of hit Irving Berlin songs includes “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “Heat Wave,” “White Christmas,” “Be Careful, It’s My Heart,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “Shaking the Blues Away” and many more.

Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter, Samuel Spewack and Bella Spewack (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
The battle of the sexes takes center stage as former spouses feud onstage and off during a musical presentation of The Taming of the Shrew. Sophisticated, romantic and delightfully hilarious, Kiss Me, Kate boasts a sparkling Cole Porter score and a brilliant book from Sam and Bella Spewack. Hit dance numbers include “Too Darn Hot’“ and “Tom, Dick or Harry.”

Me and My Girl by Stephen Fry, Douglas Furber, Noel Gay, Mike Ockrent and L. Arthur Rose (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre
Bill Snibson, a Lambeth costermonger, is revealed to be the new Earl of Hareford and his newly-discovered aristocratic relations are horrified. Bringing him to Hareford Hall, they attempt to educate Bill into the ways of the gentry and to separate him from his cockney girlfriend Sally. The result? Chaos of the most comical kind! With a host of hilarious characters, witty one-liners and several toe-tapping songs (including the famous “Lambeth Walk”) Me and My Girl is a sublime and sunny treat for all fans of musical comedy!

My One and Only by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz
In 1927 America, Capt. Billy Buck Chandler, a barnstorming aviator, falls for Edith Herbert, a former English Channel swimmer and the star of Prince Nicolai Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadze’s International Aquacade. Meanwhile, Billy’s wisecracking female mechanic, Mickey, adds a bit of sass as a series of escapades and misadventures keep the potential lovers from finding happiness.

Nice Work If You Can Get It by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Joe DiPietro, Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse (US/UK)
Dance styles: Charleston, Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
A hilarious new screwball comedy, Nice Work If You Can Get It pokes fun at the Prohibition era in a clash of elegant socialites and boorish bootleggers, all set to the glorious songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Highlights from the score include “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “Sweet and Low Down,” “Delishious” and the title song.

White Christmas by Irving Berlin, Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, David Ives and Paul Blake (US/UK)
Dance styles: Charleston, Classic Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. With a dazzling score featuring well-known standards including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial title song, White Christmas is an uplifting musical worthy of year-round productions.

2018 New York City Center Production of A Chorus Line (Joan Marcus)


CATS by Andrew Lloyd Webber, T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe (US)
Dance styles: Ballet, Contemporary Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
The ultimate dance musical, CATS is set amongst a larger-than-life junkyard playground and is alive with purr-fect felines. The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year—the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

A Chorus Line by Marvin Hamlisch, James Kirkwood, Michael Bennett, Nicholas Dante and Edward Kleban (US/UK)
Dance styles: Ballet, Contemporary Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap
A stunning concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway audition, A Chorus Line incorporates every style of dance. Exploring the inner lives and bittersweet ambitions of professional Broadway performers, the show features one powerhouse number after another. A brilliantly complex fusion of song, dance, and compellingly authentic drama, A Chorus Line was instantly recognized as a classic.

Dance Nation by Clare Barron (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop
Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at Nationals in Tampa Bay. This non-musical play is about ambition, growing up, and how to find our souls in the heat of it all.

The Wiz by William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Jazz, Popular/Rock
A beloved Broadway gem, The Wiz infuses L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a dazzling mix of rock, gospel and soul music. This timeless tale of Dorothy’s adventures through the Land of Oz is a fun, family-friendly, modern musical that incorporates several styles of dance.

Broadway Revival Production of Chicago (Paul Kolnik)


Cabaret by Joe Masteroff, John Van Druten, Christopher Isherwood, John Kander and Fred Ebb (US/UK)
Dance styles: Fosse, Jazz, 1930s
In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920’s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with English singer Sally Bowles.

Chicago by Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse, John Kander and Fred Ebb (US/UK)
Dance styles: Fosse, Jazz, 1920s
In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap… until he finds out he’s been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune, and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features the dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.

Sweet Charity by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields, Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano (US/UK)
Dance styles: Fosse, Jazz, 1960s Go-Go and Frug
Inspired by Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria, Sweet Charity explores the turbulent love life of Charity Hope Valentine, a hopelessly romantic but comically unfortunate dance hall hostess in New York City. With a tuneful, groovy, mid-1960s score by Cy Coleman, sparkling lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and a hilarious book by Neil Simon, Sweet Charity captures all the energy, humor, and heartbreak of Life in the Big City for an unfortunate but irrepressible optimist. The show’s many great dance numbers include “Hey, Big Spender,” “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This,” and the iconic go-go number “Rich Man’s Frug.”

2003 Roundabout Theatre Company Production of Nine (Joan Marcus)


Evita by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (US)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Latin
With strong leading and featured roles, scope for a large ensemble and one of Lloyd Webber’s most-loved scores, combining Latin, jazz, pop and more traditional influences, Evita charts the young and ambitious Eva Peron’s meteoric rise to sainthood. Set in Argentina between 1934-1952, the Tony-winning musical features several thrilling dance numbers, including “Buenos Aires” and “And The Money Kept Rolling In.”

In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Latin, Hip Hop
In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

Kiss of the Spider Woman by John Kander, Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally and Manuel Puig (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Jazz, Latin
Kiss of the Spider Woman revamps a harrowing tale of persecution into a dazzling spectacle that juxtaposes gritty realities with liberating fantasies. Cell mates in a Latin American prison, Valentin is a tough revolutionary undergoing torture and Molina is an unabashed homosexual serving eight years for deviant behavior. Molina shares his fantasies about an actress, Aurora (originated on Broadway by Chita Rivera) who dazzles in glorious dance numbers like “Where You Are” and “Gimme Love.”

Nine by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Tango and Latin-influenced forms, Tarantella
Celebrated but impetuous film director Guido Contini, succumbing to the pressures of filming his latest film epic (a musical version of the Casanova story), suffers a midlife crisis. One by one, women from his past and present – including his mother, his wife, his mistress, and his leading lady – haunt, instruct, scold, seduce and encourage him until he finally learns to grow up.

2009 Roundabout Theatre Company Production of Bye Bye Birdie (Joan Marcus)


Bye Bye Birdie by Lee Adams, Charles Strouse and Michael Stewart (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Rock ’n’ Roll, late 1950s
A loving send-up of the 1950s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock & roll, Bye Bye Birdie remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses All-American girl Kim MacAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Featuring a tuneful high-energy score, plenty of great parts for teens, and a hilarious script, Birdie features several great dance numbers, including “Honestly Sincere,” “A Lot of Livin’ To Do” and “Spanish Rose.”

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie by (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Pop/Techno, 2020s
Jamie New is 16 and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. Jamie is going to be a sensation. Supported by his brilliant, loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies, and steps out of the darkness into the spotlight.

Footloose by Tom Snow, Dean Pitchford, Walter Bobbie, Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Rock ’n’ Roll, 1980s
When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, he is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. But he’s not prepared for the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, who is determined to exercise control over the town’s youth. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges pins a father longing for the son he lost against a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.

Grease by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs (US)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Rock ’n’ Roll, late 1950s
With a hip-shaking rock ‘n’ roll score featuring hits like “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” and “We Go Together,” Grease celebrates Rydell High’s class of 1959 in all their duck-tailed, bobby-soxed, gum-snapping glory.

HAIR by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot (US/UK)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Rock ’n’ Roll, late 1960s
The American tribal love rock musical Hair celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. To an infectiously energetic rock beat, the show wows audiences with songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Hair,” “I Got Life” and “Let The Sun Shine.” Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, Hair remains relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world.

2015 North American Tour of 42nd Street (Chris Bennion)


Anything Goes by Cole Porter, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Tap, 1930s
Join Reno Sweeney and her shipmates as they sail the S.S. American from London to New York in this nautical romantic comedy. Music, dance, laughs, and the age-old tale of Boy Meets Girl… Anything Goes is Delightful, Delicious and De-Lovely.

Dames at Sea by George Haimsohn, Robin Miller and Jim Wise (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Tap
It’s big-time New York, into which sweet little Ruby from faraway Hometown, U.S.A. has come to make it big on Broadway. Who should she chance to meet but another boy from Hometown, U.S.A.: Dick, a sailor, who also has ambitions as a songwriter. Ruby begins in the chorus, and by the end of the day, in true Hollywood fashion, Dick saves her doomed Broadway show with a smash tune, as Ruby becomes a star on the deck of a battleship, which just happens to be passing by.

42nd Street by Harry Warren, Al Dubin, Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble, Bradford Ropes and Gower Champion (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Tap, 1920s
At the height of the Great Depression, aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?

No, No, Nanette by Otto Harbach, Frank Mandel, Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar, Otto Harbach and Burt Shevelove (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Tap, 1920s
No, No, Nanette is a lighthearted romp showcasing the charming music of Vincent Youmans. The wacky story involves three couples sharing a cottage in Atlantic City in the midst of a blackmail scheme, with plenty of deception, romantic mishaps, and comical misunderstandings. The score includes two of the best-known songs in musical theatre – “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy” – as well as “I’ve Confessed To The Breeze,” “You Can Dance With Any Girl” and “Take a Little One-Step.”

The Tap Dance Kid by Charles Blackwell, Henry Krieger and Robert Lorick (US)
Dance styles: Contemporary Musical Theatre, Tap
The long-running Broadway musical is a cornucopia of music, drama, comedy and, above all, tap dancing. 10-year-old Willie doesn’t want to be a lawyer like his stern father. He knows he just has to dance, like his uncle and mentor, an aspiring Broadway choreographer. With determination and spunk, Willie imagines a life of fame and glory as a tap-dancing star.

Top Hat by Irving Berlin, Howard Jacques and Matthew White (US/UK)
Dance styles: Classic Musical Theatre, Tap, 1930s
Top Hat brings the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age and the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire’s and Ginger Rogers’ world-famous dance partnership to the stage. This 2011 musical, based on the 1935 film of the same name, tells the story of Broadway sensation Jerry Travers, who dances his way across Europe to win the heart of society girl Dale Tremont. An uplifting and entertaining romantic comedy celebrating 1930s song, style and romance, Top Hat features fourteen songs by Irving Berlin, including “Cheek to Cheek”, “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “Let’s Face the Music & Dance.”

For more great dance shows, visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.

Header Image: 2022 Chichester Festival Theatre Production of Crazy For You (Tristram Kenton)