May I Have this Dance? 12 Romantic Dances in Film and Television


Afternoon friends! Today, over on Silver Petticoat, I’m talking about 12 memorable romantic dances in film AND TV. These range from cinema and television, contemporary and period drama though primarily, they feature the latter genre, which given my obsession with said genre, I’m not at all surprised.

May I Have this Dance? 12 Romantic Dances in Film and Television. Sharing a list of romantic dance scenes. Because why not? Text © Rissi JC

Putting this list together was lots of fun because I was able to remember some of these scenes with vivid clarity and become starry-eyed all over again over the charm, sweetness or romantic nature of the screen. While I’m sure I shamefully neglected some, I am happy with those I did feature; in looking back over the list, there seems to be a varied collection of classic, modern and our fan favorite obsession, costume drama, so as to offer a little something for everyone. Plus, I discovered a new one in my journey through BBC’s new miniseries War and Peace.

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May I Have this Dance? 12 Romantic Dances in Film and Television. Sharing a list of romantic dance scenes. Because why not? Text © Rissi JC

Below, as always, you can find a snippet and links to today’s article.

The First Dance – 12 Memorable Romantic Dance Scenes in Film and Television

May I Have this Dance? 12 Romantic Dances in Film and Television. Sharing a list of romantic dance scenes. Because why not? Text © Rissi JC

While working through revisiting some of my most favorite period dramas, I’ve been reminded that one of the best assets of period dramas is the wonder known as the first dance. So much can happen in the space of a first dance. It’s not only a blank masterpiece where a director can produce some of the most beautiful moving symphony of pictures (without actually having to say a thing); it’s also an elegant solution to craft old-fashioned romance. Continue Reading ➔

As always, I invite you to share some of your favorite first romantic dances in film or television. Comment with your thoughts. I’d love to read them!

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I am such a huge fan of every dance you choose, most especially Return to Cranford, as both it and the romance it delivers don’t seem to get nearly the amount of spotlighting they deserve. Cinderella’s dance is firmly among my top three favorites, and I was also kind of surprised but excited to see Far From the Madding Crowd had made the list. Oh, and Stardust; I concur about it being far too short, but love the almost fatherly protective air Captain Shakespeare adopts, and how she immediately starts glowing brighter as soon as she starts dancing with Tristan.

    I enjoyed seeing the two War & Peace versions tied for last place as well, seeing as they really are two quite different takes on the same event; the dance in the earlier adaptation is definitely more light-hearted, and the way Natasha gets him to smile near the end a very precious moment. Contrast that with the latest, which is, as you said, much more atmospheric and subtly sensual. Speaking of the BBC War & Peace, are you planning on publishing a review of it on this blog, because I would be very interested to know your thoughts!

    One of my particular favorites not on this list is the dance shared by Emma and Killian on Once Upon a Time's Season 3 finale; such a sincere, beautiful, romantic fairy-tale moment for two people who had gone without any for most of their lives. The sweet dance featured in Safe Haven is also another keeper, and then there is the dance in A Princess for Christmas, not to mention Another Cinderella Story, and Pillars of the Earth. I also can’t forget the magical wedding dance performed by Mary and Francis in Reign; so full of love and joy.

    Thanks for putting together such a diverse and fun list on one of my favourite topics!

    God Bless
    Eleanor Rose

    1. Hi Eleanor! So glad to read your lovely comment, as always.

      Right!? Return to Cranford's sweet romance never earns the play it deserves. I briefly re-watched a bit of the scene to snag a screen shot and wanted to sit and re-live the entire miniseries in great part FOR their love story. It's so sweet. :)

      All you mention in your first paragraph are swoony, though I'd be lying if I said Cinderella is consistently among my favorites – I constantly circle back to it. ;)

      As for War & Peace… ohmygosh! Both of those are swoony albeit, yes, quite different. Something about the atmosphere of the directions the respective writers/directors chose to go was… different, and I like/appreciate this. As to your review question, my plan is, yes, to review the BBC series. I doubt it's much called for over here since it's more "adult" than the majority of costume dramas I review and therefore not exactly what the larger part of my audience seems to look for, but I cannot seem to help myself; I *really* want to fangirl about it. ;)

      I'm SO far behind on OUAT, but do enjoy reading all of the fun comments on the "Captain Swan" pairing. Last time I saw them, I was so-so about shipping them so I'm anticipating discovering how their romance shapes up. (Are you still liking the show? I don’t like all of the spoilers I’ve read to be honest.)

      Heavens! How did I forget A Princess for Christmas?? That too is among my favorites though I've not see Reign or "Pillars" and it's been a while since I watched Another Cinderella Story. Oh well, this may simply mean a "part 2" is in order. How sad that would be. ;)

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and favorites! :)

    2. To be truthful, although both are adorable, I much prefer Peggy and William's story to Frank and Sophy's. And yay, I can't wait to read your War & Peace review; I will be right there fan-girling with you!

      In regards to OUAT, it has indeed retained it's place as one of my favorite shows, and a lot of that, let's be honest, has to do with the evolution of Emma & Killian's relationship; I absolutely love the way the progression of their beautiful romance has been crafted. If they aren't a True Love pairing, than I don't know who is. I'm curious, though, as to where you're up to, and are the spoilers you've read related to what is happening in the second half of Season Five? Because if they are, I can understand how some people might find the twists a bit frustrating/annoying, but I've decided to simply just accept what they're doing and enjoy the ride :)

      When it comes to Pillars and Reign, content wise they are both a tad on the graphic side, with some rather adult themes, so I have taken to only watching bits and pieces on Youtube, and relying on recaps and screencaps to keep up to date. Nevertheless, both have simply fascinating characters, and some wonderful romances.

      I think it's a very sensible idea to do a part 2; there really are too many to fit into only 1 list!

      God Bless
      Eleanor Rose

    3. I don't know that I could pick one of the romances in "Cranford" that you refer to as liking one better. Perhaps I do tend more towards liking Peggy and William's a bit better… but then I think about the sweetness of Frank and Sophy's and well, I think I like theirs equally well. It's such a dilemma (only, thank goodness, it's not a bad one to have). ;)

      Yay! Thanks so much. Hopefully the War & Peace review will go up at the end of this or next week. :)

      I'm pleased you still like OUAT. Perhaps I'm watching one too many shows or I simply lost interest, I don't know. Either way, I've really dropped off that one (I think I'd be in need of starting S3 when I pick it up again). Lots of people on my Twitter timeline still gush over it. Some of the spoilers I didn't like were as regards Emma's change (what can I say I like the good to remain good because in shows – especially OUAT, there are MORE than enough baddies and darkness to go around) and some of the changes the writer's are making to iconic Disney characters.

      I've read a lot about Reign and have been very tempted to start it because "Anne of Green Gables" co-stars but I've read it's terrible in terms of its historical accuracy. Still… campy or not, it looks so pretty. :) And the idea of wonderful romances? Sounds like a fabulous TV temptation.

      Right!? When there are these many amazing dance scenes, a part 2 is the only logical solution! :)

    4. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with OUAT's Season Two, but have loved everything from Season Three on-wards, from Killian and Regina's journey towards becoming genuine heroes, to all the beautiful, swoon-worthy moments between Emma and Killian. I completely understand where you're coming from though in regards to the things you're not a big fan of.

      Megan Fellows is indeed a revelation as Catherine De Medici; very cunning, and witty, and powerful, but with a soft spot for her children (mostly Francis). And, while yes, unfortunately the historical accuracy of this show is almost non-existent, the costumes, though wildly incorrect, are simply gorgeous! Every episode I see at least one outfit I'd love to wear. Some of the things I'm not a big fan of, however, are the very dark tone and themes, especially in Season Two, and the love triangle nonsense that takes rather a lot of screen-time. First half of Season One, and all of the Season Three episodes which have aired so far are my favorites.

      God Bless
      Eleanor Rose

    5. Ooo, now that's interesting! If S3 is where I'm in need of staring, I'll hopefully become excited about it again. (Though to be honest, I do need to check where I stopped since I've lost my sense of place in that one.) I don't mind the idea of Regina becoming good, and despite his bad-boy persona, I have liked Hook in this show. And I see so many fanginl things about Captain Swann, so I do want to LOVE them together. (Especially after my broken heart as regards Emma and the sheriff. I pretty much liked him as a romantic interest and character – and then the dude had to go and become a major movie star. The nerve of him. ;D)

      Given Megan's talents I'm not surprised she's amazing as Catherine. I've always enjoyed seeing her share her talents in other roles though they've been limited which is why I'm so curious about her playing this character.

      As for the inaccuracy as regards costumes on Reign, that's what I hear all the time. But as you say, there's so gorgeous, I'd forgive the show its flaws. I often want to raid so many of these character's closets! I always say WHO CARES that I've no place to wear these ensembles!? I kinda want them. ;) We'll have to figure a way to make this happen.

      Thanks so much for sharing your OUAT and Reign opinions/thoughts, Eleanor. I really appreciate them all. You're making me aware of how much I need to revisit Storybrooke and perhaps I'll watch E1 of the latter to see what I think. :)

    1. LOL, right!? And I just re-watched that one in the past two months as well! That scene is a vibrant and really unique dance (plus the chemistry!), which is what I love about it. :)

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