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Before Prom: The Best Movies About School Dances

We love high school dance movies, particularly when the entire school breaks out into a choreographed number without any explanation. It's like the movie version of flash mobs before there even were flash mobs. Who knew She's All That was so ahead of its time? The new movie Prom comes out this weekend, and while we've heard that there isn't a spontaneous group number in it, it did make us think back to the other school dances we wish we had attended.

Footloose
Considering they lived in a town where dancing was outlawed, these teens sure had a miraculous ability to pick up footwork quickly. They all did a fantastic jive-looking dance when Kenny Loggins kicked in with the title track. But mostly we love the ruffled '80s suits and all of the amazing hairstyles. Oh, and that one kid with the popping and locking -- he wasn't bad for having never expressed himself via movement before.

Grease
This featured not only a school dance, but also a competition to see who had the best skills when it came to hand-jiving - plus it was televised. And some kids mooned a nation with their bare asses. It really was a night to remember.

She's All That
Not only were they able to transform an attractive girl into an ever more attractive girl by removing her glasses, but they also had Usher acting like he was in an entirely different movie, DJ'ing the dance and just spinning around and yelling out vague instructions as people began to flail their arms in synch to Fatboy Slim.

Pretty in Pink
When Molly Ringwald took two ugly pink dresses and melded them together into one somewhat less hideous (but still unattractive) dress and then showed up at the dance by herself, instead of looking upset that her crush Blane had gone with someone else, we were impressed. She and Duckie (in his snazzy shoes) are a sight to remember and sometimes we're just suckers for a happy ending. And this movie also had Duckie dancing all spazzy at a record store, which was far better than Anthony Michael Hall's ridiculous dance in that other Molly Ringwald classic, Sixteen Candles.

Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion
It's technically not a school dance, but a reunion totally counts, right? Okay, maybe Peggy Sue Got Married doesn't count, but we'd be remiss if we left off the hysterical three-way dance between Alan Cumming, Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino set to Cyndi Lauper. Just stellar.

High School Musical 3
In case you didn't know prom was a big deal, High School Musical 3 helpfully features a song called "A Night to Remember" that plays while we see everyone getting ready and then dancing a highly stylized performance at the big dance. Oh, and Zac Efron's wearing a powder blue tux. Just because.

Napoleon Dynamite
Usually the awkward kids don't get much attention when it comes to prom. Most of the focus is on who will be queen and whatnot, but to see a whole dance geared towards king nerd Napoleon slow-dancing with the horribly dressed Deb was actually touching. With the puffy sleeves and her love for side-ponytails, how could we not love Deb? Oh, and the dancing kept on coming later as Napoleon helped his BFF Pedro win an election by showing off his smooth moves to "Canned Heat" at a public assembly.

Twilight
The movie largely sucks, but there's something sort of pretty about Edward forcing his girlfriend in a cast to dance under a gazebo filled with twinkle lights. Naturally, we'd have liked to have seen more of the Monte Carlo gambling scenes, and definitely didn't want Bella to ramble on about wishing he would kill her. But if you turn off the sound, it's probably the prettiest (albeit still awkwardly shot) scene in the entire movie. Twinkle lights really do hide a multitude of sins. And this school dance signaled the end of the movie, so that's an added bonus.

10 Things I Hate About You
There's a pretty traditional prom happening here, with the exception of David Krumholtz, who gets all costumed up to ask out Maureen from Center Stage. But the dance goes quite wrong when Kat finds out that Patrick has been bribed to be her boyfriend. Not cool. But still, our two favorite dance sequences in this movie weren't exactly school sanctioned, as we loved when Heath Ledger's Patrick commandeered both the PA system and the marching band to sing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," and when Julia Stiles' Kat did a drunken dance at a house party set to the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize."

Never Been Kissed
This had a costume party where most of the girls dress in variations of Barbies, but Drew Barrymore's Josie convinces her high school boyfriend to dress up as Rosalind and Orlando from As You Like It. And, while not as awesome as dumping a bucket of blood on someone, the bitchy Barbies try and dump dog food over a leotarded Leelee Sobieski (she was dressed as part of a DNA strand). Of course, their efforts were thwarted by Josie and they were the ones covered in food, while Josie ended up revealing her big cover. Pretty exciting, for prom.

Encino Man
We can't remember all the steps required to do the caveman dance, but we're pretty sure that Brendan Fraser, Sean Astin and Pauly Shore hopping around like idiots was the best part of that movie. Hard to say for sure as we've blocked the majority of that film from our memories.

Teen Wolf
Michael J. Fox dancing crazily in a white tux looking like he's pawing at his date? Pretty good, but better when you remember that he was in full wolfed-out garb. We're worried that this one scene will be better than the entirety of MTV's new Teen Wolf series.

Carrie
She got blood dumped on her head by a true mean girl when she was crowned prom queen, wearing that white dress and looking happy for a change. It was magical for her, and memorable for us, as it has become a classic pop culture reference. Best school dance ever.

Can't Buy Me Love
A drunken Patrick Dempsey gets the entire school to do an African Anteater Ritual. 'Nuff said.

Back to the Future
Nothing says fun school dance like trying to fend off sloppy sexual advances from your mother! But the Enchantment Under the Sea dance did bring George and Lorraine together, ensuring Marty McFly's existence, so it was a lovely night all around for the McFlys past and future. And we got to see Michael J. Fox doing his best Chuck Berry impression.

American Pie
While the film is about the four lead boys trying to lose their V-cards by prom, most of the exciting action takes place after the dance is over at a raging party at Stifler's. Watch out for moms and those band girls with flutes.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Ron Weasley in his traditional dress robes almost rivaled the awful plaid suit jacket that Patrick Dempsey was sporting in Can't Buy Me Love. The actual setting for the dance was spectacular with the snow, the hall transformed and the full orchestra, but we'd expect no less from Hogwarts. We're not sure how we feel about the weird dance that involved picking people up, but we did like that it turned into a raging mosh party by the time the "Dance like a Hippogriff" song started playing. Even Hagrid got his groove on.

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