• Kristyn Burtt

5 Oscars Dance Performances You Might Have Forgotten About




Photo credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Oscars have always been dubbed "Hollywood's biggest night" because it honors the best in film. Over the years, we have been treated to some grand production numbers that have included dance.

Just like the voting in the Oscars, it's subjective how you view some of these performances. However, they brought the spectacle and the water-cooler talk the next day.

Here's a look at five memorable dance numbers at the Oscars over the years. Some of them will have you cracking out your leg warmers to join in while others might have you running for cover. The good news is that it was a show that gave dancers the spotlight and a nice paycheck.

We picked one from the last five decades and before you say, "What about Fred Astaire in 1970?" Let's label that one tops in the legendary category. And for the #1 in the "What the heck were they thinking?" category, let's go with Rob Lowe and Snow White in 1989. If you haven't seen those, click on Fred and Rob for the evidence.

Now, let's take a look back:

1. 1978: Debbie Reynolds


Debbie Reynolds opened the show in 1978 and this gives you a small taste of what she was like as a variety show performer. It's a class of entertainer we will probably never see in our lifetime again. It makes you miss her even more.

2. 1984: Debbie Allen


It's unclear why Debbie Allen sang "Footloose" instead of Kenny Loggins, who was in the audience that night. But what the heck, it's MS. DEBBIE ALLEN! It's the 1980s, aerobics is at the height of its popularity as are bold colors, funky fashions and classic jazz dance technique that is begging for a comeback. It's also awesome that thirty-five years later, Debbie is still a powerful force in the industry.

3. 1990: "Under the Sea"


Oh, this performance, led by Geoffrey Holder, is pretty spectacular. It was choreographed by Paula Abdul and it features movement that is challenging on a technical level. How those men tap-danced in flippers without falling all over the stage is a modern wonder. It's a busy and colorful piece, but there are a lot of gems that you shouldn't miss. Watch it more than once.

4. 2007: Pilobolus


If you've never seen Pilobolus in action before, treat yourself to this one-minute video when the group performed at the 2007 Oscars. They created movement and shapes to honor the best in film that year. It was magical and so incredibly special to watch live as an audience member.

5. 2017: La La Land Medley


What an Oscars this was. La La Land won Best Picture for one brief moment until the true winner was revealed, Moonlight. This medley, performed by John Legend, is gorgeous. Every moment has the signature Mandy Moore touch when it comes to movement — and watch for those spot-on camera closeups on the dancers. Some of the familiar faces in the dance include Robert Roldan, Kayla Radomski and Britt Stewart.

[Editor's Note: This video has the full Oscar broadcast, the 'La La Land' medley begins at 2:04:20.]

What was your favorite performance on this list? Share with us on Twitter or Instagram. To join our private Facebook group, Dance Dish with KB, click here.


#debbieallen #Debbiereynolds #Geoffreyholder #paulaabdul #oscars #academyawards #pilobolus #lalaland #Mandymoore #robertroldan #kaylaradomski #brittstewart

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