Back in 2016 (well over a year ago now), a little list of “First Dances” in period drama and television appeared on Silver Petticoat. The list was a compilation of some of period dramas (plus TV and film) most breathtakingly beautiful dances to ever appear on screen.
Of course, like everything else I do, there were some scenes I overlooked at the time of publication. Coupled with new discoveries (since “part one’s” publication), and readers kind reminders of additional memorable scenes, the idea of a second list was planted. Furthermore, the results of further study would brook no other conclusion but that a second list be compiled. So, I set about the difficult task* of putting together a second list for you.
Much can happen in a dance. Romance can fully bloom in the swish of one turn. Face to face, partners gaze at one another as the music swells, and carries them further and further into a world where only they exist. Dance scenes have a great deal of emotional weight and the unique ability to convey many emotions. From hellos to goodbyes, joy to bittersweet emotions, one eye lock or twirl is all it takes to make us sit up and take notice.
Following many a late night spent researching**, below we’ve collected an additional ten (with perhaps more to come) “first dances” to sweep you up into the romance of these stories. Only beware, there are some spoilers.
10 Romantic First Dances in Film and Television, Part 2
#1 Beauty and the Beast (2017)
The couple: The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson)
The scene: In an effort to show her that he cares, the Beast prepares a special night for Belle.
Dreamy is the only suitable word for this scene. Visually, it’s straight from the playbook of the 1990’s animated Disney film (of the same name), but the emotion and romanticism are “all grown up.”
#2 Becoming Jane
The couple: Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) and Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy)
The scene: Tom appears on the dance floor to whisk the feisty Jane onto the floor for a spin
We’ve spotlighted this pretty scene in a romantic moment, so all I’ll say is this: go watch this stunning scene. It’s straight out of Jane’s imagination a-la Pride and Prejudice.
The couple: Tony (Emory Cohen) and Eilis (Saoirse Ronan)
The scene: Tony spies Eilis across the room at a dance
Though uneventful, this scene is the very definition of charm. Plus, it doesn’t hurt anything that I ship this couple (from this moment on).
#4 Chesapeake Shores
The episode: Season One, Episode Seven
The couple: Abby O’Brien (Meghan Ory) and Trace (Jesse Metcalfe)
The scene: Trace attempts to create a magical prom night
“I’ve waited sixteen years for this.”
After being left behind prior to their high school prom, Trace attempts to win Abby over with a magical night of dancing, complete with twinkle lights.
#5 Dance Academy
The episode: Season One, Episode 14
The couple: Christian Reed (Jordan Rodrigues) and Tara Webster (Xenia Goodwin)
The scene: After rescuing Tara, Christian, caught up in the moment dances with her under the moonlight
I’m breaking the rules for this one. Technically, this is not this couples’ first dance (they’re dance partners at school), but it is in many ways their first dance because unlike before, this one has emotional backbone.
#6 Gilmore Girls
The episode: Season Four, Episode 21
The couple: Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) and Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham)
The scene: Luke asks Lorelai to dance at his sister’s wedding.
This scene has very few words attached, but it’s so perfectly Luke and Lorelai, that we couldn’t care less.
The couple: Johnny and Annie from Jericho.
The scene: Johnny asks Annie for a dance
Under the starlit night, after Annie thanks Johnny for protecting her family, he asks her to dance. Since we’ve also featured this moment, I’ll say no more.
#8 Once Upon a Time
The episode: Season Three, Episode 21
The couple: Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Killian aka Hook (Colin O’Donoghue)
The scene: Emma, unimpressed with the prospect of attending a ball is swept into the charms of the event, and Killian’s arms!
My involvement in this show waned (back at season two), but that doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate this sweet scene or the fact that her first impression reaction (to a ball) is “so Emma.”
#9 Safe Haven
The couple: Alex (Josh Duhamel) and Katie (Julianne Hough)
The scene: Alex twirls Katie around in a small hardware store
This scene is everything one could wish for in a “first dance” scene. It’s sweet and romantic, and best of all, full of joy as Katie giggles over Alex’s antics as he whirls her around the tight spaces of a convenience store.
#10 Victoria, Season One (2016)
The couple: Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) and Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman)
The scene: Victoria and Albert waltz at a ball
Though she’s already smitten, it’s this elegant scene that fully convinces Victoria (and us!!) that she’s no other option but to propose to Albert. Her heart is his. In this moment it’s clear, to both she and Albert, they’re “meant to be.”
That’s a wrap on “part two” of our collection of “First Dances.” What are some of your favorite first dance sequences? Tell me what I missed; I’d love to hear about your favorite first dance. Tell me all about them below.
*Difficult task being a relative term since we all know, spending hours looking at these photos and scenes is no hardship.
**Any late nights involved in putting this list together were all for a good cause… see exhibits 1-10 (above) for proof.