By Cara Murray
Elm Staff Writer

With Birthday Ball just around the corner, there are tons of preparations to be done. From the dress to the drinks, this night is sure to be perfect, but I am sure that there is one thing you have forgotten about in all the hustle and bustle – the dancing. From the Charleston to the Jive, there are a myriad of moves to groove to, but which ones really express your love of The Weird Sister’s hit “Do the Hippogriff?” While I can honestly say I don’t know how to “boogie down like a unicorn” or in fact “dance like a hippogriff,” I have some movies that may help you pick your signature move of the night. So stretch out and take notes for some of the most iconic dance moves in film.

The Twist
This move may seem a little dated to some, having had its heyday in the 1960s, but the dance itself was revived in Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction.” This is a great one to pull out for the dancing novice, due to the simplicity of the movement. The real meat of the dance comes from your attitude. The best part of this one is that you don’t need to be on an awkward date with your boss’s wife to win over the crowd. Just grab a partner, or opt for a solo round, and get to twisting.

Classic Ballroom
While more of a genre than a move, this list would be incomplete without mentioning the iconic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. With a filmography a mile long, there is no shortage of material to pull from. My recommendation: Try their 1935 film “Top Hat.” Besides being the dancing duo’s biggest hit, this film is a fun and fast-paced comedy with plenty of fancy footwork to boot.

Quirky
For the unabashedly original dancers out there, why not take a page from Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews’ book in the 1964 movie “Mary Poppins.” This wholesome family film really packs a punch when it comes to iconic dance scenes. From “Chim Chim Cheree” to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” there is a plethora of colorful jaunts from which to pull inspiration. While you may not have a group of dolled-up penguins to dance second fiddle, there sure is nothing stopping you from pulling out a waddle or two.

Ballet with a Kick
There are plenty of movies about ballerinas spicing up their routines to make a dance their own. From “Flashdance” to “Billy Elliot,” a theme of being true to yourself (and your dance moves) rings loud and clear. My favorite of this bunch is the 2001 stunner “Save the Last Dance.” Nothing inspires more than a hip-hop-ballet fusion Julliard audition. These moves are definitely for the more daring, but if you pull from this genre, remember that it’s all about busting moves that are truly your own.

Down and Dirty
For those more inclined toward the risqué, there are plenty of great scenes for inspiration. But before you get it in your head that daring moves are all gyrating and thrusting, take a gander at the 1987 hit “Dirty Dancing.” While I do not suggest blindly running into the open arms of a stranger without a few rehearsals, this type of move is sure to blow away the competition. And for those a little more realistic about their lifts, take heart: In the 2012 film “Silver Linings Playbook” featured moves that may not win over a panel of judges but are sure to be funky and fun.

Whether you are trying to go for gold or just shake your groove thing, there is a movie to inspire all types of dancers. The most important theme of the night is to have fun, so limber up, Washington College, because this is sure to be one magical ball.

The Elm

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