Best Dance Movies for Kids – from a Dance Instructor

Libertyville, IL

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Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today we have Emily Winkler from Dance Academy of Libertyville with us sharing the best dance movies for kids. Your little prima ballerinas will be twirling all over the living room with these.

Best Dance Movies for Kids – from a Dance Instructor


(new and older versions) (ages 5+)

Annie (2014)

Annie is a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, Annie’s had a hard knock life in the care of her mean foster mother Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) – make a thinly-veiled campaign move and take her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.

Annie (1982)

One day, Annie (Aileen Quinn) is chosen to stay for one week with the famous billionaire “Daddy” Warbucks (Albert Finney). One week turns into many and the only person standing in the way of Annie’s fun is Miss Hannigan, the gin-soaked ruler of the orphanage (played to hilarious perfection by Carol Burnett). Will Miss Hannigan’s zany attempts to kidnap the irrepressible Annie succeed?

Editor’s Note: We watched this during a family movie night, and my eight-year-old loved it! She’s been singing it since and asking to watch again and again! My four-year-old did okay but could not sit through the length of the movie and was scared and had to leave when Annie was kidnapped.

An American Girl: Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight

(ages 5+)

Nine-year-old Isabelle is an inspired dancer with a flair for fashion design. She’s thrilled to be studying ballet at a prestigious performing arts school, but her classmates are so talented—and she can’t help feeling that she’s always in the shadow of her “perfect” older sister, Jade. So when her idol, a famous ballerina, encourages her to audition for a professional ballet, Isabelle isn’t sure she can land the role. And when a competitive classmate starts pointing out Isabelle’s every mistake, her confidence sinks even further. Can she find the courage to step into the spotlight and discover her own way to shine?

Mary Poppins

(ages 4+)
“Practically Perfect In Every Way” Mary Poppins flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the spirited nanny turns every chore into a game and every day into a “Jolly Holiday.”

Editor’s note: This is a family favorite–even my boys (ages 2 and 10) watch it and enjoy it without complaint!

Barbie in the Pink Shoes

(ages 4+)

Dance your way to a magical adventure with Barbie as ballerina Kristyn, who is whisked away to a fantastical ballet world where if you dance with your heart, dreams come true!

Angelina Ballerina: Love To Dance

(ages 3+)

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to take center stage with Angelina Ballerina! On Angelina’s first day at Camembert Academy, she discovers new forms of music and dance, like jazz, tap, and hip-hop. Together with her friends, Angelina realizes that becoming a prima ballerina requires collaboration and compromise – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!

Learn more about Dance Academy of Libertyville with Melissa, where her preschool-aged daughter takes ballet. Learn more about how it started with Loralie’s interview with Emily Winkler.

Dance Academy of Libertyville
746 E. Park Ave. (Rt.176), Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 247-1327 | [email protected]
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By: Holly G.

Holly keeps busy with freelance writing, as well as many volunteer ventures including PTO, dog rescue, and Lakes Region Historical Society. She is quick to pitch in for a good cause. She is an aspiring vegan, Jazzercise addict, runner, coffee junkie, and enjoys cooking.

Note: Movie descriptions taken from

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Best Dance Movies for Kids - from a Dance Instructor

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