Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the most hyped-up musical EVER has finally arrived in London. Hamilton is a Broadway smash hit which uses singing AND rapping to tell the story of one of America’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

Tickets are hotter than Zac Efron in a sauna, so it’s unlikely that I’ll be watching the show anytime soon. If you’ve got one, good for you (said through gritted teeth). If not, join me as I wait for Zac to enter my life with two VIP tickets in hand, and pass the time by re-watching these shows that turned musical theatre from lame to insanely good.

Moulin Rouge

The unofficial best musical of all time according to, well…me. Baz Lurhmann’s Moulin Rouge is a post-modern wonder that is currently being trialled as a stage production (NBD!!!). Reworking a diverse selection of rock and pop hits from the likes of David Bowie, Nirvana, Whitney Houston and Elton John – it was always going to make musicals cool again. Ewan McGregor is a total babe as the oh-so-charmingly bohemian and tragically in love Christian, while Nicole Kidman literally sparkles as the showgirl Satine. It’s an indulgent feast for the eyes and ears. J’adore.

La La Land

You probably need no introduction to last year’s multi-award-winning masterpiece, La La Land. A tap dancing Emma Stone and piano playing Ryan Gosling was enough to make me go and see it twice at the cinema, then listen to the soundtrack approximately 67 times since. With an opening sequence as epically optimistic as Another Day of Sun, and an ending montage more devastating than when Rose let go of Jack in Titanic (I nearly threw a shoe at the screen), it really does celebrate old school cinema with a gloss of contemporary pizazz.


Full disclosure: I – your musical maestro for this article – am yet to see this production. But with one of Roald Dahl’s best stories taken from his magical world, and music written by the wonderfully eccentric Tim Minchin, I just know that this is as good as everyone has told me it is. If you can’t get your hands on a ticket at the moment, delve into the book again or re-watch the brilliant film, about the highly-intellectual but neglected young girl who turns out to have peculiar powers… Here’s hoping that many more Roald Dahl delights will be made into future musical productions.

Billy Elliot

If you’ve seen the film, you’ll be familiar with the heart-warming story of the ballet dancing boy living in Durham during the mining strikes of the 80s. His tale is one of identity, struggle and going for your dreams despite the odds. The film is brilliant, but the musical production is arguably even better, with a score by the legend that is Elton John. It’s sad, hilarious, thought-provoking and dazzling in equal measures. You can buy the recording of the stage show if it’s not currently touring. Make sure you have tissues to hand – I have never sobbed as uncontrollably as I did when Billy sings The Letter with his mum.

The Sound of Music

And if you’ve managed to make it to your teen years without sitting down to watch this with the family, I suggest you rectify the situation immediately. Julie Andrews is a musical goddess in her role as the all-singing, guitar-strumming, sweeter-than-strudel nanny, Maria Von Trappe. It’s based on the real story of an Austrian family who fled the country during World War 2 by trekking over the hills. But against such a dark time in history, the songs in this show are a pure, precious light that you can’t help but hum for days afterwards. It’s the best classic out there.

And these are just the tip of the musical theatre iceberg. Anything that makes you want to sing, dance and jump around is mega cool in my eyes.

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Image: Moulin rouge

There are few things in life that will cheer you up more than dancing.

Sure, a huge pile of American-style pancakes, an unlimited shopping budget to blow on snazzy stationery or a flirty little smile from your crush might come close. Maybe. But we’d bet that dancing around like a loon is actually way better.

Why is that? Well, because science says so. Let’s look at the evidence:

1) You have an excuse to be really silly. The world is too serious. We need more silly. 2) You’re getting your body moving. So it’s essentially exercise plus fun. Two birds, one stone. 3) Music makes you happier. FACT. And 4) sure, you can have a pretty darn enjoyable solo dance party, but grabbing your mates and dancing with them until you all fall over makes it even better.

See? We’ve proved it. We should just all constantly be dancing.

There’s nothing to stop you putting on some music and having a dance party right now. But to get you in the mood, we recommend feasting your eyes on one of these rather epic, dance-related films. You can learn some moves, listen to some tunes and then you’ll have no excuse to not get up and dance right after.

1. Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect is about a girl who joins The Bellas, an all-female singing group (the best kind) that decide to take on their male rivals in a showdown.

Sure, it’s mainly about singing. But you know what usually happens when you start singing? Especially when you start singing an awesome mix of songs, from Like a Virgin to Price Tag? You start dancing too, that’s what.


2. Footloose

A rebellious teen moves to a place where two of the best possible things ever are banned: dancing and music. OUCH. So you can probably guess what happens next. A dance revolution. A hip-swaying, sashaying army of teens descend on the town and get everyone moving. If this dance classic doesn’t start a party in the living room by the time it’s over, then nothing will.


3. Dirty Dancing

Here’s another classic all about dancing. In fact, as far as dancing films go, this is probably one of the most iconic. The most memorable. The most likely to send you into a frenzy of foot-tapping and arm-swinging and everything in-between. Although if you have a soft spot for romance, get the tissues at the ready, too.


4. Step Up

Heart throb rebel Tyler vandalises a performing arts school. As punishment he has to become the caretaker of the school, which is where he meets Nora. They then become a hot, dancing sensation. Think: A modern take on Dirty Dancing. With lots of hip gyrating. Ooo-err.

step up

5. Save The Last Dance

Another love story filled with some great tunes and lots of dancing. A talented ballet dancer meets Derek, who teaches her some brand new hip-hop moves. But does she have what it takes?! Oh come on, of course she does!

save the last dance

6. Les Miserables

Whack on a good musical and you’re always guaranteed the rhythm will, at some point, get you. One of our favourites is Les Miserables. Sure it’ll tug at your heart strings as well as your vocal chords, but if you’re after a good sing AND a good cry, it can’t be beat.

les mis

7. Grease

Are you after some dancing? Some singing? Some cheesy American high school drama? Then you need to watch Grease and you need to watch it fast. Every single track is as sing-a-long-able as it is dance-a-long-able. And the best bit is you can use it as an excuse for a bit of fancy dress too. Just decide whether you’ll be sickly sweet Sandy or super saucy Sandy.

Grease Gif

8. Fame

Have you ever dreamed of being magically transported out of your current school and into a super exciting school dedicated to acting and singing and dancing and (the fun kind of) DRAMA? Well, you can live through the four main characters of Fame. This film documents their time at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts; fame-hungry, and paying in sweat.


9. Flashdance

Meet Alex. She’s a steelworker by day (yes, the actual metal). But then she’s an exotic dancer by night. She has big dreams of dancing for a living, but doesn’t have the classical training a lot of others do. Of course, she doesn’t let that stop her. This is a movie about dancing, about courage and about one badass female lead. And if you can’t swing a 15 age certificate, just watch the film’s iconic dance audition scene on YouTube for now.


10. Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia is the story of bride-to-be Sophie who is on a mission to find her real father. Which all sounds very sweet, but what makes it really awesome is it’s all told using classic songs from ABBA. You might be able to resist trying Meryl’s famous splits-leap, but you definitely won’t be able to stop yourself from singing along. Well, you could try. But you’d fail.


In the words of ABBA: thank you for the music (and the moves).


It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.