Top Ten Musicals For Dancers

Compiled by Jody Hooker


10. Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a jukebox musical based on the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! Directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Moulin Rouge! is set in France, relating to the story of a young composer, who falls in love with cabaret actress Satine, who is the star of the Moulin Rouge.



9. Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, based on the Oscar-winning film, PRISCILLA is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a bus ‘Priscilla’ bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime. Priscilla Queen of The Desert is filled with well-known pop songs throughout its score and many upbeat dance numbers.


8. Disney’s Newsies

Disney’s Newsies is a musical based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys strike of 1899 in New York City.

Newsies entertain audiences with big choruses and dramatic dancing while also conveying story about an early moment in U.S. labor history.


7. 42nd Street

42nd street the song and dance extravaganza. 42nd Street tells the story of a small-town girl from America trying to make it on Broadway. The1980 Broadway production famous for its tap-dance numbers, won the Tony Award for Best Musical and became a long-running hit.


6. An American in Paris

An American in Paris is a musical inspired by the award-winning 1951 Gene Kelly film and adapted for the stage by Christopher Wheeldon, tells the impassioned story of discovering love in the City of Light. The musical won several Tony Awards including Best choreography, after being known for incorporating multiple styles of dance in the musical including ballet.



5. Cats

Cats is an anthology-style musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, about a tribe of cats called the ‘Jellicles’ which takes place over the course of one night. Although many do not understand the plot or purpose of Cats the musical, from its leg warmers to fuzzy headpieces it is essentially a contemporary dance piece that incorporates many dance styles to enhance its characters.


4. A Chorus Line

Set on a bare broadway theatre stage, A Chorus Line is based on seventeen aspiring Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus lineThe musical provides insight into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer, as they explore the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.

A Chorus Line is a celebration of the unsung heroes of Musical Theatre, the chorus dancers. 


3. Hairspray

An obvious dance choice…. Hairspray!

A musical about a dance-loving teen who through dance becomes a celebrity on “ The Corny Collins Show”, a role which she uses to lead social change and integration.

The show includes 1960s-style dance music and a whole lot of ensemble dance numbers.


2. West Side Story

Coming in Second, West Side Story!

A modern retelling of the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story uses a range of styles of dance to tell the story of the Jets, sons of previous immigrants to America, and the Sharks from Puerto Rico, as they battle the new arrivals for domination of the streets, mainly through dance.

This musical is famous for its dance because of its difficult dance numbers, fast-paced routines, and extensive narrative through dance.


1. Chicago

And in first place…. Chicago!

Chicago a story of “murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery, and treachery, all the things we hold near and dear to our hearts”. 

Set in the jazz age, Chicago is shaped by the original iconic choreography by Bob Fosse in a vaudeville styled production. The show traditionally has minimal set and relies heavily on using Fosse’s dance style to portray the mood and story.

Chicago, being filled with one show-stopping song after another, holds the record for the longest-running American musical in Broadway history