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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Dance Scenes in Historically-Set Movies – August – Cinderella #prairierosepubs #moviedancescenes

Join me here for a year of movie trivia fun as I post dance scenes from movies set in historical time periods. I will give a brief summary of the movie’s plot and an equally brief set-up to the scene.

 Each month on the second Wednesday, I will post a movie clip and link back to previous movie scene articles here on the blog.

  This is the criteria by which I’m choosing movie scenes:

           In a non-musical movie, the dance scene is important to the storyline and not just visual and auditory filler.

           In a musical drama, the characters in the dance scene don’t sing to each other.

           In a musical drama, the dance scene is important to the storyline and not just visual and auditory filler.

           The historical cut-off is 1960, because that date works for me. ;-)

 Side note:  The article “Classic Literature is Not Necessarily Historical Fiction” on the BookRiot website offers an interesting explanation on what constitutes historical fiction and where various historical date lines are drawn.

Movies to this point:

January – Cat Ballou

February – The King and I

March – Easy Virtue

April – Shakespeare in Love

May – Chocolat

June – Beauty and the Beast

July – Dirty Dancing

Here it is August, and I’ve reached my the countdown to December of my Top 5 movie dance scenes in historically-set dance scenes. The Top 4 are interchangeable for which one I like best. The Number 1 dance scene is definitely my favorite. ;-)

License - Fair Use - Wikipedia

Name of Movie: Cinderella – live action film 2015

Historical Time Period: 1963

Location: c. l9th century – rural France

Occasion/Purpose: Cinderella and Prince “Kit” dance at his kingdom-wide ball

Type of Dance: ballroom waltz

Cinderella, a timeless classic fairytale, was remade and reimagined in 2015 as a live-action film directed by Kenneth Branagh and Disney. Lily James portrays Cinderella. Richard Madden is Prince Kit.

Set-up to the dance scene:

Ella, is a generous and kindhearted daughter of loving parents. When Ella’s mother becomes ill, on her deathbed, the mother’s last words to Ella are to be kind and have courage. Years later, Ella’s father remarries a woman who brings two daughters with her into Ella’s home. All does not go well. Stepmother and stepsisters are not kind to Ella. Jealousy abounds.

After Ella’s father dies, Ella no longer has a buffer between the stepmother/sister’s nastiness toward her. Ella is relegated to servant status. Ella, in a moment of complete and utter despair, leaves the house on horseback and encounters Prince Kit. He is on a stag-hunting excursion. In the few minutes they have alone, they realize a common attraction.

Prince Kit can’t get the mysterious woman off his mind. He announces a kingdom-wide ball in which everyone is invited. This is his strategy to see Ella again. The stepmother forbids Ella from attending the ball. Ella is reduced to hopelessness at not being able to attend the ball, but her fairy godmother appears and helps Ella.

Ella shows up to the ball…

Dance Scene:

Everything…I mean everything about this scene is fairytale magnificent.

Their smiles at seeing each other.

The dress…oh my gosh…the dress.

The music.

The ballroom.

The meeting at 1:35 in the clip…their gazes…

He touches her for the first time, and she gasps – 2:24

They become progressively more comfortable with each.

At 3:24, he is bold enough to touch her with both hands, and she accepts, and they move into the waltz itself.

At 4:26, they do a partial lift-twirl, which is followed by a full lift-twirl, and THIS IS THE DANCE MOMENT WE’VE WAITED FOR.

Her dress billows.

(Oh my gosh…the dress)

Prince Kit twirls her again,. They part, come together, gaze deeply into each other’s eyes, then he bends her back. This, my friends, is swoon-worthy. This is an example of how a dance shows us that the couple is in love. Dialogue alone could not have accomplished what this dance did.

The video will pop up with a black screen and text that it isn't available. Click the Watch on YouTube option to view it.

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer
Lasterday Stories
writing through history one romance upon a time


  1. The Waltz was considered scandalous when it first came out, and you eloquently show us why here. Very sensual when done right. Great choice!

    1. This waltz is so magical. I love Kenneth Branagh's directing.

  2. Lily James, Derek Jacobi, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchet, Kenneth Branagh - it has to be spectacular and it is. Love this scene and the whole movie is pretty darn good. (Smile) Doris

    1. I heartily agree. I like the spin that Kenneth Branagh put on the reason Ella stayed at the house despite the nasty treatment she received, and endured, from her stepmother and stepsisters. Ella's friend asks, "Why do you stay when they treat you so?" Ella responds, "Because I made my mother and father a promise to cherish the place. We were so happy. They loved our house, and now that they're gone, I love it for them. It's my home." This removes, or softens, the victim mentality that is typically the way Ella is portrayed.

  3. Beautiful, Kaye, full of tender passion. I love Cinderella Romances. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is full of tender passion. It's sexy and passionate in such a romantic way.

  4. OH MY GOSH! That was perfect. I'm so glad you shared this with us, Kaye. I have never seen this Cinderella version. It is spectacular. If I were him I would have worried myself sick that I might step right on the hem of that dress and send both of us sprawling on that beautiful floor. I loved that moment when she lost herself in the dance with him and didn't even know there was anyone else in the room anymore.

    1. This is such a well choreographed dance scene. Leave it to Kenneth Branagh to pull off such a romantic cinematic moment.