Broadway’s Best Dance Numbers




JerryMitchellJerry Mitchell, now a Tony-winning choreographer (most recently for “Kinky Boots”), remembers dancing naked on a drum in “The Indian of the Dawn” number in “Will Rogers Follies” as “epic” — and he’s not alone.

“People still talk about it,” says Robert Carreon. “It’s not only legendary, it was the inspiration for the first Broadway Bares fundraiser..”

Carreon was one of some two dozen theatergoers to enter a contest by answering the question:

What single dance number was the best you ever saw on Broadway?

The winner of the contest, chosen at random at, is Natalie Chernifcoff. Here are some of their selections, with (not always perfectly matching) videos, and comments from the recommenders:

Anything Goes from Anything Goes. Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall

Electricity from Billy Elliot. Choreographed by Peter Darling

Monica: Not only was the young boy’s ballet/modern dancing absolutely brilliant and thrilling, but it was filled with emotion and passion. He was able to convey his feelings and story through this dance number at the school in front of his father, and I was moved and excited.

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out from A Christmas Story. Choreographed by Warren Carlyle;
William Recce: It is one of the best dance numbers produced on the Broadway stage in years. I was close to tears when the talent of the little tap dancing boy burst onto the stage and into the song. It is heart stopping

Seize The Day from Newsies (start at 3:53). Choreographed by Chris Gatelli

Turn It Off from The Book of Mormon. Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Lindsay: Unexpected and fantastic

(video no longer available)

Book-of-Mormon- Turn it Off

The Bitch of Living from Spring Awakening. Choreographed by Bill T. Jones
Lynda Crawford: defiant, energized, acrobatic, playful

Brotherhood of Man from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Choreographed by Rob Ashford.
Mary Bridget Rooney:Each kick, jump, arm toss were so sharp and in sync it’s perfection. When all the businessmen get in the big group at the end it’s amazing. It was the first dance number that ever brought tears to my eyes

Manson Trio from Pippin. Choreographed by Bob Fosse
Ellen: I saw the original “Pippin” and was mesmerized by the Manson Trio number. It was my first Fosse experience (and I was too young to even know who he was then) and watching Ben Vereen in person was just amazing. I had never seen such precise moves like that before and it gave me an appreciation for choreography that no other musical had done before.

42nd Street from 42nd Street. Choreographed by Randy Skinner
Brad Buchholtz: Tapping is still one of the great things on Broadway, and when you see a large group moving smoothly and in sync, nothing is better
“Drawing Calmness”:… it made me want to be up on stage with the dancers even though I have two left feet

Step in Time from Mary Poppins.  Choreographed by Matthew Bourne

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

3 thoughts on “Broadway’s Best Dance Numbers

  1. Check out Gwen Verddon”s song & dance number in “Redhead”, to “Twitching Ern” choreographed by future husband Bob Fosse. Miss Verdon won the Outstanding Lead Actress Tony Award for her performance in this 1959 Broadway show which ran for nearly 1,100 performances.

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