10 Anime Inspired By Ballet & Dance

Legend of Light. HaNaYaMaTa. Junpei from Dance Dance Danseur

Dancing well in any style takes a high level of dedication and immersion. People who dance do so because they love it enough to devote hours of painstaking practice to it. Anime about the pursuit of dance, whether it be for magical or modern professional reasons, is intriguing regardless of whether a viewer dances themselves.

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The dance world makes for an excellent setting. It has plenty of inspiration for fantastical worlds based on the folklore in classic story ballets, and the high stakes that come with pushing the body to its limits to achieve such a high level of athleticism and artistry.

10 Mayu Can Dance As Well As Sing

Wake Up, Girls

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When a talent agency forms an idol band called Wake Up, Girls, their first single isn’t met with much success. The group of seven recruited performers come from a small town and struggle to work their way up toward recognition. Mayu, in particular, is a member that’s very talented in dance and in the sequel films, she takes special dance classes based on her ability.

Dancing or singing takes a lot of dedication and Wake Up, Girls does both. Even though they’re a group of incredibly talented performers, attaining success and critical acclaim in the media tests all their strengths and forces them to become stronger versions of themselves.

9 Hikari Aspires To Be A Champion Rhythmic Gymnast

Legend Of Light

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Gymnastics can be a bit underrepresented in media, but Legend of Light tells the story of Hikari who aspires to be a champion rhythmic gymnast. Rhythmic gymnasts differ from artistic and trampoline gymnasts because they include dance in their choreography, especially leaps, turns, and poses which stem from ballet and modern dance.

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Rhythmic gymnasts tell a story to music with their movements, while other forms of gymnastics focus more on displaying strength and precise movement. Hikari experiences a lot of roadblocks in her goal to be a gymnast, including disappointments and formed rivalries. The anime aesthetics are delightfully ’80s, and the dance positions are well-illustrated.

8 A Girl Group Sings & Dances In A School Idol Competition

Love Live! School Idol Project

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Nine schoolgirls form an idol band to help stop their school from closing in Love Live! School Idol Project. Love Live is the best school idol competition in the series’ universe and the girl group decides to compete.

Eli Ayase is the ballerina of the group, and because of her experience, she’s selected as their choreographer. Though not everyone in the group has a dance background like Eli, dance is a huge part of their performance. The overall dance style is characteristic of modern pop dance music videos.

7 Princess Tutu Is A Love Letter To Classical Story Ballets

Princess Tutu

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Princess Tutu is a magical girl anime filled with ballet references. Duck uses dance moves as part of her combat sequences. The animation is thoughtfully done and portrays ballet technique well. Dancers and ballet fans will enjoy the well-pointed feet, classical angles, and the accuracy of the dance steps.

The plot has many references to The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, both classical story ballets. There are also sequences that use selections from iconic dance scores, like Adolphe Adam’s Giselle compositions, and Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens.

6 Yuri Suffers A Defeat & Then Tries Again

Yuri!!! On Ice

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Figure skating is a style that straddles the line between dance and sport, and Yuri!!! on Ice depicts the process of a competitive figure skater, Yuri, as he trains and tries to build his career. After suffering a crushing setback, Yuri catches the attention of Victor, a champion figure skater, who decides to coach him.

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Yuri!!! on Ice focuses on training as Yuri competes in the Grand Prix series, and contemplates what he wants to do next with his progressing career. All the while, Yuri starts to fall in love with his coach, Victor.

5 Flash Beat Is A Dancing Superhero

Brave Beats

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The robot Breakin comes from a place called the Dance World in Brave Beats, and he contracts the help of Hibiki, a sixth-grader, to help him get back to his home. Hibiki combines with the robot to become a dancing superhero, Flash Beat.

As Flash Beat, he needs to find the Dance Stones which are scattered around the planet so that Breakin can get back to the Dance World. The dancing animation does read a bit like Dance Dance Revolution sequences, but it works well for the lighthearted show.

4 A Singing & Dancing Squad Saves The Universe

Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Macross Delta

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The pop idol group Walküre performing on stage in Macross Delta.

While the Macross series largely focuses on defeating intergalactic conflict through the power of song, Macross Delta has a special focus on dance as well as singing. The idol group Walküre uses music and dance performance ot cure a rage syndrome that’s infecting everyone.

Even the mecha have fantastic choreography in Macross Delta. Though the singing and music part is the most important part of the idols’ performance for the plot, in that it helps soothe the rage plague, their dancing is still a great part of the anime.

3 Naru Feels Like A Fairy Queen When She Dances


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HaNaYaMaTa is about a high school girl who starts a dance club for yosakoi. Yosakoi is a Japanese dance style performed most at festivals. The dancers use naruko in their performances, handheld wooden clappers which were originally used for shooing birds from rice fields.

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The protagonist Naru uses dance to fulfill the dream she has to feel more romance in her life. She wants to be like the fairies and princesses she reads about in stories, and dance is the perfect avenue for her to feel like a magical girl in a mundane world.

2 Tatara Started Dancing In High School

Welcome To The Ballroom

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The animation in Welcome to the Ballroom is absolutely flawless; it perfectly captures the elegance and stretching, sweeping lines of ballroom dancing. It follows Tatara Fujita, a competitive dancer who realized his passion a bit later than other dancers.

Normally dance is something a person studies from a very young age, but that’s not the case for Tatara. Tatara falls into dance as a teenager and takes to it well. Dance gives him an outlet that he very much needs. It’s refreshing to see a competitive dancer who starts training “later” in life.

1 Junpei Jumps Back Into Ballet

Dance Dance Danseur

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Junpei has had an on-and-off relationship with ballet ever since he saw his sister’s ballet recital in Dance Dance Danseur. The ballet world can be stereotyped as stuffy and elitist, and there are many aspects of it that are, but this series focuses on the passion dancers have for ballet and how it can be used to express genuine emotion.

Fans of classical ballet will enjoy how Dance Dance Danseur plays with the dynamics of Swan Lake, from the beautiful costume design to the choice of which characters are cast in which roles. The dance visuals are incredibly smooth and detailed, which any dancer can also appreciate.

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