7 Ballet Scenes That — Let's Be Real — Are Basically Sex

Update: November 8 marks the debut of Starz's Flesh and Bone, a limited series that definitely mixes choreography with the carnal. In honor of the show's premiere, read up on some movies wherein sex and ballet are all but inseparable.

This story was originally published on October 1, 2015.

Ballet is an athletic pursuit that requires intense and sometimes brutal training. It's a beautiful display of the human body's capacity for grace. It's also sometimes a very thinly veiled metaphor for sex, especially when it comes to movies.

So, in honor of World Ballet Day, let's revisit some classic movie ballet scenes where things get hot and heavy. Okay, some really aren't so classic. Sorry, Center Stage: Turn It Up, but we can't really extol your virtues.

Still, we have Mikhail Baryshnikov looking smokin' hot in the 70s in The Turning Point, and the dance-flirting of Fame. And then, of course, there's Black Swan, which is a lot of sex mixed with a whole lot of predatory ickiness.

So peruse these scenes and let these dancers' perfect turnout turn you on.
1 of 7
An American in Paris (1951)
The An American In Paris dream ballet is the mother of all movie ballets. Sure, it may not be as explicitly sexy as more recent ballet scenes, but just try not to get swept up in the romanticism of this fantasy sequence. It’s a polite kind of sexy, but sexy nonetheless.
2 of 7
The Turning Point (1977)
Mikhail Baryshnikov in the 70s basically defined sex. This movie may really be about the conflicts between two old ballet world friends (Anne Bancroft and Shirley Maclaine) but you’re watching it for Misha. (The truly sexy scene isn’t available on YouTube, but go about 48 minutes in on Netflix and you’ll find it. The scene actually leads right into sex.)
3 of 7
Fame (1980)
It’s not a pas de deux, but those glances enough, and there's a lot of drama to come between these two. Spoiler alert: They get busy in the locker room immediately after.
4 of 7
Center Stage (2000)
Ethan Stiefel and Amanda Schull really leave very little left to the imagination in this selection from the movie’s big number.
5 of 7
Center Stage: Turn It Up (2008)
Obviously this is in no way as good as the first Center Stage, and may even be the weakest entry on the list, but it fits the bill. And, hey, that’s Kenny “Footloose remake” Wormald.
6 of 7
Black Swan (2010)
Is anything in Black Swan *really* sexy? Or is it all just creepy? Or both? Such is the conundrum of Black Swan.
7 of 7
Fantasia (1940)
Just look at those sensual hippos swinging their hips to and fro.

More from Movies


R29 Original Series