Created By: Skylite on April 30, 2017 Last Edited By: Skylite on May 29, 2017
Troped

Dance Off

Two dancers try to outdo each other in prowess.

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trope
The Dance off is a type of contest, but rather than one anyone can enter, it's a form of duel between two mutual antagonists.

For one reason or another one dancer is convinced their moves are the best, the sweetest, the most unbeatable. But someone else challenges them, to knock them down a few pegs, or for the attention of a Love Interest. The Trope is usually a fun or comedy trope but can venture into Duel to the Death territory if the stakes become high enough. The challenge does not even have to be formally made.

While it is possible for one or both parties to be a Dance Battler, that trope is not employed here. The dance-off does not contain combat.

Dance Off is a sister trope to Cooking Duel, wherein the duel is usually something silly for silly reasons with silly weapons of choice.

INDICES:

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ALL EXAMPLES TO MAY 29 2017 are applied. Launching Saturday Jun 3.

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Examples:

Film - Animated
  • Cats Don't Dance: Na´ve Newcomer Danny and Ice Queen Sawyer from Turner Features' Cats Don't Dance conduct one of these during an impromptu talent show near Mammoth Studios, complete with Trash Can Band. Tillie's hip toss sends Sawyer reeling into the spotlight, where she takes a few blithe steps and poses. "Not bad," comments Danny, "A little rusty, but hey, who's perfect?" Giving Danny a Death Glare, Sawyer snarls, "I'll give you rusty." The two Funny Animal felines then take turns out-stepping each other, culminating in a pirouette and dip finale ... and an Almost Kiss.

Film - Live Action
  • Earth Girls Are Easy: An unnamed man steps into Deca Dance and sees Zeebo dancing with a pretty black woman. He sneers at Zeebo's moves and tells the girl "why dance with a zero when you can dance with a hero?" The girl is happy to dance with whomever. Zeebo, offended at having been cut in on, attempts to dance with her as well, but the new guy is not having it and challenges him. The new guy pulls out his best moves. Zeebo, who has an incredible mimicry ability because he's an alien, watches for a second, matches him move for move, and then completely mops the floor with him with acrobatic moves the new guy can't match.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Subverted and Played for Laughs. Peter Quill challenges Ronan to a dance off at the film's climax. Ronan, being a hostile alien, has no idea what Quill is on about and regards the challenge with confusion. This doesn't stop Quill from continuing to dance until his people can attack.

Live-Action TV
  • Hunter Street: Anika is practicing to join the school dance team. When her rival Janine walks in on her training session and is unpleasantly dismissive of her skills, Daniel proposes this kind of contest to prove which girl is the better dancer.
  • The unforgettable scene in The Office where Dave Brent tries to upstage a colleague who has just executed a perfect dance move, and ends up doing... that dance. The one with lots of awkward clumsy movements and grunting.
  • Happens in episode 10 of Riverdale, when Veronica challenges Cheryl to a dance-off for the role of captain of the cheer leading squad. The ensuing contest has nothing to do with cheer leading. The two girls flip their hair, shake their hips, and draw as much attention to their chests and posteriors as possible instead of displaying the kinds of skills a cheer captain would need to possess.
  • The Thundermans: When a shallow girl he is crushing on takes a college senior to the dance as her date, Max's confrontational attitude causes the senior to challenge Max to a dance off to prove who is the better man.
  • Will & Grace once had Jack try out to be a dancer for Janet Jackson. Janet realizes that she doesn't need another dancer and has him compete with another more seasoned dancer in a dance off. The rival wins, but Janet decides she doesn't need him either.

Music
  • The music video for Run-D.M.C. vs Jason Nevins song "It's Like That" features one of these between two groups, one male and one female (Battle of the Sexes)
  • The video for South African comedy singer Robbie Wessel's Macarena Mambo. note  Played straight - or seemingly so - it takes this trope Up to Eleven for comic effect.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • On Bob's Burgers, Bob and Teddy take a hip-hop dance class and get challenged to a dance-off by the teacher's son. As the dance battle begins, the son hurts himself, so Bob and Teddy win by default before they even make a move.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: The episode "Robot Randy'' features a breakdance contest between Courage and the titular robot for the lives of Eustace and Muriel.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The episode "Dee Dee's Rival" has Dee Dee facing Mandark's sister in ballet at the beginning. At the end of the episode, they compete againt each other while piloting Mini Mechas.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", Mabel faces off against Pacifica in a dance contest, with the winner to be decided by audience vote. Pacifica wins by one vote, and she bribed Old Man McGucket for it.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: The episode "Billy Idiot" features a ballet dance off between Billy's dad and Ms. Pollywinkle the Witch Ballet Teacher. It gets parodied quickly as their start switching up dance styles such as Hawaiian Hula and That Russian Squat Dance.
  • Looney Tunes: There's a Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoon that has Daffy attempting to one-up Bugs at everything they try. There's a brief dance-off before Daffy tries to beat Bugs at something new.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Party Animal". Emperor Awesome challenges Wander to a dance-off because he's offended that anyone can party as hard as he can. While he's taking it deadly seriously, Wander treats it like the most fun ever, and easily wins both the contest and the adoration of the crowd.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • May 1, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Naive Newcomer Danny and Ice Queen Sawyer from Turner Features' Cats Dont Dance conduct one of these during an impromptu talent show near Mammoth Studios, complete with Trash Can Band. Tillie's hip toss sends Sawyer reeling into the spotlight, where she takes a few blithe steps and poses. "Not bad," comments Danny, "A little rusty, but hey, who's perfect?" Giving Danny a Death Glare, Sawyer snarls, "I'll give you rusty." The two Funny Animal felines then take turns out-stepping each other, culminating in a pirouette and dip finale ... and an Almost Kiss.
  • May 1, 2017
    Getta
    Not related to Dance Battler
  • May 1, 2017
    TonyG
    ^^I assume you're talking about Cats Dont Dance, but if you don't put the title those who have never seen it won't understand.
    • On Bobs Burgers, Bob and Teddy take a hip-hop dance class and get challenged to a dance-off by the teacher's son. As the dance battle begins, the son hurts himself, so Bob and Teddy win by default before they even make a move.
  • May 1, 2017
    Larkmarn
    • Subverted in Guardians Of The Galaxy. Star-Lord challenges The Heavy Ronan the Accuser to a dance-off as a last-ditch attempt to prevent him from destroying the planet of Xandar. Turns out the challenge (and subsequent sick dance moves) were just a rouse to distract Ronan long enough for Star-Lord's friends to blast Ronan's weapon.
  • May 1, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    ^^ Correct assumption; fixed forthwith. Sometimes, I get caught up in bluelinking, and overlook the essentials.
  • May 1, 2017
    Drope
    • Courage The Cowardly Dog: The episode "Robot Randy'' features a breakdance contest between Courage and the titular robot for the lives of Eustace and Muriel.
    • The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy: The episode "Billy Idiot" features a ballet dance off between Billy's dad and Ms. Pollywinkle the Witch Ballet Teacher. It gets parodied quickly as their start switching up dance styles such as Hawaiian Hula and That Russian Squat Dance.
    • Dexters Laboratory: The episode "Dee Dee's Rival" has Dee Dee facing Mandark's sister in ballet at the beginning. At the end of the episode, they compete againt each other while piloting Mini Mechas.
  • May 1, 2017
    Leporidae
    Live Action Television

  • May 2, 2017
    Arivne
  • May 2, 2017
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • Will And Grace once had Jack try out to be a dancer for Janet Jackson. Janet realizes that she doesn't need another dancer and has him compete with another more seasoned dancer in a dance off. The rival wins, but Janet decides she doesn't need him either.
  • May 8, 2017
    NightShade96
    • In the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", Mabel faces off against Pacifica in a dance contest, with the winner to be decided by audience vote. Pacifica wins by one vote, and she bribed Old Man McGucket for it.
  • May 8, 2017
    Exxolon
    The music video for Run DMC vs Jason Nevins song "It's Like That" [1] features one of these between two groups, one male and one female (Battle Of The Sexes)
  • May 8, 2017
    MetaFour
    Subtrope of Cooking Duel (which, in spite of the name, is not specifically about cooking, but any sort of sufficiently silly duel).

    Web Video:
  • May 16, 2017
    Dravencour
    Bayonetta does this with an angel who disguised herself as her and tried to take Cereza away. Bayonetta wins, pissing off the angel enough to attack her and reveal its true form.
  • May 16, 2017
    AgProv
    Live Action Television
    • The unforgettable scene in The Office where Dave Brent tries to upstage a colleague who has just executed a perfect dance move, and ends up doing... that dance. The one with lots of awkward clumsy movements and grunting.

    Music
    • The video for South African comedy singer Robbie Wessel's Macarena Mambo. note  Played straight - or seemingly so - it takes this trope Up To Eleven for comic effect.
  • May 20, 2017
    buckmana
    Live Action Television
    • Hunter Street: Anika is practicing to join the school dance team. When her rival Janine walks in on her training session and is unpleasantly dismissive of her skills, Daniel proposes this kind of contest to prove which girl is the better dancer.
    • The Thundermans: When a shallow girl he is crushing on takes a college senior to the dance as her date, Max's confrontational attitude causes the senior to challenge Max to a dance off to prove who is the better man.
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