Every genre has that movie. It is the movie that is genre defining and frequently, if not always comes up when discussing that particular genre.
For the dance movie genre, there is one film that is iconic: The Red Shoes (1948).
Victoria Page (Norma Shearer) is a ballet dancer with a promising future. But she is torn between her career and her love life. Her very demanding teacher, Boris Lemontov (Anton Walbrook) sees her potential and works her nearly to the bone. While Vicky is spending most of her day in rehearsals, she is also a newlywed. Her new husband Julian Craster (Marius Goring) also wants to see his wife. Will she choose love or a career?
Unlike some dancing movies, where the film is long on dance and short on narrative, this film gives equal time to the narrative and the dancing. It also stands out because a story question is one of those story questions that can be applied to multiple narratives by multiple writers.
I recommend it.