Save the Last Dance: 11 things it taught us |


11 things we learned from Save the Last Dance

Looking back on the 15th anniversary of the dance flick

As hard as it is to believe, it’s been 15 years since we first watched Sara (Julia Stiles) fall in love with Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), learn to two-step, and chase her Juilliard dreams. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the many valuable lessons that Save the Last Dance taught us.

Just in case you need a little refresher, we’re happy to help remind you of the many ways in which Save the Last Dance made each and every one of us a better person. (Except, of course, Malakai. He was a lost cause.)

RELATED: Flashback to the Save the Last Dance Premiere

1. Never underestimate the power of a good head bob.

As Derek taught Sara in their first dance lesson, one good head bob can instantly take you from nerdy to cool. If you can do that AND learn how to lean back in your chair, you’re pretty much the GOAT.

2. Ballet is cool. Crime is not.

There’s a reason Derek turns down Malakai and runs to his beloved: Because violence is never the answer. (Dancing, however, always is.)

3. …but ballet will seriously mess up your feet.

So, you know, buy some band-aids.

4. Kerry Washington has always been cool.

Long before she was Olivia Pope, she was handling things as Derek’s sister Chenille. 

5. “You can do it, put your back into it.”

Really. You can.

6. If two people can intelligently debate Truman Capote, they’re probably soulmates.

Listen, if you meet someone who wants to debate the meaning of Truman Capote’s work, you should marry them right then and there.

7. “Don’t put your sh-t on the floor.”


8. It matters where you sit in the cafeteria.

Before Mean Girls, Save the Last Dance taught us the importance of falling in with the right crowd.

9. “Slammin. Slammin outfit.”

Stop saying “cool.”

10. True love means choreographing dances together.

And finding someone who will love you no matter how many times you wear pigtail braids.

11. “Live your dreams. It’s not as hard as it may seem.”

It’s all or nothing. Give your everything