Ode to the Julia Stiles Table Dance
10 Things I Hate About You came out when I was a freshman in high school, and like most girls, I left the theater (coincidentally in which, I sat giggling behind my biggest high school crush, “the red-headed Justin Timberlake” as I referred to him — but that’s another story) wishing to the lords above that I could be like or just be Julia Stiles. She had it all — the overtly pissy attitude, the female-empowered sarcasm and perfect dry wit, the super-cool alternative hippie-chic wardrobe, the too-long-yet-too-sexy bohemian hair … and, of course, the party dance moves that were so carelessly and confidently performed atop that kitchen table in front of her unsuspecting high school peers — eyes closed, the wild swing of her hair, Biggie Smalls done proud — and I thought to myself, “How is it possible to be that drunk, dance that well and be that cool? Why can’t I be that awesome?”
And rather than reminding myself that it was, in fact, a Hollywood-produced film, and Julia Stiles was neither drunk nor actually Kat Stratford sticking it to the man one tequila shot at a time, I was convinced that it could be done. I could be that awesome at the next big party. And so, along with my cousin Lauren, we began to teach ourselves the Julia Stiles table dance to “Hypnotize.”
Rest assured, our version was nothing like that, but knowing those moves sure made us feel a bit hipper.
The J.S.T.D is up there with the rest of the best teen movie dance scenes,
and, yes, even She’s All That
Screw it, it’s the best teen movie dance scene! It’s certainly the most realistic, and it’s something that could actually happen at an actual high school party. Because no, while I thought Kat Stratford couldn’t possibly be make-believe, give me some credit. I never actually thought that public high school students break into synchronized, choreographed dance moves at the prom. Believe me, I tried to make it happen at my own.
Check out additional articles below.
Written by Anna Breslaw: “10 High School Movies”
Written by Natalie Zutter: “Shakespeare, 90s, Julia Stiles”