For juvenile delinquent Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum), getting into trouble is nothing new. Although Tyler isn’t a bad person, his bad choices keep him from reaching his goals. Ironically enough, when once again he gets into trouble, his subsequent punishment puts him even closer to his dreams. He’s sentenced to performing community service at the most prestigious dance school in Baltimore. Tyler is angry and antisocial, but he is also a talented dancer and soon catches the eye of a student who admires his unique street moves.
Nora (Jenna Dewan) is a brilliant dancer who has worked very hard for her place in the elite dance school. Unfortunately for her, she can’t move forward with her current dance partner, whose skills are lacking. When Nora sees Tyler’s moves, she is impressed, but unconvinced that he can perform to her standards. Slowly she tests him and trains him until she is confident that Tyler should replace her current dance partner. In turn, Tyler teaches Nora a different way to move to the music, showing her hip-hop and street moves that she’s never seen.
As they take turns teaching and learning, Tyler and Nora begin a reluctant romance, both of them being extremely aware of how different they are. Not only do they come from different worlds, but their standards are also different. While Tyler has become used to a cynical point of view and takes very little seriously, Nora has spent her entire life working toward one goal and is extremely focused. Together they must put aside their differences to reach a dream that could make both of them happy.
This movie is director Anne Fletcher’s theatrical debut, but she is no stranger to film. She is the choreographer behind several memorable big screen dance scenes, including “Bring It On,” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” If the plot sounds familiar, it might be because Duane Adler, one of the film’s screenwriters, also wrote the dance drama, “Save the Last Dance.”
Lead actress Jenna Dewan, was a successful dancer before long before her film debut. Before recently starring in “Take the Lead” with Antonio Banderas, she was a backup dancer for Janet Jackson, 'N Sync, and Ricky Martin. Former male model Channing Tatum was most recently seen opposite Amanda Bynes in “She’s the Man.” He’s also set to star with Ryan Phillippe in an upcoming drama about a defiant US soldier who returns home from the war in Iraq.
“Step Up” had a few interesting promotions to spark interest, including a dance contest and a solid presence on the popular site, MySpace. The dance contest, held through the movie’s official site on MySpace, was open to amateur dancers. Out of the thousands of entries, five dancers were selected as winners and now appear in the music video that accompanies the film, Ciara’s “Get Up.”