In Baltimore, Maryland, Andie West (Briana Evigan) pursues her dream of becoming a street dancer. After her mother died from cancer Andie moved in with her mother’s best friend, Sarah. Deep down Andie feels like she does not belong anywhere. Although she is doing poorly at school, it is her dream for dancing that brings something special into her life. She trains with her dance crew, 410 to keep the title of the illegal competition, ‘The Streets.’ Sarah is aware of the crime and harassment by 410 and out of fear that Andie will get hurt, she decides to send her to live with her aunt in Texas in an effort to protect Andie, but Andie refuses to go and runs away.
Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) who is like a big brother to Andie sees her at a local dance club, The Dragon. When Andie tells him about Sarah’s plans to send her to Texas to live with her aunt Tyler explains that Sarah’s trying to keep Andie safe. He tries to persuade Andie to audition for the Maryland School of the Arts, where Andie has to compete for a place, thinking it will help her life as it did his. Tyler decides to battle her for it. Tyler wins the battle and the two head back to Andie’s house where Tyler asks Sarah to let her audition for MSA. Sarah refuses because she believes that Andie will be safer in Texas. Tyler eventually persuades Sarah to let Andie audition for MSA while he goes on tour with Nora Clark. Sarah reluctantly agrees, but she tells Andie that if she screws up with MSA she’ll have to go to Texas. Chase Collins (Robert Hoffman) persuades his brother Blake Collins (Will Kemp) to recruit Andie after seeing her audition. When 410 learns about Andie’s involvement at MSA, they kick her out. Andie and Chase form a new crew with help from many people Chase knows at the school, all of not accepted as who they are, including Andie’s new friend Moose (Adam G. Sevani). Chase has a copied key to the studio and the crew secretly practices their routine late at night when the school is empty. They perform at the local dance club, but are rejected and kicked out. Andie’s best friend Missy Serrano (Danielle Polanco) joins the crew after leaving 410 following the event, as she is disgusted by the crowd’s reaction. Missy tells the crew that the only way to enter The Streets is to first pull a prank and post it on the Internet to show that the crew is entering the competition. Wanting revenge for being humiliated before, Chase decides that their prank will be to make a fool out of Tuck, the leader of 410.
The crew goes to a family barbecue at Missy’s house. Sophie (Cassie Ventura), an MSA student who happens to have a crush on Chase, tags along. She begins to develop a crush on Moose after salsa dancing with him. 410 doesn’t like the fact that they have a new crew to compete with so they warn Andie’s group to stay out of The Streets or there will be consequences. When Tuck finds Chase, he assaults him for his prank and warns him to stay away from The Streets and Andie. Chase comes into school the next day badly bruised and hurt. On top of that, the dance studio has been trashed by 410 the previous night. Director Collins forbids the students from the school to be involved in illegal competitions and expels Andie from MSA for her involvement with The Streets competition, but Andie denies the involvement of her other members. After she leaves, Chase admits his involvement in The Streets and tries to persuade Director Collins to let Andie back in, but Director Collins refuses as he is too busy with the fundraiser.