Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in a rough section of Baltimore, and has been in and out of trouble with the law most of his life. Finding himself before the judge yet again, Tyler is sentenced to 200 hours of community service, and he ends up mopping floors at the Maryland School of the Arts. Tyler catches the eye of Nora (Jenna Dewan), a gifted ballet student who is trying to incorporate hip-hop moves into her classical routines. None of Nora's fellow students seem to be on the same page as her, but Tyler is a talented street dancer with strength, moves, and enthusiasm. Despite the misgivings of the school's administrators, Nora persuades Tyler to team up with her for a major class project.