Every ‘Step Up’ Movie Ranked By Its Most Bonkers Dance Scene
When it comes to dance movies, you don’t get much more iconic than Step Up.
The original 2006 movie launched a whole franchise of films, with each Step Up sequel trying showcasing some of the most bonkers dance scenes of all time. I personally have tried on many occasions to master the iconic breathing move in Step Up 2: The Streets to no avail.
I probably need a partner, tbh. My cat just doesn’t pull off the backwards hat quite as well.
As a massive fan of dance movies like Honey and Center Stage, I grew up watching all of the Step Ups and find it comforting how each follows an almost identical plot. Typically, a boy and a girl from different walks of life meet via some kind of dance introduction, they fall in love, they have to confront an obstacle (usually a disapproving parent who thinks dancing is frivolous!) and then it always ends with a big performance or dance competition.
While the movies often follow the same path, that doesn’t mean they are able to pull it off — so it’s time to compare the five movies and rank accordingly. FYI: This list doesn’t include the 2019 film Step Up: Year Of The Dance, as that’s technically a spin-off movie rather than a sequel. And when it comes to dance movies, I don’t mess with the rules.
Every Step Up movie ranked by its most bonkers dance scene:
#5. Step Up 3D
This is the worst of the five movies. It’s so bad. The storyline feels the least original and the two leads — Australia’s own Sharni Vinson and Rick Malambri — have about as much chemistry as two bags of hair. Also, they’re just not amazing dancers. Like, don’t get me wrong, they can dance but they’re both forgettable and lack stage presence. This tango scene is a fun routine, but my eyes aren’t overly drawn to the movie’s two protagonists.
The final battle scene is the only standout moment in the movie, as Moose busts open a facet and water spreads over the dance floor, so they have to battle it out while splashing and whipping through the water. This would be cool but we’d just seen this scenario play out in Step Up 2, so it doesn’t feel particularly fresh or exciting.
#4. Step Up 5: All In
The final sequel in the franchise is a bit of a mixed bag. It has great moments but it also has some pretty meh dance scenes. This whole sequence from Moose is messy and not what we expect from the foot-shuffling Step Up king.
However, there’s an iconic moment when Andie from Step Up 2 returns to the film franchise and performs with The Mob, as they battle it out to win a Las Vegas residency against a rival dance crew. This whole routine is amazing from start to finish.
#3. Step Up
It’s the movie that started it all and for that we will be forever grateful. There is nothing that compares to the chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan: everything they do captivates the audience. This is shown in the ‘Till The Dawn’ dance-off at the club, my favourite kind of group dance scene where everyone somehow knows all the choreography to a seemingly spontaneous dance, which is a deeply ’90s teen movie trope.
Then there’s the final dance performance — a fusion of contemporary and hip-hop — which is nothing short of breathtaking. The dancing might be understated compared to some of the other movies, but it’s also a much more nuanced and cohesive routine.
#2. Step Up 4: Revolution
The fourth instalment of Step Up is a deeply underrated movie and perhaps the most creative of all the films. Dance sequences break out in the most unlikely of places — from gallery spaces to restaurants to office buildings. One of my favourite dance scenes ever is when The Mob are decked out in suits and spontaneously break out into a coordinated routine, showcasing some of the sharpest dancing I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Then there’s the final dance number, as The Mob gatecrash a Miami developer’s party and takeover a construction site. It’s another perfect dance sequence and Peter Gallagher’s disapproving looks make it all the better.
But nothing beats the first few minutes of the movie and that epic car dance scene. It’s just bonkers and I’ve been patiently waiting for this to happen on my commute home from work every day since I saw it.
#1. Step Up 2: The Streets
There’s no denying that Step Up 2 upped the ante when it comes to dancing and it’s been downhill ever since. Everything is next level. First up there’s a battle between siblings Andie and Tyler which involves trampolines inside the dance floor. It is hectic and Channing is just a force to be reckoned with — no other male lead who has followed in his footsteps has ever compared to him.
Then there’s the final battle scene, where the crew take their dance-off to THE STREETS and perform as it rains down on them. The result is some of the best dancing ever put to film and the whole scene still gives me chills.
I’ll never understand why I don’t look like Andie when I’m dancing in the rain, but instead look like a large sewer rat that’s drowning.