The Step Up movies were a popular craze that began in the mid-2000s. Watching these films now brings with it a dose of nostalgia with the music, moves, and fashion sense. Whether you’re looking to watch these films for the first — or hundredth — time, this article will be your ultimate guide on the franchise and how to watch the Step Up movies in order.
What Are the Step Up Movies About?
The Step Up movies are loosely connected by themes, with one major exception that features a reunion between previous cast members. Each installment typically follows a new main couple that must overcome some difficulty within their life.
Sometimes the films are connected by location. But mostly it is the themes of trials and tribulations amidst a backdrop of fancy footwork that interconnects this series.
This means it’s not necessary to watch the Step Up movies in order, but as with any series there is an added layer of understanding when you do so. The exception to this would obviously be the movie that features the reunion. This movie, All In, is best watched after you see the previous installments so you can fully enjoy the cameos and reappearances of previous cast members.
The first five movies in the franchise follow this order of loosely connected themes within the same series. It is the fifth movie in this sequence which features the culmination of events that result in the reunion between previous cast members.
However, the sixth installment within the franchise can work properly as a standalone movie. This is because is a Chinese-produced movie and not a direct sequel within the franchise. The movie follows the same themes of dance and redemption as the previous installments, but takes place in Beijing.
Collectively the Step Up film franchise has grossed $651 million.
Will There Be Another Step Up Movie?
There likely will not be another Step Up movie within the franchise. That’s because with the direction that the franchise has already taken it is hard to imagine them returning to a domestic feature-length film.
As previously mentioned, even though the first five films of the Step Up movies in order take place all across America and feature different characters, there were threads connecting the movies. Those threads culminated with Step Up: All In which features stars from previous installments returning to the screen for a collaborative dance showdown. This felt like a proper conclusion to the series.
Then, even before we get into the Chinese production and the spin-off, the timeline of the first five movies does not suggest it is likely we will see another installment. The first five films premiered in quick succession with one being released every two years like clockwork. Now it’s been eight years since the last American-produced film within the franchise.
Of course, Step Up: Year of the Dance premiered much more recently in 2019, but it did not receive great commercial or critical success, which makes it unlikely there will be a continuation within that series of the franchise.
Finally, looking back to domestic productions, the franchise shifted from feature-length films to an online-based television show spin-off in 2018, which we will get into more below. This shift makes it highly unlikely there will be another Step Up movie, but never say never. Director Jon M. Chu has never shot down the idea of another Step Up movie.
Step Up Movies in Order
Now, if you’ve been anxiously awaiting how to watch the Step Up movies in order, here is the list of all the movies within the franchise. Again, it is possible to watch some of these movies out of order.
However, the exception to this would be the fifth movie on our list — Step Up: All In. If you want to best appreciate this film within the franchise you should only watch it after you have watched the previous four films. As well, as with any series, watching the movies in order of release date lends a deeper understanding to the franchise and lets you enjoy the films as the creative teams originally intended, by building off the previous installments.
Therefore, we recommend watching the Step Up movies in order of release date, as we’ve organized here.
- Step Up (2006)
- Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
- Step Up 3D (2010)
- Step Up Revolution (2012)
- Step Up: All In (2014)
- Step Up: Year of the Dance (2019)
Step Up TV Show Spin-Off
As mentioned, there is also a spin-off television show within the franchise. The show follows the students and teachers at High Water Performing Arts School in Atlanta, Georgia.
There are no characters from the Step Up movies in this television show, which premiered on January 31, 2018, but it follows a similar premise. The show follows the characters through emotional upheavals and growth, shows their struggle, and their articulation through dance. It features envious dance moves and catchy music.
The series follows twins Tal and Janelle Baker, played by Petrice Jones and Lauryn McClain, after they move from Ohio to Atlanta following their mother’s arrest. Amidst a period of great upheaval and change they are trying to find themselves in this new environment and fulfill their dreams.
There are two seasons of Step Up: High Water available to stream with ten episodes each. The series also stars Marcus Emanuel Mitchell as Dondre Hall, Terrence Green as Rigo Octavio, Ne-Yo as Sage Odom, and Naya Rivera as Collette Jones. This was Naya Rivera’s last live-action project before her death in July 2020.
The series premiered on YouTube Red, but was then canceled by YouTube after the second season. However, a year after its cancellation Starz announced it would be picking up the series for a third season.
With the acquirement Starz dropped High Water from the show’s name, which will now be simply Step Up. The third season began production in May 2021, although no official release date has been announced.
For the third season Tal Baker was recast with Keiynan Lonsdale, as was the role of Collette Jones by Christina Milian.
The show was created by Holly Sorensen, and Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum — stars from the original Step Up film — are executive producers alongside her.
A Summary of the Step Up Movies
Now that you know all about how to watch the Step Up movies in order, let’s dive into a summary for each movie. As these movies, for the most part, follow new protagonists, the summaries will not spoil much for the previous movie.
1. Step Up
Tyler Gage has been in and out of trouble for most of his life. Then, after vandalizing a performing arts school, he finds himself before the judge again. In a twist of fate he is sentenced to 200 hours of community service mopping floors at the Maryland School of the Arts.
He quickly catches the eye of Nora Clark, a gifted ballet student. Nora is trying to use hip-hop moves with her classical routines. After some initial hesitation, Nora convinces Tyler to help her with her dance routines and the sparks fly.
This film stars Channing Tatum as Tyler and Jenna Dewan as Nora Clark. The pair later married in real life after meeting on set, although they have subsequently separated. The film also stars Damaine Radcliff as Mac Carter, De’Shawn Washington as Skinny Carter, Mario as Miles Darby, and Alyson Stoner as Camille.
The story of Step Up was written and created by Duane Adler and directed by Anne Fletcher.
2. Step Up 2: The Streets
The sequel to the first Step Up movie also takes place at the Maryland School of the Arts.
When rebellious street dancer Andie enrolls at the prestigious Maryland School of the Arts, she finds it difficult to adapt. She then joins forces with Chase, the hottest dancer at the school. With his help she finds a way to merge her old life and the new.
She does this by forming a team of misfit classmates. As a group they train to compete in an underground dance contest known as The Streets.
This installment stars Robert Hoffman as Chase and Briana Evigan as Andie. They are joined by Cassie Ventura as Sophie, Adam Sevani as Moose, and Danielle Polanco as Missy. The director was Jon M. Chu.
3. Step Up 3D
The third movie within the franchise features a shift in location from Maryland to New York City.
New York’s street-dancing underground forms the background for the tale of two tight-knit dancers, Luke and Natalie. The talented duo join forces with a New York University freshman named Moose for a high-stakes showdown against the world’s best hip-hop dancers. Win or lose, the contest will change their lives forever.
Step Up 3D stars Rick Malambri as Luke and Sharni Vinson as Natalie. Also starring in the movie are Adam Sevani as Moose and Alyson Stoner as Camille once more. The director from the previous installment, Jon M. Chu, also returned for this installment.
4. Step Up Revolution
The next film in the Step Up franchise features another shift in location, but this time to Miami.
Newly arrived in Miami, young dancer Emily dreams of becoming a professional. She soon meets and falls in love with Sean, the leader of a dance crew called “the Mob.”
However, Emily’s father, a rich businessman, has plans to develop the dancers’ historic neighbourhood. This threatens to displace thousands of people. Now Emily must join forces with Sean and the Mob to turn their performance art into protest art, even though doing so may place her dreams in jeopardy.
This film stars Ryan Guzman as Sean and Kathryn McCormick as Emily in the leading roles. It also stars Cleopatra Coleman as Penelope, Misha Gabriel Hamilton as Eddy, and Peter Gallagher as Mr. Anderson. The director was Scott Speer.
Adam Sevani also makes a brief cameo as Moose in this movie, alongside Mari Koda as Kido and Chadd Smith as Vladd.
5. Step Up: All In
While there is still one more film to summarize from the franchise, this film signifies an end to this series set in America with the conclusion taking place in Las Vegas.
After struggling for a year to make it big in Hollywood, Sean’s dance crew gives up and moves back to Miami. Not ready to relinquish his own dream quite yet, Sean remains in Los Angeles.
When he hears about an upcoming dance competition in Las Vegas, Sean teams up with talented dancers Andie and Moose to put together a new crew. Now with some old friends and some new faces, Sean and his crew intend to win.
This film is really appreciated best if you’ve already watched the previous four Step Up films. This is how we recommend watching these movies in order.
It features the return of many previous cast members including, but not limited to, Ryan Guzman as Sean, Briana Evigan as Andie, Adam Sevani as Moose, Misha Gabriel Hamilton as Eddy, and Alyson Stoner as Camille. The director for this installment was Trish Sie.
6. Step Up: Year of the Dance
There isn’t much available in regards to an English synopsis for this movie, although English subtitles are, of course, an option when you choose to watch the film. From the available synopsis this follows themes of the previous Step Up movies. Meaning it follows a group of young dancers as they overcome personal challenges.
Youth from different social classes in Beijing come together to form China’s best dance crew. Along the way they will learn when it really means to be family.
The film stars Jade Chynoweth, Sean Lew, and Janelle Ginestra. The director was Ron Yuan and the writer was Li Wei.
Final thoughts on the Step Up movies in order
There you have all of the Step Up movies in order, as well as information about the spin-off television show.
The premise of these movies, and subsequent television show, is primarily focused on the art of dance. So, if you enjoy watching dance shows or competitions, then you will likely enjoy watching the Step Up movies in order. Go into these movies with an appreciation for the art form in mind and then you will come away having enjoyed the movies.
Have you already watched these films? What did you think? Let us know in the comments down below.
Looking for more movies in order?
If you’re looking for more films with a hint of romance, check out this list of the Mythica movies in order.