Carly: But, that's ballet.
Helena: Think less, "this is ballet", "this is street dance"... but more, "this is dance".
StreetDance is a two-film franchise set in Europe and centered about, well, street dancing. In both films, the leader of a hip hop/breakdance crew is trying to surpass its competition, a rival crew who will be their match for the finals of a streetdance contest. The breakthrough comes when they find a new edge adding moves and tunes from a different dancing style -ballet on the first movie, latin dances on the second one.
For sure, Dancing Is Serious Business, but the drama is much more light-hearted than it was in its predecessor, the Step Up franchise. There is no saving their home or being allowed to have their desired career: it's mostly the art for the sake of the art, and with a positive pro-diversity message.
The films provide examples of:
- Adorkable: Eddie is a friend and fan of the crew in the first film, who really, really wants to have a chance to dance with them.
- Ascended Fanboy: In universe. In the second movie, Eddie puts himself in charge of putting a new crew together after meeting Ash.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the second movie, after a harsh discussion with Ash, Eva leaves the crew... but she comes back to beat Invincible.
- Dance Battler: Somehow parodied. "Battle" is the term for a contest between solo dancers or crews. In the second film, Eva dances in a boxing ring to challenge anyone to out-dance her. She even kicks Ash a couple times during their first dance together, making him fall to his knees once. A while later, the streetdance crew goes to the club to see the moves the Latin dancers actually have. At first they despise their dancing style. They all end battered and exhausted as in a real battle, and get a newfound respect for salsa.
- Dance Party Ending
- Love-Interest Traitor: A rare male example. Jay drops from his crew to "deal with some issues", leaving Carly behind and ignoring her calls until a friend of hers tells him that she is dating a new guy. Jay comes back, they make out, everything seems right again... and then they discover Jay has joined the opposing crew.
- Meaningful Rename: In StreetDance 3D, the crew changes its name from the original Jay-2-0 to Breaking Point after discovering that Jay defected them to join The Surge crew.
- Obsolete Mentor: In the sequel film, Manu cannot do flashy dance moves, but his lecture and demostration helps the crew to put aside their prejudices against Latin dance.Manu: Listen. We are all street dancers. Mambo, tango, salsa... All started in the street. But you... You have problem. Hmm? You are afraid of your partners.
- Sassy Black Woman: Shawna in the first film.
- Smug Snake: [Jay] in the first movie is this, taunting Carly when apparently her crew is not going to be able to compete. Even more with Vince, the leader of the rival crew in the second film. He even named his crew "Invincible".
- Spiritual Successor: To Step Up.
- Technician vs. Performer: In the first film, the ballet dancers are lacking passion, and the streetdance crew needs to improve its technique. Both aspects are asserted as needed to become the best dancers they can be.
- Third Is 3D: Averted; the first installment was, even being titled Streedance 3D; it was probably inspired by Step Up 3D, as it was the most recent movie of their predecessor at the time.
- Worthy Opponent: Ash's crew is late to battle Invincible at the contest finals. Its leader Vince still accepts their challenge and pressures the organizers to let them participate. When they lose against Ash's crew, Vince shows his sportiness as he hands the trophy to Ash.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Mixing different dancing styles is the key point to get an edge against the rival crews in both movies.