I've seen about a half-dozen "urban teen dance movies" in the past couple of years, even going back to watch Save the Last Dance, which may have sparked the current craze for this genre. The best movies have naturally been the ones with the most interesting and energetic dance numbers -- the storylines are interchangeable and unmemorable, and the characters tend to be stock types. The latest in this genre is How She Move, a Canadian film about step dancing, that was bought at Sundance in 2007 right after the similar Stomp the Yard stomped the box office.
How She Move has some electrifying dance numbers, but the plot treads in the same steps as its predecessors. Raya (Rutina Wesley) is an ambitious teen studying hard at a private high school -- she doesn't want to suffer the same fate as her older sister, who just died from a drug overdose. But her sister's tragic troubles drained the family income, so Raya must return to her parents and go to the local public school until she can win a scholarship. She soon learns that other teens in her neighborhood are able to earn some cash at "comps" -- step competitions -- so she decides to make money for her schooling in this way. But which step team should she join: the all-girls group headed by her longtime neighbor Michelle (Tre Armstrong), the boys' team managed by her old friend Bishop (Dwain Murphy), who has a little crush on her, or the tried-and-true winners ruled by the guy who led her sister astray?