Facts About the Film Step Up Even the Biggest Fans Don’t Know


The Step Up films eventually turned into a franchise that has had six movies so far and just keeps dancing. The reason for all the sequels, of course, is that the first movie won over audiences in 2006 and just kept making new generations of fans.

Our own love of Step Up caused us to recently do a deep dive into the first film. We discovered some facts that are almost (almost) as shocking as Channing Tatum’s body. Think you’re a real superfan? Keep reading to discover facts about Step Up even the biggest fans don’t know!

The shirt that kept ruining a dance

While everything about Step Up is great, most fans can agree that the dancing is the best part. The skilled choreography is only enhanced by how hot our two lead dance partners are. That’s why we were surprised to discover that one sexy shirt kept ruining a great dance.

If you’re like us, the image of Jenna Dewan’s shirt from the rooftop is burned into your brain. It looks hot to audiences, but Channing Tatum later said the thing felt more like a wet water balloon than a shirt. That might not have mattered as much but the material was so slippery when wet that it made all of the lifts in this iconic scene that much more difficult to perform.

One character’s story kept changing

In Step Up, we love Nora’s story, and her struggles make us love the character with the same intensity. That’s why we were shocked to hear Nora actor Jenna Dewan’s claim that her character’s story just kept changing. At one point, she said that the backstory changed on a daily basis!

You might think all that change would be annoying for an actor who had to figure out who this character really was. According to Dewan, it wasn’t actually a problem because the changes allowed her to explore all the different possible versions of her character. Ultimately, this introspection and exploration led to her convincing and powerful performance onscreen.

The director makes a cameo

There are some major Hollywood directors who have a habit of appearing in their own films. For example, common culprits are Woody Allan and M. Night Shyamalan. However, other directors have done this from time to time, including Step Up director Anne Fletcher.

Certainly, you remember the scene where we are first introduced to Nora. Next time you rewatch the movie, take a close look at the woman directing the dance class. That’s no regular actor…that’s Anne Fletcher, proving she can direct characters in a scene no matter which side of the camera she is on. 

Tyler was almost very different

Channing Tatum’s character Tyler didn’t face the daily changes that Jenna Dewan’s Nora faced. With that being said, his character was almost very different from what we eventually got onscreen. In fact, Tyler almost wasn’t Tyler at all!

Earlier in the scripting process, the Tyler character was instead named “Derek.” Making things even weirder is the fact that Tatum’s character was very nearly a singer rather than a dancer. As you can imagine, this could have completely changed the film as we know it!

The final scene was shot after filming was complete

One of our favorite parts of Step Up is that final scene backstage. After the physical and emotional journey of these characters, it felt rewarding to see what happened to them. But would you believe that we almost didn’t find out anything at all?

Originally, the movie was going to simply end after the last big performance. After testing the film, however, the studio realized audiences were desperate to know the fate of our two lead characters. Because of that, this final scene was shot and added after the rest of the film was already finished.

The dance move that terrified Channing Tatum

For the most part, Channing Tatum wasn’t scared of the complex dance moves required for Step Up. That’s not a surprise, really…this was a guy who was a professional male dancer before he became a star (yes, Virginia, Magic Mike is partially based on his story!), so he’s no stranger to pulling off dances that are as sexy as they are safe.

However, there is one exception, and that’s the dance at the house party. During filming, he was terrified of the dance move where he slid between a girl’s legs. In take after take, poor Tatum was worried that he would end up knocking this small actor down!

Tatum’s fears were actually justified

For Channing Tatum, the good news is that he never ended up hurting that gal in the house party scene. In fact, he didn’t hurt any of the ladies he was dancing with, including Jenna Dewan. That’s the good news…the bad news is that the beloved actor nearly got himself killed during a completely different dance.

The film’s final dance scene is understandably complex, and it includes fairly acrobatic moves such as flips. Tatum mostly had little difficulty with these moves, but at one point, he messed up a flip and landed directly on his head. That may sound silly, but there was nothing funny about it…in fact, the actor discovered later that he nearly broke his neck in that accident.

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