Almost a year and a half after we learned that YouTube Red was producing a Step Up TV series with the help of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, we finally know when the show will stream. Step Up: High Water premieres on the subscription service on January 31, and by the looks of the new trailer, it's worth the wait for anyone who can't resist a good dance drama.
While the original movie and its sequel took place at the fictional Maryland School of the Arts (and the three subsequent movies were in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles), High Water refers to a dance school in Atlanta. This is also no story of classically trained ballerinas clashing with street dancers. From what we can tell in the trailer, all of the students or would-be students at High Water are well versed in hip-hop moves.
"What this is, is a mission to get the art back to the people," says Ne-Yo, who plays the founder of the school, according to Entertainment Weekly. The other well-known grown-up face on the show will be Glee's Naya Rivera, playing a former dancer-turned-administrator, though she doesn't appear in the trailer. Also sadly absent, any hint of an opportunity for the Tatums to step in front of the camera, though we can still hope.
The focus, anyway, is on the kids, who will, naturally, have to fight against the powers that be, their neighbourhood bullies, and disapproving parents, to make their dreams of dancing come true.
"I need to audition," says a boy named Tal (Petrice Jones), who comes out as gay, falls in love, and physically assaulted up in the trailer. "Dancing is not just what I do, it's a matter of life and death."
In addition to the Tatums, original Step Up producers Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, and Meredith Milton are back for the show, and Holly Sorensen (Make It or Break It) is the executive producer.
If you want a taste of real-life dance drama before the January premiere, watch the site's snippets on the young cast, who each discuss what dance means to them while showing off their talent. It looks like dance certainly can change some people's lives.