They've come a long way, baby. Dance movies and musicals, that is.
From the days of the godfather of big screen dancers, Gene Kelly, spinning effortlessly around a lamppost in "Singin' in the Rain," to the small screen reality show, "So You Think You Can Dance," the popularity of dancing is bigger than ever.
In the same vein as classics like "Dirty Dancing," "Flashdance," and "Footloose," comes "Step Up 3-D," in theaters today.
From the film, “Step Up 3-D,” the characters Luke and Natalie, played by Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson, are shown.
Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment LLC
This is the third in a franchise of films focusing on "kids from the streets" who work hard at perfecting their craft and dreaming of making it big.
It's an idea to which many local dancers can relate.
Cheyenne Lemasters, 15, is in her tenth year of training as a dancer, previously with The Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet Company, and currently with PACE (Performing Arts Center and Education) in Parkersburg.
Top Ten dance flicks
1. Singin' in the Rain
3. Dirty Dancing
5. Strictly Ballroom
6. Save the Last Dance
7. Saturday Night Fever
8. Bring It On
9. Billy Elliot
10. Mad Hot Ballroom
"I have seen many dance movies," she said.
"I find that when you're a dancer, you are compelled to see and read (everything that there is) about dance.
"I, and many of my dance friends, enjoy watching the 'Step Up' movies and we are very excited to see the third, but what we are even more excited about is for it to be in 3-D."
The film follows the original "Step Up" (2006) and "Step Up 2: The Streets" (2008) and takes basically the same formula - down-on-their-luck street dancers joining forces, making love connections and competing against the pros for a shot at the big time - and throws it on the big screen, this time using eye-popping 3-D technology.
"I have seen many dance movies because of my love of dance," said Kassandra Corter, who has been dancing with Marietta Dance Academy for 10 years.
"I've seen and adored the classics like 'Dirty Dancing,' 'Flashdance,' 'Footloose' and 'Grease.' They are classics for a reason. I loved them all.
"But when we're talking about up-to-date movies that would appeal to any audience, the 'Step Up' series sticks the landing," the 15-year-old said.
Corter said she enjoys seeing these movies with fellow dancers as well as those who aren't so light on their feet.
"We always can have a discussion (about the films). I love the reality in the series because every type of dance is included. You'll see a class of ballerinas doing pirouette after pirouette, then there will be a scene of them breaking on the street. Then back to a scene of a tapper doing more pull-backs than you could imagine," she said, excitedly.
Citing the popularity of "So You Think You Can Dance" - from which many of the extras in "Step Up" came - and "Dancing With the Stars," Corter is thrilled that her art has become a big part of popular culture.
"Dance has been coming alive these past years and it makes me so happy," she said.