‘You Got Served’: 6 Movies Inspired By The Cult Classic Dance Flick
You Got Served was every B2K and IMX fan girl’s fantasy, and every Hip-Hop dance crew‘s inspiration in 2004. For once, fans were able to see their favorite R&B heartthrobs truly showcase their acting skills while also thrusting their body parts for an hour and 35 minutes.
For underdog dance crews, the storyline was all too realistic as it not only highlighted competition and teamwork, but how poverty and hustling can affect youth when there are limited financial resources.
The Chris Stokes-written and directed hit marked the first film for all members of B2K and the third for IMX (f.k.a Immature) collectively. Omarion and Marques Houston play best friends (David and Elgin Eugene Barrett Smith III) who lead a beloved Los Angeles dance-crew. When the two accept a sketchy challenge from a rich suburban dance group, they soon find themselves grappling with the streets, betrayal and death of a youth. Ultimately, their crew’s joint love for dance, brotherhood and their community brings them back together.
You Got Served, of course, wasn’t the first dance film to celebrate Hip-Hop dance culture, hence there’s 1984’s Breakin’, Beat Street and several others. It did, however, influence a new wave of films highlighting dance competitions, resilience and the underdog coming out on top.
In honor of the film’s 20th anniversary (Jan. 30), VIBE has comprised six dance flicks influenced by the $50,576,805 grossing film.
‘Roll Bounce’ – 2005
Although the Malcolm D. Lee-directed film is all about skating in the late 70’s, Roll Bouncedraws parallels to You Got Served when it comes to dishonesty in competition and believing in yourself.
In the 2005 film, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss stars as Xavier, who has his own skate collective on the Southside of Chicago. After their local rink shuts down, the crew is forced to head over to the upscale Sweetwater Roller Rink, where only the coolest skaters roll. With focus on pretty girls and having the best moves on four wheels, the Garden Boys soon finds themselves entering a winner-takes-all skating contest against cookie-cutter Sweetwater Rollers.
Much like You Got Served, cheating compromises the Garden Boys’ chance of winning when the Sweetwater Rollers steal their song “Le Freak,” by Chic. However, Xavier’s belief in himself to hit a rare skate move, proves that he’s as good as his superiors.
In the Chris Stokes film, Wade’s crew stole dance moves from Elgin and David’s group, forcing their crew to make a comeback bigger and better than before.
‘Step Up’ – 2006
Step Upmay have had less flavor when it comes to the Hip-Hop dance moves, but the franchise still showed influence from the staple dance flick that premiered a year prior.
Set in Baltimore, the film follows troubled breakdancer Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum), who falls for “out of his league” ballerina, Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan). He meets her when he is ordered to do 200 hours of community service at the Maryland School of Arts, after vandalizing it.
In hopes of an opportunity with a professional dance company, Nora desperately accepts dance assistance from Tyler after her original partner injures himself. As the two prepare for the life changing opportunity, not only does Tyler grow an interest in joining the Maryland School of The Arts, but also finds love.
The film, much like You Got Served, sees the protagonist channel his troubles into dance, even when the world counts him out.
‘Stomp The Yard’ – 2007
Stomp The Yard is one of the most notable films centering around HBCU culture, dance and competition. The No. 1 box office hit not only highlighted Black Greek Life, but also showcased step competitions. It also debuted R&B megastar, Chris Brown, on the silver screen.
The Will Packer-produced film centers on DJ Williams (Columbus Short), who moves to Atlanta after his brother (Brown) is killed in a street dance competition. While attending the fictional HBCU, Truth University, he initially downplays Greek life before pledging the faux fraternity, Theta Nu Theta (reminiscent of Alpha Phi Alpha). While a part of Theta Nu, DJ falls for April (Meagan Good), the daughter of the university’s president, and finds himself proving to doubters that he isn’t a “thug” and deserves to be at the university.
After getting suspended for unwanted exposure of his street past, DJ ultimately returns to compete in various stepping competitions against Theta Nu’s rival fraternity, Mu Gamma Xi. Unbeknownst to him, during the final step competition, the Gammas perform some of DJ’s moves (sound familiar?), leaving him to hit his brother’s signature head slide and win the battle.
Stomp The Yard grossed $75 million worldwide and went on to have a sequel, Stomp The Yard: Homecoming.
After a run-in with local thugs to raise money for a chance at a record deal, Rob (Omarion) is sent to live with his dad (Giancarlo Esposito) in Puerto Rico. While there, he takes a liking to Reggaeton music, and realizes that he can possibly make his rap career work in his father’s homeland. Although the central focus of the film isn’t dance, it is still included as Rob falls for an aspiring professional dancer named C.C. (Zulay Henao). While she performs onstage with rappers in nightclubs, crews go toe-to-toe on the floor.
Rob, his half-brother Javi (Victor Rasuk) and C.C. all face obstacles in love, greed and pride when they decide to help one another chase their dreams. Much like You Got Served, Rob gets into it with street thugs in P.R., who in return harm his step-mother. C.C. also deals with sexual assault when a notable manager reveals he has no interest in her dreams, but of taking advantage of her.
Ultimately, Rob proves he can embrace all cultural parts of himself as he performs a song at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in N.Y. alongside his father. His girlfriend, C.C., supports from the crowd.
The Jennifer Lopez-produced film wasn’t much of a box-office success, but it definitely was a great film that highlights Reggaeton music and its connection to Hip-Hop culture.
‘Dance Flick’ – 2009
Dance Flick was not only inspired by You Got Served, but by all popular dance flicks that came before and after the 2004 film.
Directed by Damien Wayans, the 2009 parody-film follows a suburban girl (Shoshana Bush) who moves to the hood and pursues dance — which is a play off of Save The Last Dance‘s plot.
The You Got Served reference comes into play when Thomas (Damon Wayans Jr.) and A-Con (Affion Crockett) owe a drug lord, and reenact a battle scene from the film to win money.
Hilariously, two crews go head-to-head at a warehouse, where they hit outlandish moves including a dog peeing, a head spin that drills into the floor and the infamous Stomp The Yardhead-slide that ends off of a bridge.
The comedy also included parodies of cult classic movies like Flash Dance, Step Up, Roll Bounce and more.
Involving the same theme of “underdog-turnt-top dog,” the Chris Stokes-directed flick saw successful businessman Sean Lewis (Marques Houston) tasked to help a group of misfit kids become a competitive dance team.
Although Houston shows off his dance skills in You Got Served, his character in Battlefield America is a stranger to the arts. To assist the young crew with their moves, he hires a choreographer while he juggles his busy career. After initially doubting the kids’ ability to win, coaching becomes worthwhile when Sean falls for Sara (Mekia Cox), who works with the kids at a community center.
The kids face much adversity in their neighborhood, but ultimately prove to their coach and themselves that they can be better than their environment.