A teacher and his students open up new worlds for one another in this urban drama inspired by a true story. Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas) is a prize-winning ballroom dancer and instructor from Manhattan who volunteers his services to a high school in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the Bronx. Principal Augustine James (Alfre Woodard) in turn gives Dulaine a tough assignment -- a detention class with some of the biggest troublemakers on campus. When the kids learn that Dulaine intends to teach them how to dance in the classic style, they're incredulous at best and dismissive at worst -- until Dulaine demonstrates his moves for the class. While Dulaine's charges -- including Rock (Rob Brown), LaRhette (Yaya DaCosta), Ramos (Dante Basco), Eddie (Marcus T. Paulk), and Sasha (Jenna Dewan) -- respect his talent, they have their own way of dancing, and as they mix hip-hop moves with ballroom discipline, they create an exciting new style. Dulaine also strives to instill self-confidence and a work ethic in his kids, insisting they can make their way out of the ghetto if they're willing to try. Screenwriter Dianne Houston based Take the Lead on the real-life story of Pierre Dulaine, who taught dance as a volunteer to at-risk students at New York elementary schools.
by Mark Deming synopsis