A screen performer who entered show business via his finesse as a professional dancer, Gainesville, FL, native Robert Hoffman reportedly gravitated to footwork at the tender age of five, with enrollment in professional dance classes. Hoffman discovered his lifelong passion via the experience of watching superstar Michael Jackson perform, and then (inspired by this) subsequently moved to Madison, AL, with his family and enrolled in dance classes there; years later he studied formally under the esteemed dance instructor Kim Wolfe. In time, Hoffman's tenacity and passion for the art form led him to train with the Alabama Ballet, and when he opted to move to Hollywood and pursue film acting, dancing enabled him to carve out an unusual niche via a related series of movie roles. Hoffman bowed as a beach dancer in the Ben Affleck gangster farce Gigli (2003), then eked a similar bit part in the dance-themed You Got Served (2004) and gradually ascended to higher billing (and expanded his range) with supporting roles in the big-screen romantic comedy She's the Man (2006), the prime-time missing person-themed series Vanished (2006), and the supernatural horror movie Shrooms (2007). Jon M. Chu's urban drama Step Up 2 the Streets, however, represented Hoffman's breakthrough and brought him his first lead; in that film, he played a professional dancer who joins forces with a newcomer (Briana Evigan) to participate in an underground dance contest.