Carmen is a good student with a bad attitude who lives for dancing in the underground clubs of Chicago. She yearns to be 'somebody' but is afraid to believe in herself. Her immigrant Mexican, working-class parents want her to stay in school and get an education, so she attends junior college while working at a grocery store. Carmen's professor catches her performing one day in the neighborhood and challenges her to audition to a formal dance school in California. She gets into a fight with her chaotic family and runs away to her best friend Gina's place only to find out Gina's been getting beat up by her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Carmen's boyfriend, Jared wants her to commit and move in with him. Pulled apart in every direction, her dream of dancing fades. Can Carmen overcome her fears and take the biggest chance of her life, or will she succumb to her self-doubt?