Work It Ending Explained [SPOILER!]

SPOILER ALERT: the following article contains massive spoilers, including the ending. If you have not yet seen the movie, proceed at your own risk, or better, come back to this article later!

An awkward 18-year-old achieves near-perfection by sheer hard work. She vows to transform her gawkiness through dance, and refine her skills until she competes at a competition.


Work It Plot Summary and Synopsis

Quinn Ackerman is a quirky and intelligent high school senior living in North Carolina with her single mother. She has one best friend, aspiring dancer Jasmine Hale, who has known her since kindergarten and always sticks up for her. Quinn’s dream is to attend Duke University, as it is her late father’s alma mater, and her mother wants it for her just as much as she does. She studies hard, earns straight As, and takes part in many extra-curricular activities, though she does not have much of social life.

After an interview with progressive admissions counselor Veronica Ramirez, Quinn is informed that her application is too similar to the other applicants. Her chances of standing out to the admission’s team are not good. Quinn then lies and tells her that she is a member of her high school’s elite dance team, “The Thunderbirds,” which is very well known around the state as the reigning champions of the “Work It” dance competition. Quinn enlists Jasmine’s help to prepare her for an audition being held by the team in two weeks, as she is already on the team. Quinn’s dancing skills improve by the time of the audition, but the team’s ruthless leader, Julliard Pembroke, still rejects her. After Jasmine stands up to him and defends Quinn, Quinn suggests that the two start their own dance team to compete at “Work It.” Jasmine reluctantly agrees but is worried about not being scouted by a recruiter from a dance academy in New York.

Quinn discovers a former champion of the “Work It” competition, Jake Taylor, who stopped competing after a knee injury two years prior. Quinn approaches him at the dance studio where he now works and asks him to be a choreographer for her team. He turns her down, mainly since she approaches dancing as something that can be learned by thinking and not with passion.

Meanwhile, the girls round up a group of unknown dancers at school who all differ in style. The team includes Raven, a goth and rocker style dancer. Chris, a soccer player with dance skills, DJ Tapes, a kid who sells mixtapes, Robby G., a karate student, excellent flipper, and Priya, an Indian style dancer.

After seeing her potential during an informal dance lesson with Quinn, Jake agrees to choreograph her team for “Work It,” but only if they can win the upcoming qualifying competition. The team begins practicing independently, using the studio where Jake works and performing at the local nursing home where Quinn volunteers. Under the name “TBD,” they cut qualifiers but on a technicality issue with an opposing team. Jake concludes that they need much improvement and have a lot of work to do if they want to win at “Work It.”

Quinn and Jake spend more time together, and Quinn confesses that she’s not sure that she truly wants to attend Duke anymore but feels she has to because of the time and effort her mother put in to help her. Jake takes her aside and decides to experiment with freestyle dancing with her. Quinn’s talent surfaces, as well as their undeniable chemistry, and the two kiss passionately.

With newfound confidence, Quinn takes it easier on herself and puts more effort into her dancing and teamwork. She emails the Duke Admissions Counselor and informs her that she has started her own team and that they will be competing at “Work It.” However, when Julliard discovers that Jake is choreographing for the “TBDs,” he turns them in for using the studio to practice without paying, and Jake loses his job. Quinn’s grades drop due to her dedication to the team, and she receives an email from the Duke admissions team informing her that Veronica no longer works there. Quinn confesses everything to her mom, and they agree that she should quit the dance team and bring her grades up before turning in her final transcript.

The team feels betrayed by Quinn’s departure, especially Jasmine, who rejoins “The Thunderbirds.” Jake attempts to stop Quinn, who calls him out on hypocrisy for lecturing her about quitting. She tells him she doesn’t have time for a boyfriend and ends their romance.

While working at the nursing home, Quinn has a conversation with an older woman named Ruthie, who encourages her not to waste her time studying all the time and live her life to the fullest. She points out different people in the home who had taken different paths in life and yet ended up in the same place, looking back fondly on their most fun and happy memories. While stamping books, Quinn starts listening to music and begins to “get out of her head,” as Jake told her, and dance. She re-discovers her own passion for dance and reconciles with Jake, and they both decide to bring the team back together. Quinn also reconciles with Jasmine, and she quits “The Thunderbirds,” rejoining “The TBDs.”

The group begins to learn each other’s unique dance styles, and Jake incorporates them into the choreography. On the day of the competition, Quinn arrives late after she is held up by her mom, who is angry with her for lying. Her mom tries to punish her if she leaves, but Quinn stands up to her mother and tells her that dancing is what makes her happy. She manages to grab the keys to the car and drives herself there, even though she only has a learner’s permit. She dances with the team and sees her mother, who has followed her, in the audience, clearly proud of her daughter.

Work It Ending

“The TBDs” win the competition, and both Jasmine and Julliard are approached by a scout from the New York Dance Academy. Quinn also runs into Veronica, who is now working at NYU, and invites her to apply for the fall semester.

Source: Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

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