For some lucky souls, rhythm is the mother tongue. They can surrender to the ecstatic embrace of the beat. Dancing sets them free to express their delight in life. This romantic drama focuses on Rafael (Chayanne), a Cuban who travels joyfully to Houston to work in Excelsior Dance Studio. John Burnett (Kris Kristofferson), who knew his deceased mother, provides him with a room and a job as a handyman. Rafael waits for the right moment to tell him that he knows he is his father.

At the studio, the newcomer is entranced by Ruby (Vanessa Williams), a sexy dance instructor who has her eyes on the upcoming World Open Dance Competition in Las Vegas. Much to her surprise, Rafael reveals himself to be a gifted Salsa dancer whose improvisatory moves are quite creative. Frightened of her feelings about him, she goes to the competition with her former partner and lover. Rafael teams up with Patricia (Jane Krakowski) and serves as an inspiration for Bea Johnson (Joan Plowright), an older woman. Director Randa Haines makes the most of the many dramatic dance sequences in the film.