"Without dreams, we die," is the message of this stylish, fast-paced, let's-get-physical movie. Alex (Jennifer Beals) is an independent-minded young lady who wants to be a ballerina. She lives alone in a Pittsburgh warehouse. Days, she works as a welder at the steel mill. Nights, she dances on stage at a bar.

Alex learns flashdancing techniques from black youths performing on the streets, and keeps her body in shape through constant exercise. Meanwhile, her best friends aim for the big time. Richie (Kyle T. Heffner), a cook, heads off to Hollywood only to learn he doesn't have what it takes to be a successful comedian. Jeanie (Sunny Johnson), a waitress, tries for a skating career, but loses out in a local competition.

Alex receives support for her dream from an elderly mentor (Lilia Skala) and Nick (Michael Nouri), her divorced boss who is a patron of the arts. The exotic and often erotic dance numbers and the dramatic rock music by Giorgio Moroder are the twin engines which give Flashdance its power. Director Adrian Lyne draws a winning performance from newcomer Jennifer Beals, makes the most of the Pittsburgh locale, and ends the movie with an audience-pleasing, up-tempo dancing triumph by Alex.