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Eleven-year-old tom boy Toni (Royalty Hightower) spends most of her days at Lincoln Community Center in Cincinnati with her older brother Jermaine (Da'Sean Minor). She trains with him in the boxing gym or helps around the building wherever she is needed. A dance team called The Lionesses also practice their routines at the centre and when they hold auditions for new members, Toni decides to try out for this tight-knit troupe of confident girls. In order to fit in, Toni pierces her ears and quickly learns the complicated routines. Her initiation is tested when some of the older girls inexplicably suffer fainting spells and collapse in fits on the gym floor. While the local community searches for answers, even suggesting the centre's water supply might be contaminated, Toni struggles to make sense of the darkness that has settled on The Lionesses.