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A character sheet for Dance Academy.

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Main Characters

    Tara 
Tara Webster
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tara12.jpg
Played by Xenia Goodwin
Tara starts out as the Naïve Everygirl of the series, and the show largely revolves around her story and dream to become a famous dancer. She was the best dancer at the studio in her small town, and when she gets to the Academy, she learns that she has some catching up to do. Throughout the series, she is subjected to a lot of hardships, and has the most relationship drama of all the characters by far.

  • Break the Cutie: In season two, due combined factors of Saskia Duncan's abuse, Grace's influence, and Christian cheating on her with Kat.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Tends to be this with all of her boyfriends, but there are also occasions where her jealousy is justified.
  • Dude Magnet: Ethan, Christian, and Ben all dated her at some point. She even lampshades this in an episode where she complains that no guys had a crush on her at that moment, and she was used to always having guys like her.
  • Naked First Impression: She has just started changing in the locker, and is wearing a bra and skirt, when she first meets Christian when he happens to walk in. She is mortified.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Tara and Abigail's ongoing rivalry simmers down and flares up from time to time, but it basically hinges around this idea. Tara is the Performer. Originally the trope is played very straight, with the narrative being in Tara's favor, but as the show wears on, it explores the other side, showing Abigail's perspective sympathetically.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Kat and Sammy.
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    Kat 
Katrina "Kat" Karamakov
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kat6.jpg
Played by Alicia Banit
Kat is one of the first people Tara meets at the Academy, and becomes her best friend. Despite being the daughter of famous dancer Natasha Willis, Kat does not enjoy ballet, but is an excellent hip hop dancer. However, she struggles with finding her place at the Academy, as she often feels she doesn't fit in. After leaving the Academy in season two, she returns as a first-year later on.

  • Alliterative Name: Katrina Karamakov.
  • Big Eater: Though it's a more realistic portrayal of one, and deconstructed when which causes her trouble later on.
  • Break the Cutie: Much like Tara, she goes through a lot in the course of the series, including losing Sammy, struggling with her eating, and having to retake first-year.
  • Famous Ancestor: Her mother is Natasha Willis, a famous principal dancer for the Company and Tara's role model.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Kat and Ethan respectively in the first season.
    Kat: You're still Golden Boy, I'm still Child of Concern.
  • Not So Different: With Grace in the final episode, both realize that they only dance because they feel like they should want to.
  • Relative Error: When Tara first meets them, she asks if Kat and Ethan are together. Later, a prospective love interest of Kat's asks the same thing.
    Footballer: Boyfriend or ex?
    Kat: Yuck, um, ew, no: Brother.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Tara and Sammy.

    Sammy 
Samuel "Sammy" Lieberman
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sammy.jpg
Played by Tom Green
  • Ambiguously Bi/Bi the Way: He dates Abigail, then develops a crush on Christian. He goes on to date Ollie and basically comes out as gay. After breaking up with Ollie, he kisses Abigail again, and it looks like they’re about to enthusiastically get back together when he dies, cutting it short.
  • Coming-Out Story: He gets about halfway there. After developing feels for one is his friends, Sammy start starts to suspect he’s gay. He goes to date a boy and come out as gay. But after they break up, Sammy seems on the brink of getting back together with his ex-girlfriend—who he did have real feelings for—and figuring out the bi thing. But then his untimely death cuts it short.
  • Informed Judaism: Though less so in Season Two, in which one episode follows Sammy and his family through the reasonably religiously orthodox funeral of Sammy's grandfather, and then after Sammy's death, Tara wants to visit his body in the morgue only to be told that—in accordance with Jewish tradition—his family have already begun arranging his funeral in accordance with Jewish tradition.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Sammy when one of the football players visiting the academy asks for his number. Zigzagged in that Sammy turns him down, not saying he doesn’t like boys, but that "there's someone else," that someone being Abigail. Later Sammy likes Christian and Ollie, proving the footballer's gaydar accurate. Watching that scene in hindsight, it reads like foreshadowing.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Sammy's kind and friendly, in contrast with Byronic Hero Christian
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Tara and Kat.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: His father isn't very happy about his dancing, to the extent he stops paying Sammy's tuition in season two. This is mostly because dance is a very risky career, and his dad wants Sammy to have a financially secure path in life, although there’s also a side of gender-based discomfort because dancing is "feminine."

    Abigail 
Abigail Armstrong
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/abigail.jpg
Played by Dena Kaplan
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Abigail is initially quite a horrible person, but Sammy's persistence and support of her eventually makes her much nicer and she eventually falls in love with him despite her claims that she "[doesn't] do emotions."
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Abigail has numerous moments of angst in mirrors, and she once breaks Tara's mirror by kicking it in a moment of self-hatred.
  • Ship Tease: With Ethan in season two.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Tara and Abigail's ongoing rivalry simmers down and flares up from time to time, but it basically hinges around this idea. Abigail is the Technician. Originally the trope is played very straight, with the narrative being in Tara's favor, but as the show wears on, it explores the other side, showing Abigail's perspective sympathetically.

    Christian 
Christian Reed
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/christian.jpg
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's moody, closed-off, and can be horrible to his friends at times, especially Tara. Despite his troubles, he's kindhearted deep down, and becomes a teacher at the Academy to young children and loves it.
  • Parental Abandonment: His father abandoned him and his mother died.
  • The Stoic: Rarely shows much emotion.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Although he was never full Jerkass during the original series, he is significantly more kinder in The Movie since becoming a teacher, to the point where his break-up with Tara is pretty justifiable.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Tara with Kat in season two.

    Ethan 
Ethan Karamakov
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ethan.jpg
Played by Tim Pocock
  • Put on a Bus: To Barcelona
    • Back for the Finale: Okay, so Ethan came back in the penultimate episode, not the finale, but his reappearance at the end of season 2 still fills this trope.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Kat and Ethan respectively in the first season.
    Kat: You're still Golden Boy, I'm still Child of Concern.
  • Not So Different: With Grace in the final episode, both realize that they only dance because they feel like they should want to.
  • Relative Error: When Tara first meets them, she asks if Kat and Ethan are together. Later, a prospective love interest of Kat's asks the same thing.
    Footballer: Boyfriend or ex?
    Kat: Yuck, um, ew, no: Brother.
  • Ship Tease: With Abigail in season two.
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    Grace 
Grace Whitney
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grace_0.jpg
Played by Isabel Durant
  • Kick the Dog: Dancing The Red Shoes to mock Tara, knowing how much it means to her and after everything that happened with Saskia.
  • Put on a Bus: Doesn't appear in The Movie.
  • Secret Test of Character: She tells Tara their teacher kissed her, to see if Tara will stand by her. Tara doesn’t.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: She has a crush on her teacher Zach. He’s giving her private lessons at this point, and thus he’s perhaps the only person in her life who really pays attention to her and challenges her. Deconstructed: She kisses him, he doesn’t reciprocate, and it’s just bad.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A major aspect of Grace's MO. Example: destroying Tara's and her own shoes, to convince Tara that Abigail did it.
  • Yandere: Very close to it, with her attempting to have Zach fired when he rejects her. Also similar in how she handles her friendships with Abigail and Tara...

    Ben 
Ben Tickle
Played by Thomas Lacey
  • The Generic Guy: Not him, but his dancing: He's a great technician and has great charisma, but this is why he doesn't get a contract; the company already has many dancers like him.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He's a cancer survivor.
  • Ill Boy: His cancer comes back in The Movie. He recovers, then gets worse after dancing too intensely after a transplant.
  • Innocent Bigot: In his first episode, thanks to his constantly using the word "gay" in it's pejorative sense (and some Unfortunate Implications filled statements to Christian). Sammy gives him a talk, and he quickly snaps out of it.
  • Keet: In terms of hyperactivity.

    Ollie 
Ollie Lloyd


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Other Characters

    Miss Raine 
Miss Raine
Played by Tara Morice
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
    Miss Raine: All the teachers are tough—I'm tough on you.
    Tara: Yeah, but when you're tough on me I know why. I don't always like it, but it's to make me a better dancer.

    Saskia 
Saskia Duncan
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Why she actually despises Tara so much.
  • Never My Fault: She repeatedly denies that there is anything cruel or unusual about her treatment of Tara, or that she was the one responsible for Tara's injury.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Near the end of season 3, when she's talking to Tara about being a professional dancer.
    Saskia: That's fantastic, love it all you like. But, being a professional is about what you do on your worst night—when it's your 100th performance, the orchestra's playing too fast, your costume falls off. You can't just stop and turn to the audience and say, "Sorry, no magic."

    Petra 
Petra Hoffman
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