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Series / The Next Step

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The Next Step is a live-action Canadian drama series on Family Channel. It tells the story of the Next Step studio's dancers training to win Regionals for the first time in 10 years. The studio has three troupes: J-Troupe, for junior dancers; B-Troupe, for amateur dancers, and A-Troupe, for professional dancers. Tension starts when the new girl, Michelle, shows up and Emily, the dance captain, becomes threatened by her. This jealousy could get in the way of the dancers focusing on their top priority of teamwork and winning Regionals.


This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Luther Brown calls West "Southside."
    • West even references the fact that his name is not hard to get, but, is flattered nonetheless.
  • Adorkable: Noah
  • Aloof Big Sister: During Season 1, Emily gains this attitude towards Riley after she calls Emily out in front of the entire studio, announcing that Emily did not give Kate and Chris any input on the dance positions for their routine for Regionals, and says that Michelle should not be in the back row.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Throughout Season 1, Emily exhibits this.
    • Moreso than Emily, Amanda exhibits this from Season 1 to late Season 2.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Giselle in the episode "First Date" after she makes it into A-Troupe to replace Emily, who left the studio for Elite.
    • Noah in Season 3.
    • Richelle and Skylar in Season 4.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • James and Riley in the episodes "First Date," "We Are Family," and "Game On."
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch:
    • This is how Stephanie views Tiffany voting for Michelle to be the new dance captain instead of Emily.
    • Advertisement:
    • Chloe, West, Daniel, Michelle, Riley, and James do this in creating a dance routine behind Emily's back in order to dethrone her as dance captain.
  • Beta Bitch: Stephanie during Season 1.
  • Better as Friends: As of the episode "Hazy Shade of Winter" Hunter just wants to be friends with Michelle shortly after telling her that he wants to be with Emily.
    • Emily and West come to this in the episode "Coming Home".
  • Birds of a Feather: Eldon and Thalia
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Amanda in Season 2
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In "Sabotage" Michelle becomes the new dance captain, leaving Emily betrayed and in tears. Due to failing his math exam, James will be pulled from the studio.
    • "Game On" ends with James having hope of getting back together with Riley and Riley in turn realizes how much she misses James. Meanwhile, Emily has to risk getting her peers to hate her again, as part of a plan to get Amanda kicked out of the studio after realizing that she's The Mole.
    • "What Dreamers Do" ends with The Next Step winning Nationals, only to later find out that they're being evicted from their studio. This episode ends with Lucien giveing Kate a proposition: his studio, Elite, merges with The Next Step.
    • Advertisement:
    • Although A-Troupe wins Internationals at the end of "How It Ends," Riley and Eldon are left wondering what happens now that the team has won it all.
    • "No Good Deed," ends with Amy getting back onto A-Troupe, but at the cost of Piper's spot.
  • Black Best Friend:
    • Chris to Kate
    • Tiffany to Stephanie
    • West to James, Eldon, and Hunter
    • Henry to Noah
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Averted with Thalia and Eldon
  • Break the Cutie: In the episode "Can you Keep a Secret," Michelle finds out about Chloe's job when she sees her on the bus, and agrees to keep the job a secret by Chloe's request. Yet, because of her job, which causes her to arrive late and leave early, Chloe is met with displeasure and is believed to be undedicated. One day, Chloe ends up having to leave before solo dance auditions and returns up after they end. Because of this, Emily completely downgrades her about it, telling her that she deserves to be in B-Troupe. Chloe ends up running out of the studio, crying. Poor girl.
  • British Stuffiness: Inverted with Ella
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Phoebe
  • Celebrity Star:
    • Canadian band Brighter Brightest makes an appearance "Video Killed the Radio Star."
    • Canadian dancer, Stacey Tookey appears throughout the Regionals competition in Season 1.
    • World-renowned choreographer, Luther Brown appears in "Run This Town" to assist in the boys' small group choreography.
    • Tre Armstrong appears throughout the Nationals competition in Season 2.
    • Ballet dancer, Sonia Rodrigues is the auditioner for The Nutcracker in "The Nutcracker Prince."
    • Ashley Leggat appears throughout the Internationals competition in Season 3.
  • Control Freak: Emily during Season 1
  • Character Development:
    • Michelle starts off as the Naïve Everygirl and Shrinking Violet, but yet becomes more assertive and confident as time progresses.
    • Eldon becomes less awkward and delusional about being with Emily. Eventually, Eldon enters a serious relationship with Thalia
    • There's also Emily, who Took a Level in Kindness towards Eldon, Riley, and even Michelle, and improves her own mindset based on advice given to her from Eldon so she can improve on her dancing as well as grow confident in herself.
    • Stephanie starts off as a bossy, rude, and snarky girl who isn't very accepting of change, yet becomes nicer and friendlier towards the other dancers as the series goes on, while still retaining her snarkiness.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • Richelle and Noah
    • Giselle and Daniel
    • LaTroy and Sloane
  • Childhood Friend Romance:
    • Richelle develops a crush on Noah, who she has been best friends with since they were in J-Troupe.
    • Sloane develops feelings for LaTroy. She even admits that she cannot pinpoint the exact time when she began liking him, but that it feels like she has for a long time.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
    • West and Phoebe fall under this the most
    • Beth exhibits this as well
    • Thalia is later revealed to have shades of this
  • Defector from Decadence: Chloe eventually leaves the E-Girls and becomes a part of a group that has created a secret routine to dethrone Emily as dance captain due to becoming tired of Emily's ill-treatment of her.
    • Amanda leaves due to growing tired of resorting to cheating in order to win against The Next Step.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • This happens to Giselle after she is demoted to B-Troupe.
    • This happens to both Tiffany and Stephanie in Season 2, when they are demoted to B-Troupe.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • This happens to Emily after having her dance captaincy taken away in "Sabotage."
    • This happens to Michelle at the end of "Hazy Shade of Winter" and at the beginning of the episode "Game On" to the point where she leaves The Next Step.
  • Determinator: Nearly every character in the series falls into this.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: When Riley gets her braces off, she is determined to have everybody notice the change, although nobody can seem to guess that she got her braces off and she is instead met with a series of guesses that are incorrect, such as having gotten a new haircut, or being happy because she is wearing a tropical shirt. Eventually, Michelle figures it out.
    Riley: Notice anything different about me?
    Cierra: Well, you seem very happy.
    Riley: Yes, yes! And why would that be?
    Cierra: You won the lottery.
    Riley: No, no. Uh... but try again!
    Skylar: Your shirt! It's, like, islands. It's a choice.
    Cierra: The hair! It's the hair.
  • Don't Split Us Up: Cierra and Skylar make a pact that if one of them makes it onto A-Troupe and the other doesn't, neither of them will be on the
troupe. When Skylar makes it onto A-Troupe and Cierra doesn't, Skylar decides to stay in the troupe, much to Cierra's chagrin.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In "Changes," Emily still has a grudge against Riley for being a part of the group responsible for overthrowing her as dance captain. When Riley tries to speak to her, Emily outright says that she doesn't even think of her as a sister.
    • "Break Stuff" ends with Daniel spraining his ankle, thus disallowing him from dancing at Regionals.
    • In "It Takes Two", Riley catches Beth kissing James and runs away, crying and questioning her relationship with him.
    • "What I'll Do" has James successfully convince Riley that his kiss with Beth meant nothing and that he still loves her, only for it to fail one once Riley sees Beth enter the room, causing her to break up James.
    • "Hazy Shade of Winter" ends with Michelle deciding to leave the Next Step.
    • "Sacrifice" ends with Amanda telling Emily that she has to break up with Hunter to prove her loyalty to her.
    • "Heartbreaker" ends with Amanda forcing Emily to break up with Hunter so that she could prove her loyalty to her.
    • "Better Than This" ends with A-Troupe attending Michelle's debate to convince her to re-join the Next Step. Unfortunately, Michelle refuses.
    • "Under Pressure" ends with Emily being suspended from The Next Step, after being framed for stealing the studio's money for Nationals by Amanda.
    • "You Love Me" ends with it appearing as though the team will be unable to compete in the finals due to Emily's injury.
    • "The Times They Are A Changin'" ends with Emily bidding a farewell to the Next Step, as she won't be able to dance due to her sprained knee.
    • "She's Not You" ends with Lucien being revealed to be the judge of the final round of Internationals.
    • "Simple Twist of Fate" ends with A-Troupe not qualifying for Regionals.
  • "How Deep Is Your Love" ends with Noah receiving a premature call from the doctor's office which states that Noah needs immediate back surgery from which he may never recover.
    • "Heat of the Moment" ends with Piper witnessing Riley kissing Alfie and, thus, cheating on James, her older brother.
    • "Karma Police" ends with Riley breaking up with James.
  • Dream Sequence: In "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Riley dreams of kissing Alfie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: "Just Dance" ends with James successfully convincing Michelle to return to The Next Step and getting back together with Riley.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Phoebe is first introduced, she performs an interpretive dance that dutifully establishes how zany she is.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: James struggles with math throughout Season 1 and his mother, Deborah, even references the fact that unless he leaves the studio, he will never pay attention to his math work, as nobody likes math.
    Deborah:James will do what he always does, which is find something more fun to do than math. And that's not hard, root canals at the dentist are more fun than math!
  • Evolving Credits: Each season of the show has opening credits with different people in them.
    • There are multiple opening credits for Season 3, as there are many character departures.
    • Season 4's opening credits feature completely different effects and designs from past credits.
  • Fangirl: Riley is revealed to be one towards the band Brighter Brightest in the episode "Radio Killed the Radio Star".
  • First Kiss: Emily kisses Eldon in the first episode of Season 1.5 after she's seen sitting by herself for the second time and Eldon comforts her.
    • In the episode "First Date", Riley and James share their first kiss on their first date.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Sloane falls for her best friend, LaTroy. Although, LaTroy does not like her back and develops a relationship with her other friend, Amy. As a result, Sloane falls out with both LaTroy and Amy. Sloane later makes up with Amy and attempts to make up with LaTroy.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Emily exhibits this toward Michelle in Season 1.
    • Hunter becomes this to Eldon, once he finds out that Michelle is with Eldon.
    • In Season 2, Riley exhibits this attitude towards Beth, one of James's ex-girlfriends.
  • Girl Posse:
    • The E-Girls until their disbandment.
    • The Zero Percent Club
  • Guardian Angel: Margie is implied to be this to Chloe in "Do The Right Thing."
  • Heel–Face Mole: In Season 2, Amanda, joins The Next Step in order to prevent the studio from winning Nationals, all while still being a part of Elite.
  • Heel–Face Turn: As of Season 3, Amanda ends up joining The Next Step for real.
  • Heel Realization: Daniel experiences this in "I Hope I Get It" after Stephanie is chosen over him to be the member of A-Troupe to replace Chloe.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • In Season 1, Stephanie decides that she wants to become a triple threat.
    • Since Chloe's father lost his job, she has to juggle two jobs and dance in order to pay for the latter. Because of this, she often leaves the rehearsal early or arrives late, yet she is too embarrassed to tell the other dancers about it.
    • During the auditions for a solo spot in the Regionals routine, Daniel tweaks his ankle, causing a previous injury to return, yet he hides this so he can keep his solo.
    • Emily reveals that she isn't very confident about her own dancing, which she does not incorporate her peers' moves into her routine; she simply cannot do them.
    • During the recap episode, Riley questions whether or not coming up with the plan to overthrow Emily as Dance Captain was a good idea, since it practically destroyed her relationship with her sister.
    • West is full of this all throughout Season 2:
      • For instance, he enjoys slipping dollar bills into library books and grows a fondness for Emily despite Emily thinking of herself as horrible to be around.
    • Zara reveals herself to be a mathlete.
  • Hypocrite: In "Hazy Shade of Winter," Michelle confronts Emily after seeing her kiss her ex-boyfriend, Hunter, claiming it to be an act of disregard for the history she had history with with him. Although, a season ago, it was Michelle who was crushing on and seeking out Eldon even though Emily was still in a relationship with him. Thankfully, Emily points this out, making Michelle realize that she herself isn't any better.
  • Important Haircut: Riley sports short hair from Season 2, onward.
  • Informed Ability: Emily is noticeably not as strong a dancer as the rest of the cast, but other characters are frequently impressed by her talent.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Emily states that "E-Girls" really just stands for "Emily Girls," while the other members just think it's because all of them have an "ee" sound to the ends of their first names (minus Giselle).
    • Emily states that she thinks of the studio as an "Emilyocracy."
    • As the show progresses, this trope applies most to Michelle, who regularly brags about being the best dancer or complaining about her life.
  • It's All My Fault: Riley says a variation of this in the re-cap episode of Season 1, as she feels completely responsible for destroying her relationship with Emily.
  • I Told You So: Emily says this to Riley right after revealing to her that Amanda is The Mole.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Near the end of the episode "Heartbreaker," Beth exhibits this in backing off of James once she realizes that James loves Riley more than he loves her.
  • The Prankster:
    • Ella is the largest example of this
    • James exhibits this on occasion
    • Once she befriends Ella, Riley begins to exhibit this
  • Ladykiller in Love: James, who falls in love with Riley.
  • Leaningonthe Fourth Wall: James states in a Confession Cam that he could see Stephanie being on television.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: This occurs when James moves to England for a hip-hop competition, leaving Riley at the studio.
  • Love Triangle:
    • There's a Love Triangle between Michelle, Emily, and Eldon.
    • There's a Love Triangle between Beth, James, and Riley
    • There's a Love Triangle between Hunter, Eldon, and Michelle which officially ends after Hunter reveals that he wants to be with Emily as of the episode "Hazy Shade of Winter".
    • A Love Triangle later develops between LaTroy, Amy, and Sloane.
  • Manipulative Bitch:
    • Emily, Stephanie and Tiffany exhibits this until Season 1.5 and Season 2.
    • Amanda is this even moreso than Emily was, especially during Season 2.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Eldon has claimed many-a-time to have multiple brothers.
  • Morality Pet: In Season 1.5, Eldon becomes this towards Emily.
  • I Have Brothers: After Ella displays expertise in sports and other boy-ish activities, she explains that she has five older brothers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • During earlier Season 1.5, Riley feels guilt for being a part of taking away Emily's captaincy, thus destroying her relationship with her.
    • During episode 13 Season 1, Eldon confesses his love for Emily (complete with a radio and cue cards) in front of the entire studio, which makes Emily feel embarrassed to the point where she tears apart one of the cue cards and says that she'll never be his girlfriend. This causes Eldon to walk away from Studio A, feeling heartbroken. Later in the episode, it's revealed that Emily feels guilty for what she did.
  • Not So Different: Emily and then J-trouper Richelle exhibit this, which is even lampshaded by Emily.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Prior to the episode "It's My Party," Abi, a B-Troupe dancer, is oblivious to Noah's crush on her.
    • Noah is blissfully unaware of Richelle's crush on him.
    • LaTroy does not know that Sloane likes him in fact, it is Henry who has to tell him as much.
  • Odd Couple: Amanda and Noah
  • Only One Name: Applies to all of the show's characters, except for guest stars, Chuck Anderson, Lisa Thompson and, later, West.
  • Properly Paranoid: Emily is suspicious of Amanda when she becomes a part of The Next Step.
  • Pieinthe Face: Eldon smashes a whole cake into Hunter's face in "Sacrifice."
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Happens to Chris after he leaves The Next Step to become choreographer of a rival studio, Superstar Dance Academy.
    • Happens to Stephanie and Tiffany after being demoted to B-Troupe in Season 2.
    • Daniel after leaving the Next Step studio.
    • This happens to Chloe after she accepts a role in "The Nutcracker," and is, thus, replaced by Stephanie.
    • Such occurs to Abi after she is written off the show with no explanation as to what happened to her. Although, it has since been revealed that the reason for the character's absence is that the actress who portrays her ran away from home and was subsequently fired.
  • Suddenly Ethnicity: This occurs when Thalia reveals that her mother is Polish and that she can, therefore, speak Polish, leaving her peers shocked and amazed.
  • The Quiet One: Max
  • The Rival:
    • Elite and, later, Gemini, is this to The Next Step
    • Hunter and Eldon become this to each other in Season 2 but eventually become friends in "Sacrifice."
    • In Season 3, Shantel, a dancer originally from Elite, is this to Giselle.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Michelle delivers one to Emily during the Season 1 finale after Emily tells Kate that some of the dancers have come up with their own choreography behind her back.
    Michelle:Emily is a horrible dance captain! You're bossy, you're rude, you yell at people, you don't include anyone's ideas! You make us not even wanna dance! A good dance captain doesn't tear the team apart.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: James has an undying and highly referenced love for shawarma.
  • Rebel Prince: Alfie
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Emily gains a crush on Eldon and they eventually become an Official Couple.
    • Happens to James and Riley after their first date.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: James and Eldon have this initial attitude towards Hunter once he tells them that he wants to become friends.
    • Michelle initially has this attitude towards Amanda in Season 3.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Shantel quits the Next Step after Giselle is chosen to be the new dance captain over her in "I'm Your Captain."
  • Secret Keeper: After her father lost his job, Chloe got one in order to pay for dance. Too embarrassed to tell her wealthier comrades, Chloe keeps this a secret for most of Season 1.
  • Shout-Out: Almost every episode title of the series is named after a title of a song, most of which were popular at some point.
  • Spin-Off:
    • Taking The Next Step, a reality series produced for CBBC that sought to find a young British dancer to appear on the show as a guest star.
    • Lost and Found Music Studios, a series created by Family that is set in the same universe as The Next Step, in a music studio just down the hall from the dance studio.
  • Take a Third Option: In Season 1, the dancers are assigned duets. Naturally, Eldon agrees to being both Michelle and Emily's partner, leaving Chloe without one. After being told to so by James, Eldon ultimately picks Chloe to be his duet partner and performs a flawless duet with her. How this is possible when they had not rehearsed a routine prior, God alone knows.
  • Team Mom: Kate is this to the dancers of the studio, especially Emily
  • Terrible Trio: Emily, Stephanie and Tiffany become this later on in Season 1
  • The "The" Title
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Daniel "Old Friends" and from "Game, Set, Match" to "I Hope I Get It."
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Emily towards Eldon during and, later, Michelle.
    • Stephanie towards Michelle when Michelle lets her return to the studio after she was rejected by Elite.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Happens throughout the series.
  • Tsundere: Emily is a Tsundere throughout Season 1 towards Eldon
  • Undercover as Lovers: Hunter and Emily pretend to like each other in order to get Michelle and Eldon jealous.
  • Undying Loyalty: Stephanie towards Emily
    • Tiffany also has this towards Stephanie
  • Unknown Rival: During the majority of Season 1, Michelle is unaware that Emily is threatened. Eventually, Michelle catches on.
    • Emily does not realize that Amanda does not trust her in Season 2, until Amanda frames her for stealing the Regionals money.
    • Beth is most likely unaware of Riley's dislike for her.
  • Unfortunate Implications: To quell Noah's fear of kissing her for the first time, Amanda lies that she already kissed him while he was under anesthetic. Thankfully, she was lying.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • This is the bane of Thalia and Eldon's relationship in Season 3. While the two clearly like each other, to the point that even J-Trouper, Noah, is aware, Thalia and Eldon are not allowed to act upon their feelings because... James doesn't want them to? Huh.
  • Useless Security Camera: A security camera is located in the Closet in the Music Room. Although, the footage from this camera is never used when attempting to find out who stole the Nationals costumes.
  • Working with the Ex: This is an inevitable trope, as all the dancers who date and break up are members of the same dance studio.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Children/Chicken?:
    • For an unknown reason, Chloe has a fear of children, as revealed in the episode "Steal My Sunshine."
    • After being attacked by one as a child, Riley has an ongoing fear of chicken, as revealed in "Bad Moon Rising."
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • James cheats on Riley with Beth in "It Takes Two."
    • Riley later cheats on James with Alfie and commences a relationship.

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