Lindsey Russell and Sam and Mark travel the country to find a performer who will appear on The Next Step. Regional auditions continue.
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Taking The Next Step is back.
Over 2,300 dancers from across the UK applied to win the opportunity
of a lifetime and appear on the smash hit Canadian TV show
The Next Step.
The Taking The Next Step team travelled all over the UK.
Let's go, Glasgow!
We have arrived in London.
Bore da! That means good morning, cos today we are in Cardiff.
Where only the very best will perform for the judges -
actor and dancer Jonny Labey...
Your technique is...outstanding.
..founder of dance group, Flawless, Marlon "Swoosh" Wallen...
That was absolutely brilliant. Flawless, definitely.
..and returning as head judge,
professional dancer and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt.
You have got sass for days.
But who will make it to all the way to Canada?
The search is on.
-We've got work to do.
-Yeah, we do.
This is Taking The Next Step.
Across the country, our Taking The Next Step hopefuls
have been limbering up and perfecting their moves
in preparation to face the judges.
I'm feeling really excited to go in front of the judges today
and show them what I've got.
I'm really excited today because I'm going to audition
for Taking The Next Step.
I'm really looking forward to try and impress Kimberly Wyatt.
If she thought I was good then I'd be really, really happy.
The competition is tough.
I think you're brilliant and it's a definite yes.
And to make things even tougher, each dancer will need a yes
from all three judges to get a ticket to Nationals.
Come get it.
Get your ticket.
What a beautiful day in Manchester.
They're all in there, should we get in there?
-Let's in there.
-Manchester! Manchester. Mad for it!
First to try and dazzle the judges with her dancing,
and also her leotard, it's Lauren.
Hi, my name's Lauren and I'm nine.
I've just been practising and practising every single day.
I'm mostly excited and a little bit nervous
because you never know what's going to happen when you're dancing.
Ow, my eyes! You're so bright!
Wowzers! Now that, that is a good look.
-How are you today?
You look amazing.
Thank you. How are you?
Oh, pretty good. Excited to get started here in Manchester.
Are you a big fan of The Next Step?
Yes, I watch it every single day, I can't stop watching it.
Do you have a few favourite characters?
Yeah. I love West because he just goes for it all the time.
And what would it mean to you to get through to Nationals?
It would mean the world to me.
Dance has basically been my life, I've been dancing since I was two.
Well, I can't wait to see you dance. Your time to shine is now.
MUSIC: Send My Love (To Your New...) by Adele
She got so much in in such a short space of time.
Wow. How did that feel?
I just enjoyed it.
Good. You could tell you love to dance.
You're definitely born to dance.
You have so many tricks up your sleeve, it's unbelievable.
-You're so strong.
-That was incredible.
You're such a bundle of energy.
-I really enjoyed it.
-Wowser. What a great start to the morning.
-Very, very solid audition. Good job.
You need three yeses to get through to Nationals.
I'm going to say yes.
-I do feel like there's room for improvement,
I do feel like you could take your time at some points...
-But definitely great potential,
I'm going to say yes as well.
So it's all down to Kim.
I think that this show could really use a dancer like you,
and I can't wait to see you at Nationals.
It's a yes.
Good job. Thank you so much, lovely.
-Well done, sweetheart.
-What a great little star.
So, luminous Lauren leaves with a ticket to Nationals.
She made it like this was her own dance studio and yeah,
you guys can watch me, I don't care if you do or if you don't.
-Welcome to Lauren Land.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Perfection all across the board.
It was brilliant, we loved it, absolutely loved it.
It was so good, you're so good. Lauren, we'll see you at Nationals.
-High-five. Nice one, Mum.
-Bring it in. Bring it in.
-See you later.
-Bring it in. Off you go.
The standard of the competition is unbelievably high,
but in London the pressure doesn't seem to be a problem
for 11-year-old ballet dancer Oliver.
I hear there's something you do when you're feeling a little bit nervous
-before an audition.
-I shake off.
-Shake it off?
-How do we do that?
-You go one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
-One, two, three,
four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four...
-Come on Mum, join in.
-One, two, three, four, five, six...
Oh, wow, OK. Gosh. And then you just...
-One, two, one, two, one, two, one, two.
-Well, I feel ready.
-Are you a Next Step fan?
-Yeah, really big fan.
-Who's your favourite character?
-Well, the floor is yours, mate, and best of luck.
MUSIC: Read All About It by Emeli Sande
I've got goose bumps.
It's going to set me off.
That was wow!
Turns are fantastic. Nice and flawless.
Now it's just time to just get the strength.
Just really work on those strength exercises.
-Feet need a little bit of work.
Sometimes they become a bit fishy when they come off the ground,
you don't want a floppy fish when you're jumping in the air.
-Really work on getting that strength to hold it.
-You need three yeses.
Let's start with Kimberly.
I would love to have a ballet boy in Nationals.
I think The Next Step celebrates all styles of dance.
-I'm going to give you a yes.
As a male dancer, we have a job to be powerful.
-And it takes a lot of basic, boring exercises
to get that strength, to get that power.
So, really work on those things.
-So, for me, it's going to be a no today.
Thank you very much. Good job.
-Come on through. Oliver, how are you feeling?
-I'll work on it.
We were stood watching, just so impressed,
that was such a brilliant audition.
What did you think to their comments?
-Do think they were fair?
-Yeah, I think they were fair.
I need to work on strength.
You managed to impress Kimberly with ballet and that is tough.
-That I wasn't sure if you could do, and you smashed that.
-It's just, it was the boys, wasn't it?
Don't worry, I'll have words with them later.
-Really, really good audition.
-Well done, you.
As the dancers wait it out backstage,
it's clear just how much they love to move.
Dance makes me feel happy.
And when I dance, I feel in my own world,
I feel like I can do anything.
Dancing just makes me feel happy and all the emotions.
Dancing makes me feel like I can do anything.
And these Next Steppers feel the same.
It makes me feel confident, that's one thing for sure.
It is the one outlet in my life where I can express myself
and I can fully be me.
I feel on top of the world when I dance.
It makes us feel like I'm on cloud nine
because I can just lose myself through dance.
Just landed in Glasgow from cloud nine is 11-year-old Jolie.
# Jolie, Jolie, Jolie, Jolie. #
Come and stand over here for us, and let's have a look at this.
How you feeling, Jolie? You all right?
-Excited and nervous.
-Excited and nervous.
-What's the ratio? Excited? Up here.
-Which is nervous?
That's it? That's nerves.
-Let's get it to about here.
-And then we're all right then, aren't we?
It's your time to shine. Take the floor.
MUSIC: Intro by The xx
-A standing ovation from Jonny.
-First one of the day.
Jolie, you are a little rocket, aren't you?
You had some really nice moments, you showed us your technique,
your pirouettes, the way you glided through them was beautiful.
I can tell you that you've got a background and a training,
which is really, really important,
but you've also got the tricks.
I could go on and I could go on, but I'm not,
I'm going to pass it to Swoosh, well done.
Another dancer that's passionate about what they do,
and that's exactly what we love.
You're a powerhouse performer.
It was fantastic.
Your understanding of technique,
and your strength is beautiful.
-So, you need three yeses to go through to Nationals.
It's for sure yes. Absolutely.
Well, you know...
Come on, Swoosh!
-It's a yes from me.
-Come on, man - yeah!
Come here, little powerhouse.
-Get your card for Nationals.
-Really good job, keep it up.
We'll see you there.
Well done, mate!
For all our auditionees, this isn't just any prize on offer.
The winner of the competition will travel to Canada
to appear on the hit show The Next Step.
They'll join the cast and make a guest appearance
in a brand-new episode.
The winner of Taking The Next Step is actually going to be here
in studio A with us and we are going to have so much fun.
The winner will be able to meet the cast, be on set
and dance with us. I'm so excited to meet them.
Hoping that her unusual dance style will get her a step closer
to Canada, it's 12-year-old Saffa.
-How are you?
And what style of dance will you be doing today?
-And a bit of contemporary.
MUSIC: Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Well, that was unique, Saffa, how did you feel that went?
I think it went A-OK.
Your ability to do what you can do with your body is amazing.
I think now you need to work on strength, so that when you're doing
your spider crawl on the ground that you don't sort of flop out of it,
you can finish it all the way around.
But I think you're onto something amazing,
I really like this fusion of contortion and dance.
-Really well done.
Kimberly's right. In terms of training and going back to ballet,
if you've got strength behind all of those moves,
you're onto something really special.
Will Saffa's superhuman suppleness see her through to the next round?
I'll start with a yes.
I think that where you are right now, and basing it on
what I need to judge it on, today it's going to be a no.
-But I believe that if you take the notes on board and come back,
I think that you'll be solid.
-Thank you, Saffa.
-Thank you, everyone.
-Thank you, darling.
Unlucky, Saffa. It's a no this time from straight-talking Swoosh.
He's the sharp-dressing, no-messing choreographer and performer
in one of the UK's most successful dance crews, Flawless.
# Absolutely flawless. #
There's no denying Marlon "Swoosh" Wallen is our
go-to guru when it comes to street.
People get this confused all the time.
Whether that's popping with precision...
Your pop is where you pop.
..or locking like no-one's looking.
Your lock is where you lock.
He can be a hard nut to crack.
Be more dynamic and have contrast.
If I'm going to go into a wave,
slow it down maybe and pick it up, speed it up.
I would like to see you use the space a bit more.
Just chill with it and then attack.
But he doesn't hold back when he likes what he sees.
You shaped your body into creating instruments,
and that's exactly what it's all about.
Someone who will definitely be looking for a yes from Swoosh
is 11-year-old Ashton.
I mainly grew up doing freestyle and that's what I'm hoping to
impress the judges with today, because that's what I've been doing
-all my life.
-You've been through a sort of audition process before,
haven't you, with Justin Bieber?
You've been on stage with Justin Bieber?
Yeah, I danced behind him as one of his like kind of backup dancers.
Wow! So, at one of his concerts?
-Yeah, in Sheffield.
That's awesome, get in there.
See, it's fine. You'll be fine, mate,
you've danced with Justin. This is nothing.
-How are you?
-I'm doing fine, thanks.
What style of dance will you be doing for us today?
-And who are your inspirations?
-Michael Jackson, mainly.
The floor is yours, let's see you dance.
MUSIC: Louder by DJ Fresh, featuring Sian Evans
Good lad, good lad.
Ashton, Ashton, Ashton...
can I just start by saying that you've actually
-been the best popper on this show so far.
I don't think I've ever seen anyone moonwalk on their knees before.
So, that says a lot about you as an artist and you as a popper
and how seriously you take this as a genre of dance.
Ashton, what's your story?
As I've grown up, I've really just taught myself.
-Just like on YouTube and stuff.
Yeah! I think you're brilliant,
I think you've got the beginnings of something absolutely phenomenal.
I want you to start understanding how good you are
and bring that to your performance, because I think you could be
a bit more electric with it, I think you could perform out a bit.
So, you need three yeses to get through to Nationals.
-For me, it's a yes.
One, come on.
It's a yes from me.
I think you could do quite well at Nationals,
-it's a yes from me.
-Thank you so much.
Nice work, mate!
Yes, mate! Yes, mate!
He's 11 years old and the level of popping that he is now,
he's going to be insane in a couple of years.
-How are you feeling after that?
My practice paid off and I'm so happy about it.
Up next in Cardiff, it's a family affair.
These sisters are getting set for their first ever audition.
I'm Jasmine and I'm 15.
I'm Shola and I'm 15.
Together, we're twins.
She is the most craziest person that you could ever, ever meet.
She's something else. She's not someone you'd normally meet
on a regular basis, she's a one-of-a-kind child.
We've always danced together, there's not really been a time
when we haven't. She loves The Next Step.
I'm a fan of The Next Step, and I just drag her along.
I think it'll be like a really good experience for us.
We're trying to do everything new.
What happens if one gets through and one doesn't?
Have we discussed a plan?
-You've got a plan.
-I'm very supportive...
but she isn't.
So, Jasmine, you'll be fuming if you don't get through?
-Well, obviously, I hope you both get through.
Who's going first, Shola?
-Yeah, that's me.
-OK, well good luck, off you go.
We'll be standing watching.
It's that way. Shola, it's that way, don't miss the audition.
Off you go. Good luck.
How are you feeling?
Very long drive, with my twin sister.
OK. Well, the floor is yours, we're looking forward to seeing it.
-Are you nervous?
-I am slightly nervous.
MUSIC: Water Under The Bridge by Adele
Have you auditioned a lot?
-No, I really haven't.
I'm used to dancing in a crew or hiding behind my sister.
Shola, you are a really good dancer.
You have individualism that's fantastic and I love.
I want you to find that fire and share it with us,
don't come in and say you're tired.
-You find it, you bring it in, you share it, you leave it,
then you go be tired afterwards.
You didn't sell it today...
so it is a no.
-Thank you, Shola.
-You're good, you're good.
With Shola out of the competition,
it's Jasmine's turn to convince the judges that she's got what it takes
to make it to Nationals.
-You are definitely a twin.
-It's like the same person just walked in.
Wait a minute...
All right, well, your time to shine is now.
MUSIC: Rather Be by Clean Bandit, feat Jess Glynne
Oh, I love that.
Aw, good job.
Well done, Jasmine.
You've got fire, you know how to perform,
you've got confidence enough to look out and sell it, which is fantastic.
Technically, as soon as you do something technical,
I can see you need more work on that.
You need classes and ballet and really understanding your body
and placement when you go for a big jump or a leap or a kick
or anything like that.
But I really enjoyed your performance, well done.
-I think you've both obviously got the same styles
because you're used to working with each other,
but now you need to find your own voice as a dancer,
because that was a really solid audition.
-It's a yes from me.
Jasmine, I have to go by what is in front of me right now.
I feel like it's just more time and more experience that's needed,
-so for that I'm going to say no.
It's a no for today, but thank you so much for coming.
-Thank you, Jasmine.
Both of you, first audition,
I'd say it went pretty well, really, with all the positive comments
that you got back.
-I'm so tired.
-I bet you're glad it's over, aren't you?
All the nerves, you can shake it out now.
Go celebrate, because you should both be really proud
that you made it this far. Well done.
Although it's a no, the sisters still leave with a smile.
And they weren't the only ones finding it tough
to get to Nationals.
In Glasgow, 15-year-old Hayley showed off her skills
and impressed the judges with her brilliant bendiness.
Hello, superhuman back!
But it wasn't enough.
It's the in-betweens that you've really got to work on,
so that they're just as dynamic as all these amazing superhuman things
you can do.
It would be a no for me, but it would be a tough one,
because you are phenomenal at what you do.
Also in Glasgow, ten-year-old John Paul busted out
some break dance moves.
John Paul, I think you've got loads of potential,
but I think for today, I'm not so sure you gave us enough
to get through to Nationals.
In Cardiff, 14-year-old Shannon showed off some sky-high kicks,
but that wasn't enough to take her to the next stage.
I feel like you've got a lot more to explore and find yourself
as a dancer.
-Today, it's going to be a no.
-But really good audition, thank you for coming in.
And in London, 11-year-old Elia's swagger and sass
didn't manage to sway the judges this time.
Overall, the performance was a very, very good performance.
I do feel like there could have been more of your character
that comes out.
So, it's a no from me today, but keep fighting.
-Thank you, darling, well done.
-Well done, well done.
Auditioning can be really hard, you have to have a lot of confidence
to put yourself out there to be judged, but it's important that
you do because the criticism you're going to get just makes
you better and that's what we all want,
to become a better dancer, a better actor, hopefully a better person.
In London, the day is drawing to a close,
but 15-year-old Charlie still has it all to play for.
I'm feeling rather excited now.
I was quite nervous, but as the day's come on,
I've become less nervous.
I'm really excited about meeting the judges,
especially Marlon, just because I really enjoy choreographing dances
and his expertise is choreography.
And that's not all he's good at, by the looks of things.
Oh, I love a massage, me.
-Wowser. Right here?
-Charlie, my friend, come on in. How are you doing?
-Good, thank you.
Brought some fans with you today?
-Come on over. Who's this?
-It's my dad and my mum.
-Guys, how are you?
-Hi, good, thanks.
-Feeling good? A bit nervous for Charlie?
Wouldn't be Taking The Next Step without nervous parents.
We like that. What are you going to be dancing today?
-OK, and do you train in any other styles?
Contemporary and ballet.
So are you going to chuck some ballet in or keep it street?
Street with a little bit of contemporary.
OK. We like the sound of that.
-How's it going?
-Good, thank you.
-Well, the floor is yours, take it away.
MUSIC: Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz
He really tells a story, doesn't he?
-Are you OK, Mum?
-Nice! Do you watch The Next Step?
It's literally like you could just go...
..and just fit you right in.
Dad, are you all right?
You got that look, and I think you really played with that cheekiness
when you look towards us. I really, really enjoyed it.
Great performer, great dancer, great use of space, great look.
I can't really fault you, I think you did a really good audition.
So, you know we need three yeses to take you to Nationals,
so this is the tough part.
As soon as you leave this room, work on your acting,
cos you've got everything else.
It's a yes.
I can see you as a working dancer,
and I think this could be a really good platform
to kind of get that going.
It's a yes from me.
What would it mean for you to make it to Nationals?
At the minute, it's everything to me. Just, dance is everything I do,
I do it all the time.
There's more in you, I do believe that.
Come and get your ticket.
Well done, well done.
Swoosh keeping us waiting, there! That was exhausting.
Yes! Oh, my goodness.
Ultimately, just be exactly who you are.
-You're going to Nationals.
-See you there, dude.
See you at Nationals, Charlie.
I'm off for a lie down after that.
Charlie, how was that?
-I bet you're shaking.
You danced your socks off in there, almost literally.
I mean, you gave it everything.
What do you think of what the judges said to you?
I've got to practise my acting...
-..and be myself.
Exactly. They just want to see Charlie.
I think dance-wise, we don't have to worry.
That was pretty faultless, wasn't it?
-That was a good closer for the day.
-Yeah, really good closer.
-Go on, London!
You could have warned me that they were so emotional!
We've been stood here crying, Charlie!
Well done, you - see you at Nationals. Well done, buddy.
Next time on Taking The Next Step...
Feet are on fire!
You was still interacting, you was
enjoying what you was doing.
What kind of moisturiser do you use?
Cos you are gorgeous.
You float through the air, it's brilliant.
Who's your inspiration?
No need to be nervous, you're so beautifully on point.
That's the first time I've actually just been, like,
lost for words.
With only 50 places at nationals up for grabs, the pressure is on! This new series is hosted by CBBC favourites Lindsey Russell and Sam and Mark. Former Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt is joined on the formidable judging panel by founder of Flawless, Marlon 'Swoosh' Wallen, and actor and winner of Dance Dance Dance, Jonny Labey. They travel all over the country to find just one performer who has what it takes to appear on the Canadian hit TV series, The Next Step.