Lindsey, Sam and Mark travel the country to find a dancer to appear on The Next Step. The pressure intensifies as regional try-outs continue.
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Taking The Next Step is back. CHEERING
Over 2,300 dancers from across the UK applied
to win the opportunity of a lifetime
and to appear on the 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.
Only the very best will perform for our formidable judges.
Actor and dancer, Jonny Labey.
Your technique is outstanding.
Founder of the dance group, Flawless, Marlon "Swoosh" Wallen.
Just chill with it and then attack.
And returning as head judge, professional dancer
and former Pussycat Doll, Kimberly Wyatt.
You have got sass for days.
But who will make it all the way to Canada? The search is on.
-We've got work to do.
-Yeah, we do. Holy Moley.
This is Taking The Next Step.
Another weekend of regional auditions is about to get under way.
-Guys, how are you doing? OK?
And the competition is fierce.
Your ability is amazing. You're technically flawless.
You just wowed three judges.
The standard is just so ridiculous.
The judges have handed out lots of tickets already.
Good job. Thank you so much, lovely.
-Really good job.
Next up, we are in Cardiff,
and the hope of finding a few Welsh dancing dragons...
-Super, super, super excited but also extremely nervous.
I feel really confident, actually.
..who are all hoping to walk away
with three yeses from this lovely lot.
-Wow. What a space.
-This is nice. Cardiff.
So, with everyone raring to go...
..the first auditionee of the day is a bit of a surprise,
Hold on, 26?
That IS a surprise.
-How are you today?
-A little bit nervous, but really excited.
What style of dance will you be doing for us?
I've been training for about a fortnight now,
so I'm kind of picked up lyrical, contemporary,
I'm very good at whacking.
And who inspires you to dance?
Um, I'd say mostly Nicole Scherzinger
from the Pussycat Dolls.
And I just think...
I just think Diversity, like, they are...
Well, I can't wait to see your amazing talent.
-The floor is yours.
-Thank you so much.
-Hey, hey, hey!
-And how do you feel that went?
You need three yeses to go to nationals. Swoosh.
You know what, it's definitely a yes from me.
-I'm going to say yes.
-It's a yes from me. You're going to nationals.
Thank you so much.
-I'm such a big fan. Thank you, guys.
-No worries. Take care.
Bless her heart.
It's not really that easy to get three yeses from the judges.
Right, enough messing around. Let's see someone who can actually dance.
No offence, Lindsay.
Oi! In Manchester, Sam and Mark met 11-year-old Chloe.
This is not your first time doing something like this, is it?
-Yeah, go on, explain to us what you've done.
I have been on Britain's Got Talent.
You haven't just been on Britain's Got Talent,
you did quite well on Britain's Got Talent.
Yeah, I got to semifinals.
Wow. That's amazing.
A nice, shining familiar face.
-I've seen you before.
Amazing, well, I can't wait to see you dance.
-The floor is yours.
MUSIC: Bills by LunchMoney Lewis
Well done, lovely.
-Sure, start your routine with 7,000 turns.
Why not? I mean, yeah, I'm all for that. Amazing.
-Excited, energetic, fun performer.
Like, really, really good.
-Yeah. I thought it was a very solid audition. Well done.
What I loved about today's performance is
that I could tell you've become a stronger dancer,
you been really working on that strength and control,
-your turns were unbelievable.
-I think you did a really good
job, you should be really proud of yourself.
-You need three yeses to get through to nationals.
And, Chloe, I'm going to start it off with a yes.
-It's a yes from me too, Chloe, well done.
-It is a really tough competition...
..but I think you're up for the challenge.
It will be interesting to see you in the nationals.
-It's a yes.
-Good job, darling. Go celebrate.
-She could have turned for days.
-I was like, "What?!"
She's like, "I'm on it."
"I'm on my A game today. Watch me go."
LINDSAY: And with the standard of the dancing incredibly high,
the tickets to nationals are flying out.
I'm going to start off by saying yes.
-It's a yes.
-Gracie, I think a star has been born.
It's a yes.
Thank you so much.
Cameron, I love everything about your audition.
-It's a yes from me.
-It's a yes.
Cameron, you're a natural born performer,
-it's a yes from me as well.
Got any tickets left? LAUGHTER
Hoping there's at least one ticket left is 13-year-old Jessica
who made it to nationals in series one.
-Hello, familiar face.
-And why are you a familiar face?
-Well, I did it last year.
Right. Well, welcome back.
MUSIC: Runnin' (Lose It All) Ft Beyonce, Arrow Benjamin by Naughty Boy
I just want to squeal. SHE SQUEALS
Beautiful. You've been working hard.
And I can see it, the determination
in everything you did was absolutely amazing.
Your flexibility is beautiful, your technique is fantastic,
your expression is gorgeous.
I mean, it was a flawless, flawless performance.
-Thank you so much.
Speaking of flawless.
Speaking of flawless.
It's a yes from me. An easy yes.
-It's a very firm, amazing, very excited yes.
-That was incredible.
You're going to nationals, well done. Well done.
Well done, you.
I bet you want to give Mum a big hug, don't you?
-That was beautiful.
-Oh, my goodness.
Amazing, go celebrate.
Yay! Mum can relax now.
So Jessica walks away with her ticket, having clearly impressed
head judge Kim, which is no mean feat.
With years of dancing experience, Kim can be tough to impress.
I want you to find that fire and share it with us.
Get in ballet class. At the moment, it's quite start-stoppy.
Look up, look up, look up!
Be a beast on stage.
Ballet is the foundation of all dance.
Technically, you need some work.
So Kim is all about technique.
I've always been a really shy person.
Dance is what takes me outside of myself.
Next up in Manchester and hoping to impress Kim is 14-year-old Darrell.
Darrell. How are you doing?
-Good, come on in, guys.
Come on in. Now, Darrell, we met briefly before in Glasgow.
I broke my fifth metatarsal.
They actually had finished the dance,
and they were rehearsing it and he went to jump, came out of the jump
and I heard a crack from the other side of the room.
-And then he went a funny shade of grey.
After six weeks of healing and only two hours of practice,
Darrell has travelled from Glasgow to Manchester to audition.
-Good luck, buddy.
-I'd say break a leg, but don't do that.
-No, please don't.
-How's it going?
-How are you feeling today?
-Nervous but excited.
We were obviously meant to see you in Scotland.
-I broke my foot rehearsing for this.
Commitment coming back.
-How is it doing now?
It's good enough to dance.
-Well, you obviously want this a lot.
-Well, be careful.
-Yeah. Good luck.
-The floor is yours.
MUSIC: Someone New by Hozier
Well done, Darrell.
It's not easy to go through such an injury and come back.
It just shows your perseverance and your love for dance and your
will to succeed, which is amazing.
I think now it's time to up your technique.
-And up the strength
so everything just has a bit more oomph and power
through everything that you're doing. You're a fantastic dancer.
-I fully commend you coming back.
It really shows that in the dance world you have the right sort of
So, Darrell, you need three yeses to make it to nationals.
I'm going to start off and I'm going to say yes and I'm going to pass it
over to Kimberly.
Darrell, you're a brilliant dancer,
I think that what you showed is fantastic,
I love your commitment to dance.
Your technique does need some work
and your strength needs some improvement.
So it is a no this time.
But keep working hard. You've got something special.
-All right, well done.
LINDSAY: Unfortunately it is a no for Darrell,
but with only two hours' preparation time, he performed really well.
And it's not only Darrell that's had to deal with injury.
The cast of The Next Step aren't immune to the odd slip-up.
I actually broke my toe
in a class one time.
I know it sounds really like it's nothing,
but toes and fingers, I feel like, hurt the most.
Yeah, for dancers.
Yeah, I was spinning on carpet and my pinkie toe got left behind
and it like literally broke. And I was like, "OK, great,
"I still have a full weekend of dancing to do with a broken toe."
SAM: Sounds painful.
-Taking The Next Step is open to all solo performers
between the ages of 9 and 15.
Dancers apply individually,
but we've had everything from sisters to best mates competing
for a place at nationals.
LINDSAY: But our next dancers were a first,
even for Taking The Next Step.
In Manchester, we met ballroom dance partners Christopher and Lexi.
When I dance with Christopher,
it wouldn't feel the same dancing on my own,
because I normally dance with him like every week.
When I'm dancing on my own, I normally forget,
but when I'm with Lexi if I get something wrong when I'm with her,
she's just like, "Get that right."
For the first time,
Christopher and Lexi won't be dancing together today,
so how would they get on as soloists?
MUSIC: Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon
Well done, Lexi.
Christopher, this is your life.
This is what you're supposed to be doing.
We've not had a Latin dancer on the show yet,
so it's amazing that you've come on, so thank you for being here.
Do you do ballet as well or just Latin?
-No, just Latin.
-I feel like it would really help you in terms
of your flexibility.
Christopher, I think you're an incredible performer.
I do think you need a bit more training
as far as bringing different skills to the floor to really stand out
in this competition.
You are just at the beginning of your amazing dance career,
and you did a really great audition, you should be so proud of yourself.
-You need three yeses to get through to nationals. Jonny.
I think Strictly would absolutely love you in years to come.
In terms of this competition, at the moment,
-I feel like today is going to be a no.
Christopher, I think you're an incredible performer,
I don't think you're quite ready, so it is a no this time.
But you're absolutely brilliant.
Lexi, like I said, I really love you and what you do.
I'm hoping that you'll come back again because this is the first time
we've had Latin on the show,
and you've really just opened up a whole new area of dance
that people could actually see.
I saw a lot of very tactical winks towards Kimberly
-when you were at the front.
-You're working that route.
-He knows what he's doing.
-Yeah, he knows what he's doing. That sweet spot.
-You've been an obsolete
breath of fresh air. You're just getting started,
so keep on training.
-Thank you. Take care.
-Born for Latin.
-Born with it.
We are looking at the future Strictly Come Dancing dancers here.
Big time. And, guys, thank you so much,
it was lovely to see something completely different.
We've not seen anything like that in this series of Taking The Next Step.
So it was so lovely, so thank you so much, guys.
-Unfortunately, it's a no for Christopher and Lexi today.
But even auditions that don't end in a yes
can be a valuable learning experience.
For me, today, it's going to be a no.
Take this no as a stepping stone to take yourself to the next level.
Because I can see you've got a bright future ahead of you.
I think for now you're not quite ready. So my answer is no.
But I want that no to propel you to keep on working hard.
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 is to become a better dancer,
better actor, hopefully a better person.
SAM: 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 to dance with us, I'm so excited to meet them.
Hoping to get to one step closer to
dancing on the set of The Next Step is Grace.
-What's your name?
-How old are you?
-My name is Grace and I'm 12 years old.
-And how long have you been dancing?
-I've been dancing since I was three.
Amazing. So quite some time.
-What styles do you train in?
I train in contemporary, jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical, tap, acro,
-You do it all.
What would it mean to you to get through to nationals?
It would mean a lot because I've been watching The Next Step since it
first started and it would be a great opportunity to be able to
dance alongside the people I've been watching on television for so long.
-Well, the floor is yours. Let's see you dance.
MUSIC: Believe by Mumford & Sons
Grace, that was amazing.
-Very, very good.
I think you can definitely be really, really good on this show,
-so I'm going to say yes.
Grace, you're incredible.
You've got so much strength as a dancer,
you just take up the space and you own it, which is fantastic.
So it is a yes from me.
I wanted to see a little bit more of a change in dynamic,
just to really show your technical ability, show your lines,
-..it's going to be a no.
-I'm really sorry.
Thank you for the opportunity and thank you for having me.
Thank you, Grace, you're absolutely beautiful.
That was a tough one.
LINDSAY: It's a controversial decision for Jonny,
but was it the right one?
I think she's pretty incredible,
if you take other people that we have going through to nationals,
-She's definitely a contender.
-..above that standard that we've had before.
SAM: Swoosh and Kimberly seem unconvinced with Jonny's decision.
-The standard of the competition is so high
that our auditionees are having to work extra hard for their ticket
to nationals, as 13-year-old street dancer Kamier found out in London.
Whoo! Nice finish.
What's I want to see is your willingness to take on criticism
-and develop yourself.
-Yeah, I proved that.
And The Next Step dancers, they do everything.
-And they're also incredibly technical.
I like you, I like your character...
-..it's a yes.
-You're going to nationals, mate, well done.
-There he is.
SAM: Lucy in Cardiff also had to work hard to impress the judges.
MUSIC: This Town by Niall Horan
I think that the routine that you did today was really safe.
I can be so much more free, and I will work on that for next time.
My heart absolutely loves you, but my head as a judge...
..knowing the calibre that we have in this competition, you know,
people are coming and they aren't safe,
they are putting everything into it,
but you have technique that's better than some of them as well.
Lucy, how much would it mean to you to go through to nationals.
It would just mean the world to me so...
And you would work hard to get out of that box.
-Just really shine.
-I would work so hard, yeah.
I'm going to take a chance on you, Lucy, you're going to nationals.
-Thank you so much.
-Simone Cowell is back.
You were making that girl sweat.
LINDSAY: It's clearly not easy to impress all three judges,
but in Manchester, it seems Jonny may have had a change of heart.
Hi, Grace, you've just been in.
-And you didn't get through, unfortunately.
But the judges want to see you again.
-For some reason.
I don't know whether you left anything in there.
This has not happened before, so go in and see what they want.
Go and have a look.
..I've made a mistake.
These guys wholeheartedly believe in you,
I believe in you as well.
And I was willing to take this time to change my mind
and give you a ticket to nationals.
Wow. Thank you so much.
So, I'm sorry for putting you through all of that.
Here's your ticket.
Make sure you come back and you fight and you show what this is
-and how much it means to you.
-Thank you very much.
Not that all. You're very welcome.
-Thank you very much.
-Take care. You're welcome.
-Talk about a roller-coaster.
That was nice, man.
That was nice.
That was great, I'm really glad Jonny did that.
You deserve it, you really do.
Hang on, sorry. We're just hearing from the judges again.
No, they've changed their mind again, sorry.
I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
We'll see you at nationals.
-Get out of here before they change their mind again.
-If he wouldn't have put her through...
-Well done, Jonny.
-Redeemed yourself for the bad hair today.
LINDSAY: So with week four of regionals coming to an end,
our last auditionee, Christian, has been waiting patiently.
I love dancing so much,
I would like to like show everyone, like, hopefully I can get onto
a TV programme and it would be nice to show my family
and make them proud of me.
Last one of the day.
-It's been a long wait for you, hasn't it?
Does he have what it takes to walk away
with the final ticket of the day?
-How's it going?
-Yeah, I'm a bit nervous, but I'm excited.
-How long have you been dancing?
-OK. Well, the floor is yours. Take it away.
MUSIC: Hello by Adele
-That was good.
-That was brilliant.
-That was really good.
You had no reason to have nerves, Christian.
It's very overwhelming to see a 15-year-old do what you just did.
You should be very proud of yourself...
-..at this stage.
-Have you done any auditions like this before?
-No, never before.
See, that was just really, really amazing what you did.
-And I couldn't salute you any more for it.
So, it was a great, solid audition, I enjoyed it.
Good job. You need three yeses to make it to nationals.
-So we're going to start with myself and I am going to say yes.
I think you've got something very special and unique.
-I am a yes.
-It's all down to me.
I want you to listen to music as much as you possibly can
and really just let the beat absorb you.
-Find those beats,
become super familiar with the music so that when you're dancing,
you don't ever have to think about it, it's just lives inside of you.
Cos it's going to be tough at nationals when you're there.
It's a yes. CHEERING
-Well done, well done.
-It's always nice to end...
-It's nice to end a day like that.
That's the first time we ended the day with a yes.
The standard has been phenomenal, it's been difficult because...
-..everybody has been so talented, how do you say no?
-It's so hard.
-Yeah, it's hard to say no.
We've got so many yeses now and we have to narrow it down,
-so it's going to be...
-Our job is not getting any easier.
-Not getting any easier.
-But thank you, Manchester,
you've absolutely brought it.
-One more day.
-One more day.
MARK: Next time on Taking The Next Step...
It was beautiful.
You've been easily our best B-girl.
What are they feeding the kids in Manchester?
That was crazy.
Way to throw down.
There are some moves in there I don't think
I've ever seen and I've been dancing for over 25 years.
That's the first time I've ever stood up and clapped in an audition.
-This is why I love what I do.
-What was that?
Regional Auditions of Taking The Next Step, CBBC's talent search to find the UK's most amazing young dancer, continue and 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 & Mark. Former Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt is joined on the formidable judging panel by the 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. Don't miss it!!!