Lindsey, Sam and Mark travel the UK to find a dancer to appear on The Next Step. It's the last chance for the auditionees to make the Nationals.
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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 hit Canadian TV show The Next Step.
The Taking The Next Step team travelled all over the UK,
from Glasgow to...
Manchester, Manchester! Man...
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 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.
This is Taking The Next Step.
Across the country,
150 talented performers turned out to dance for our judges.
And no matter what style of dance...
..each performer will need three yeses to get to
the next stage of auditions.
Congratulations, you have three yeses.
-Thank you so much!
But with only 50 places available,
the judges have some tough decisions to make.
Today, for me, it's going to be a no.
-Well done. Take care.
It's so hard sometimes.
In Glasgow, our auditions are about to get under way.
Let's go, Glasgow!
And first auditionee Freya
has travelled all the way from Belfast to dance.
-How are you?
-Are you Mum?
-How are you doing, Freya?
-I'm doing good.
-How are you feeling?
I'm really excited but nervous as well.
-Of course, yeah.
-Well, you're going to be, aren't you?
Cos this is a big deal, we know that.
But don't be too nervous.
-Be excited more than nervous.
-Cos they like that in there.
And, smile, smile.
Show them your teeth.
They love that.
-How are you?
-Why are you facing that way?
-I'm not allowed to watch her.
-You're not allowed to watch?
-No, but we won't tell her.
-She'll never know.
I know, but I promised.
What does Taking The Next Step mean to you?
It would mean the world to me.
I love the programme and I watch it every single night.
And who inspires you as a dancer?
Very clever choice.
Come on, come on!
And what style of dance are you going to be doing for us today?
I'm going to be doing sassy modern.
Sassy modern! Its own genre.
Great, well, can't wait to see it. Good luck.
MUSIC: #thatPOWER by will.i.am
-That was sassy.
I love your attitude, I love the personality that was oozing out.
I love the fact that you tried to fuse it up with the different,
you know, styles in there.
I really enjoyed it.
You know, you stand here and speak to us,
and then you become something else when the music comes on.
That's a real sign of someone that loves to dance and perform.
Make sure you start fusing everything together,
-cos it can be a bit choppy as far as choreography goes.
But your musicality is lovely, and you just get lost in the music
and I was lost with you.
Thank you so much. It means so much coming from you.
Aww, thank you, babe.
You know you need three yeses...
so let's go to Kimberly first.
Freya, as far as Nationals is concerned,
based on what I've seen today...
-..it's a yes.
-It's a yes from me.
-Thank you so much!
Sassy modern is a great little genre that you've created.
-Come get your ticket.
Thank you so much!
Face the wall, face the wall, face the wall.
-Oh, sorry, sorry.
-What a complete surprise!
She didn't see anything, she kept her promise,
she was facing the wall the entire time.
That's not strictly true, is it, Sam?
Good job, Freya.
In London, waiting patiently backstage with his mum
is a dancer who is no stranger to the spotlight -
I've been dancing with Diversity for about six years now.
And we've done a lot together.
We've been to Wembley,
we've done the O2 Arena five times
and we've had lots of fun.
Freestyle is my very favourite thing, so I don't really prep,
I just go in and do it.
-How are you doing?
-I'm good, I'm good, thanks.
I have just recently watched you in...
-I remember you when you were just this high.
-You've grown up.
-It's good to see you again.
What's your ambition, why Taking The Next Step?
Cos I just want to try something new and see where I go with it.
Great, man. All right, well, I'm excited to see what you got.
MUSIC: Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
Cool, man. Wow. Freestyle.
Um, you need three yeses to get yourself a ticket.
-It was really great to see you dance.
You've really matured as a dancer and in your movement.
I thought that you could have used the space a bit more,
I could have seen your face a bit more,
I really wanted you to perform for me.
It's a tough one, cos I know how good you can be.
I don't know if you brought the fire I know you have in you
to this audition.
I'm going to take a chance on you and give you a yes.
I can see what you're capable of doing,
and it wasn't a bad audition,
but I know that you could be better than that.
There were missing qualities
and the standard is very, very, very high.
I'm not sure.
I think, for this competition, it needs so many more different levels.
I get the attitude and stuff,
but I need... I need the deep drive that you want to do it.
And so, for me today, it's going to be a no.
OK, thank you.
So, Theo's freestyle didn't convince the judges this time.
I was confused of where the hunger was.
Like, there wasn't the hunger. Like, he didn't really seem to want it.
Kind of felt like I was doing the same thing
and it just, like, stopped at a level and I couldn't go any further.
Like, I was trying and trying, but it wasn't...
Just wasn't working today, was it?
But there was no shortage of hopefuls
who were hungry for the chance to impress.
From ten-year-old Charis with her freestyle hip-hop...
..to 12-year-old Dylan, who showed off some street dance swagger.
To 14-year-old Malook, who threw down a fusion of hip-hop styles.
To 11-year-old Keon, who flaunted some freestyle house.
And then there was 14-year-old Aliyah,
who showed off some sassy street.
Plus, self-taught freestyler Ben...
..house dancer Kytan...
and amazing backflipper Cavan,
who were all 13 years old
and came in to attack the dance floor with some serious skills.
it was a no for these talented street dancers,
as the standard of the competition is so high.
It's a no today,
but it's a no to encourage you to get out there and keep dancing,
cos you've got something to offer.
-It's a yes.
Only those who convinced all three judges
got a place at Nationals...
Come get your ticket.
..moving them that bit closer to the top prize.
And it's not just any prize.
The winner of this competition will travel to Canada
to appear on the hit show The Next Step.
They'll join the cast to make a star 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.
In Cardiff, two dancers who are chasing the Canadian dream -
13-year-old Imy and her good friend from dance class Holly.
We've been dancing together at our dance school since we were three...
and have girls' sleepovers and water fights.
Imy, come on over.
Oh, my goodness, what an outfit!
-Who have you brought with you today?
-Come on over, Mum.
Come join in the fun.
What are you wearing? This is incredible.
Can you give us a spin?
Wow! What would you call this, a sort of dance leotard skirt?
Yeah, it's like a butterfly skirt.
I love it.
-Welcome to Taking The Next Step.
And what style are you going to be doing for us today?
-Beautiful. Well, the floor is yours.
-Take it away.
MUSIC: Glow by Ella Henderson
Look, Jonny loved it!
It was beautiful!
I absolutely loved this performance.
You're such a strong, effortless dancer.
Your technique is gorgeous.
Choreography was fab.
You used the floor.
You brought the music to life.
But more than anything,
you've got this real unique ability
to just put you in everything that you do,
and that smile is just gorgeous.
Well done! I loved it!
You need three yeses to get through to Nationals.
-We're going to go to Kimberly.
I think Kimberly's a yes.
-That's an easy yes for me as well.
So, we take everything into account, the audition, the way you walk in,
your aura and everything,
-so, if you were given a script, would you do it?
Would you work on it?
Would you practise reading aloud? Would you...?
I feel like this means a lot to you.
Well, in that case, come and get your ticket.
It's a yes.
-Well done, beautiful.
See you at Nationals!
With Imy through to Nationals,
can her buddy Holly convince the judges
that she's got what it takes too?
The floor is yours, best of luck.
MUSIC: Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
Good girl! That was a good audition.
-It was beautiful.
You're such a gorgeous dancer.
-You make everything look really effortless.
You've got serious talent.
So graceful, yet so much clarity in your movement,
it's beautiful to watch.
-Great job, well done.
-You need three yeses to get to Nationals.
-It's a yes from me.
-Holly, it's a yes from me as well.
It was... Yeah, it was beautiful. Brilliant.
Come on, Jonny, just say yes!
-It's a yes.
-Oh, thank you!
You're going to Nationals!
-Thank you so much!
-Well done, it was beautiful.
-See you later.
Brilliant that they both made it through.
They look pretty pleased with that result.
Bet they can't wait to tell the rest of their dance mates the good news.
And it's clear dance friends really are best friends.
Being part of The Next Step is more than just a TV show.
When I first was introduced to it, it was like a dream come true,
and I think that it's really important to me, because
not only are these people other actors and dancers,
they're also a big family to me.
New friendships have been blossoming backstage at our regional auditions,
like street dancer Paisley and lyrical dancer Ellie,
who's returning to audition for a second time.
Last year, I got to the top 12
and it was, like, a really, like, good experience,
and I've just learned from it, and that is why I've came back.
I've just made friends with Paisley, and seeing everyone get through,
it just made me want to do it more and show that I can do it as well.
-Hi! Hello, lovely.
And what styles do you do?
Krumping, breaking, popping, basically freestyle.
And what would it mean to you to get through to Nationals?
It would just mean the world. Like, last time, it meant a lot,
but now it means more, to show you how much I've, like, improved.
I can't wait to see you dance.
The floor is yours.
MUSIC: Trouble by Iggy Azalea
Go on, Paisley!
Way to throw down!
Holding it down for the chicks.
You've been, easily, our best B-girl on the show.
-Come get your ticket, lovely.
So with Paisley through, fingers crossed her friend Ellie
has done enough to impress the judges
to get through for a second time.
-Well done, Ellie.
-Your hunger for it was fantastic.
I can tell how much this means to you
-and I just want to commend you on your hard work.
And it's a yes from me.
-Thank you very much.
I feel like you've got character, you've got flair, flavour.
-Yes from me as well.
-Thank you so much.
I know you want this.
-Oh, my... Thank you!
Come get your ticket to Nationals, darling.
-Well done, well done.
-See you there.
-Keep up the hard work.
So, Ellie will be joining her pal Paisley at Nationals after all.
Aww, we like a happy ending.
Aww, they're good friends!
Only made friends today.
Yeah, we're not friends.
I hate you.
At auditions in London, ten-year-old Alex is limbering up
and preparing to face the judges.
I want to inspire people to dance,
because I've only been dancing for less than a year,
so if I were to get this ticket, I'd be super proud
and I think other people should go for it,
even if they haven't been dancing for that long.
What inspired you to get into dance?
I just liked the idea of it, really.
Just... I really needed to do it.
-I love your confidence, that's fantastic.
I can't wait to see you dance.
MUSIC: All Fired Up by The Saturdays
I must say, you are an incredible performer.
Your energy is magnificent
and that's not really something you can teach. You're born with that.
You're a born performer.
It's brilliant to watch.
Are you in ballet classes?
-OK, ballet is the foundation of all dance.
It's where you learn where every move comes from,
it's where you learn how to build those core muscles,
so that when you get off the ground,
you're flying through the air, your legs are straight,
your toes are pointed, all of that.
Get in ballet class, cos, girl, you've got it going on.
You just need that foundation to really hold it together.
-All right, Jonny. What do you think, yes or no?
-I'm a yes.
I think there is a lot more work that needs to be done,
but I think I'm going to say yes as well.
All right, Alex, I think you're brilliant as a performer.
I don't think you're quite ready. It's a no from me today,
but it's a no to inspire you to go away and train like crazy,
because your potential is unbelievable.
-You're welcome. Thank you so much.
-Thank you so much, bye!
Our panel felt Alex had brilliant raw talent,
but they are absolute sticklers when it comes to technique.
Technique, technique, technique.
That's always going to help you, that's never going to go away.
With the training, technique side of things, that comes with time.
Just stick it out and stay in there.
Get in those classes, work on that technique.
The technique is all that's holding you back.
Which is why only the best of the best
have managed to secure a ticket to Nationals.
And we've seen some serious talent come through.
From high kicks...
..to performance with props.
Only the top 50 will make it through to the next rounds.
And with most of the tickets to Nationals already taken,
there's still a roomful of dancers waiting to perform
at the final day of auditions in Manchester,
including 12-year-old Connie.
I'd be really excited to get a ticket to Nationals,
because I'd make my family really proud.
Is this Mum?
-Yeah, Mum, yeah. Mum and dance teacher.
Two in one. Two in one, excellent.
-So, have you choreographed this?
Do you have to pay your mum?
-Is she on commission?
-She had to do a few chores.
What inspired you to start dancing?
Well, since my mum's a dance teacher, she just put me in classes,
so from then on, I just really enjoyed it.
-You've been born into dance.
-Yeah, pretty much.
Well, I can't wait to see you dance.
-The floor is yours.
MUSIC: Mercy by Shawn Mendes
Yes! I wanted more, I wanted more!
He's standing up!
Wow! Connie, my goodness!
Having a dance mum has paid off for you.
-That was incredible.
-Your ability is amazing.
You're technically flawless.
It just made me giggle throughout. Like, is this real?
Like, what did you eat today? I want what you're having.
Connie, you were the total package today.
Really, like, that's the first time
I've ever stood up and clapped in an audition.
Like, that was brilliant.
-Are we all in agreement?
Let's not do this in threes.
One, two, three.
Come get your ticket, lovely.
-Well done, well done, well done.
-This is why I love what I do.
-What was that?
So with just a few tickets to Nationals left,
there's still no sign of the standard slipping.
Have you seen the judges? They're still standing up for you!
They're still standing up for you.
Can our next performer, also named Connie - not confusing at all -
do enough to get one of the remaining tickets?
MUSIC: Say You Won't Let Go by James Arthur
That was amazing.
-Who choreographed that?
-Of course you did!
-Of course you did.
There were some moves in there I don't think I have ever seen,
and I've been dancing for over 25 years.
-That is brilliant.
-It's a yes.
It's a yes.
You're coming to Nationals.
-Well done, lovely.
Manchester's been amazing.
Manchester has been phenomenal.
Waiting in the wings, hoping to take home
one of the very last tickets to Nationals is 13-year-old Harrison.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Are you a fan of The Next Step?
My favourite character's Eldon, because of his turns.
He's absolutely amazing.
-Are you a turner?
-I'd like to say I'm a turner.
Well, we'll see. What started you dancing?
Well, I've always, like, danced, like in the house,
like just making my own stuff up.
And then when I was like nine,
I went to ballet and tap and modern,
and then it was only last year I actually felt myself improving,
and now, like, nothing's stopping me.
Like, I want to dance.
Good man. All right, well, looking forward to seeing it.
-Best of luck.
MUSIC: My Immortal by Evanescence
What are they feeding the kids in Manchester?
That was crazy.
And you started taking yourself seriously a year ago?
-Dude, that was special.
And it just... It just...
It was really good.
Harrison, we've had an influx of crazy talent
and a lot of those have been contemporary girls today,
but let me tell you,
you just brought it for the boys in contemporary.
Cos you're right up there with the girls
and it's really beautiful to see.
Harrison, I could watch you all day.
Like, that was... That was absolutely brilliant.
Well, you need... Just come get your ticket.
You're going to Nationals.
-Thank you so much.
-You have three yeses.
-That was just ridiculous. What is going on?
Harrison definitely brought it for the boys.
We've got our final 50.
Wow, that was awesome!
Regionals, it's been good.
It's been great.
We'll see you at Nationals.
Next time on Taking The Next Step...
it's day one of National auditions.
Now is when the hard work really begins.
The competition is fierce...
..tensions are running high...
Everyone stop shouting over each other!
-How is it going?
..and the judges have some difficult decisions to make.
Not only is it tough on that side of the table,
it's really tough on this side as well!
Regional Auditions of Taking The Next Step, CBBC's talent search to find the UK's most amazing young dancer, continues. It's the last chance for the auditionees to make it into the top 50 and win a place at Nationals. 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 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!!!