So, in the past I’ve talked about “Dance Mom’s” and “Dance Academy” which both well, are produced by former dancers. Now, I’ve ran into this new show called “The Next Step” on Hulu plus and it being a dance show I took the bait and checked it out. This is the most unrealistic dance show I have ever watched. It was bothering me so much that I had to go and look up who wrote this show to confirm or deny that the person had any studio experience and sure enough, nope the creator/writer has spent no time in a dance studio. In fact, the creator worked on “Kids In The Hall” which is a good show but there’s no dance background at all with the person and it shows. I kept trying to turn off the show last night but I just couldn’t turn it off. It was like watching a train wreck and I couldn’t stop watching no matter how horrible it happened to be. I’m betting I’ll finish up watching the first season anyways, just because I can’t turn it off.
Anyways, let me count the ways that this show is completely unrealistic to the dance world. First off, the audition process. If you even want to call it that..The auditions are basically just them each individually going to the center of the room and free-styling aka just doing what they want with nothing pre-planned. There was no watching them do floor exercises, watching them doing a warm up exercise, no learning a routine or even learning two counts of eight, just them going to the center of the room and doing whatever they want. No audition even for a studio company is like that! Not to mention, they had tap dancers and Irish folk dancers in there too all trying out for the same company. No company lets people who only know hip-hop dance in the same group as classically trained ballet dancers. No, they each have their own separate group for their style of dance that goes to the competitions. So, with that fact including the 10 open spots in the big time studio company would be more since each style would have their own performance group.
Secondly, the owner of the studio seems to have no control over her studio and the head choreographer seems to do pretty much nothing. It’s like all the kids are in control of the studio and what happens. There’s no dance instructors present either which I don’t get. They all seem to make up their own routines and they are all in charge of each other. Through out the season the older kids are teaching classes to younger kids which again, begs the question..Where’s the teachers? Sure, the older kids sometimes become assistance’s to the teachers but they don’t run the entire class. Even when I was handed a class, my teacher helped me work on the lesson plan and reviewed the dances that I was working on with the kids. I wasn’t just handling the class on my own. You don’t just pay money to a studio for you and your peers to teach each other. Even professional dancers take classes from instructors. I have yet to see a teacher step in and actually instruct these kids.
Thirdly, the clothing and hair choices. Oh my! This one kept annoying me. At one point, the one guy is working on his ballet and another member is working on his hip hop. The hip hop dancer is dressed pretty okay for the style of dance he’s doing but the guy that’s working on his ballet is dressed all wrong. He’s in baggy sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt with no ballet slippers. Seriously, boys wear ballet slippers and generally wear form fitting pants with a tank top of some sort so they can move properly. I was slightly yelling at the IPad wondering why he was dressed the way he was for what he was doing. Even when the older kids are teaching a ballet class, the kids are dressed properly for a ballet class but the older kids aren’t. It’s seriously like they had no shoe budget at all. In fact, half the company dancers are dancing in socks and the other half are in the proper foot sandals that you are suppose to dance in if you are going barefoot. Not to mention that no one ever secures their hair. None of the girls ever have their hair up at all. It was driving me crazy. If you show up to your studio and your hair is long and not secure you will get into trouble. Even the girl with short hair, she simply has in a headband but clearly, she has enough hair to where she can put it in a pony tail but doesn’t..It again, drives me crazy. You can’t spot properly when you have hair hitting you in the face. In another scene one girl is yelling at another girl for her in proper dance wear BUT she’s still in her warm-up shrug. You are suppose to take those off once you are done warming up. No one in this show ever wears tights or a leotard which is again, unrealistic. I’ve only been in one class where the teacher didn’t mind if you weren’t wearing tights and that was my Modern class in college but other than that tights were at least preferred. Its just one more little thing that shows the writer has spent no time in a real dance studio.
Fourthly, they did this thing called a dance audition for the line up during the dance which of course, the teens are in control of handling. I’ve never had to audition for being in the front or in the back of the dance. If anything, you were never in one spot during the whole number and half the time you’d spend some time in the front and some time in the back of the line. Not to mention, the one girl is wrongly put in the front line and she’s all complaining that she can’t dance in the front because she has no one to watch as she dances. Um, you are in the big time company of your studio and you can’t dance without having someone in front of you to watch….that doesn’t add up. You can’t be an advanced dancer and not know how to dance without someone in front of you to copy.
At another point in the show, they are going out to spy on the other company and sneak into their studio. Now, this is completely taken from “Bring It On” and let me tell you, this whole part is unrealistic. The other studio basically has a stage and a stage only to work on their routines. This isn’t completely unrealistic. Every single studio I’ve ever been in you can just drive right out there and peak through the studio windows and see what’s going on. You don’t need to go through a backdoor to get to the studio, you just go to the studio and look through the window. Sure, they can see you and you can see them but its not like their routines are hidden and kept secret from other studios.
One more unrealistic thing, in one episode a few of the girls decide to randomly go to a competition for trio’s. Yeah, that would never happen because you go as a studio to a competition and you don’t just randomly decide to go just on a whim. It just doesn’t happen and the studio owner had no clue they went..Um, yeah no, that doesn’t happen at all, ever.
Oh, and one other thing: During their auditions, a ‘random’ from the street walks in and is happily allowed to audition. Seriously, if you have to work your through each company as studio policy as stated in the show this would never happen. Sure, she may be allowed to audition but she’d have to go in front of the teachers, owner before she was even allowed into the audition even if she did just move into town. They simply took her into the office and talked with her for a few minutes. They never even asked her what the name of the studio she was at was called, again unrealistic. I’ve transferred studios before and they do generally ask the name(s) of the studios you were at in the past.
Anyways, this show is Canadian so maybe dance studios work differently out there but I doubt it. As I stated earlier this show was no made or even written by someone with even a minor dance background. Its certainly no “Dance Academy” with its realism. I would hate for a young kid to see this and think this is what studio life is like then end up crushed after going to a class and finding out that you aren’t in charge of everything. Sure, this show may be a train wreck and completely unrealistic but I’m sure I’ll finish watching the first season that’s on Hulu Plus just for lack of anything else to watch..If you want to watch something about a fantasy dance world, this show is for you!