Principal photography starts on new tween drama The Next Step

Temple Street Productions Inc. (Temple Street) and Astral’s Family Channel announced today that principal photography has begun on The Next Step a single camera scripted tween drama, shot in a reality television style.

The show is created by Frank van Keeken, creator of the hit Temple Street series Wingin’ It, which also airs on Family Channel and Disney XD. The series begins shooting today in Toronto.

In addition to the 26 half-hour episodes for the channel, extra content will appear on including, an “after-show” web series featuring exclusive character interviews and behind-the-scenes footage and commentary on the series’ storylines.

“Temple Street has truly been able to develop an original idea with The Next Step and we can’t wait to expand upon the endless possibilities this series presents us with across all platforms,” said Michael Goldsmith, Director of Original Programming, Astral Kids. “Family Channel’s audience can expect a unique tween series dedicated to exploring the challenges competitive dancers face and look forward to high caliber performances throughout the first season.”

“The Next Step marks Temple Street’s own next step in youth programming. The show explores athletic excellence, team building and interpersonal drama all within a dance studio environment. With original songs and professional choreography, the series aims to celebrate elite young athletes, provide realistic and relatable drama and inspire the audience to engage with the characters and the world of dance. We think the reality-like format of the program also ‘keeps step’ with savvy tween audiences looking for unique programming,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions.

The Next Step follows the lives of a group of elite dancers at The Next Step Dance Studio as they strive to win the regional dance competition. The tightly knit team of dancers train, rehearse and hang out together within a well-established social order led by star dancer Emily and the E-Girls, her band of dancers that are currently used to running the studio. When talented new girl, Michelle, joins the school, the alliances and social balance of the studio are threatened as secrets, emotions and cliques are exposed and challenged. With the regional championships fast approaching, the A-Troupe needs to come together and resolve their issues and work as a team if they want to win and qualify for the national title.

An extensive casting search was undertaken to find the talented dancers and performers who will populate The Next Step Dance Studio. After considering hundreds of actors and dancers who tried out, Temple Street cast Victoria Baldessara as the new girl, Michelle; Alexandra Beaton, as the studio’s lead dancer, Emily; Brittany Raymond, as Riley, Emily’s younger sister; Shamier Anderson as Chris, the dance school’s head choreographer and Bree Wasylenko, as Miss Kate, the owner of the dance school. Rounding out the cast are Trevor Flannigan-Tordjman (as James), Isaac Lupien (as Eldon), Samantha Grecchi (as Stephanie), Tamina Pollack-Paris (as Tiffany), Jennifer Pappas (as Chloe), Brennan Clost (as Daniel), Lamar Johnson (as West) and So You Think You Can Dance Canada season four winner Jordan Clark (as Giselle).

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