So yes, it’s a show about a group of teenagers who are trying to become professional dancers in sunny, amazing Sydney, and yes, the sunny, amazing Sydney part is the reason I watched it, but it was actually quite entertaining with the competition between them and the sabotage that always had to happen, etc.
Tara is an outback girl who moved to the big city in order to pursue a career in dance at the most prestigious dance academy in Australia. She works hard but gets distracted easily with social dramas and conflicts. She grows quickly as a dancer, going from the bottom to average to competition status, but still has trouble making sure decisions as a person.
Kat is a principle dancer’s daughter, so has been travelling with the company her whole life, and is expected to also become a famous dancer. But she just likes to be funny and goof off, not finding that dancing should be the most important thing, and so is looked on as a bad influence for Tara. Because she doesn’t bother to keep up with her studies, she goes from being average to the bottom, so it’s a good thing that she doesn’t seem to care.
Sammy is a Jewish doctor’s prodigal son, having chosen to become a dancer rather than follow in his father’s footsteps and do what his family has been doing for generations. He cares a lot about his grades and about whether or not he can actually make it as a dancer because of the pressure from his father. He was accepted into the Academy more as an act of pity from Miss Raine than any show of real talent, and so surprises many instructors when he starts to show some promise.
Abigail is a girl who is willing to do whatever it takes to become a principal dancer. It has been her dream since childhood, and even though she was not built to be a dancer her endless practicing and trying to make herself better pay off so that she is at the top of the class and her rival could only ever be Tara. And her insecurities give her means to be aggressive to opponents.
Christian is a boy from the other side of the tracks who tried out for the academy’s scholarship program just so that he wouldn’t have to go to juvenile detention. Long story. He is accepted because Miss Raine saw that he was born to be a dancer, even though his technique and general outlook is lacking. Even though he doesn’t try, his “charity case” self quickly becomes the project of many of the teachers, and therefore viewed as the favorite even if he is the most difficult.
Then there’s also Ethan, who is Kat’s older brother and a wanna-be choreographer. And Ben, really just a nice person who wants to be a dancer because there’s nothing else challenging enough for him to do. Mad props for Ben. And Grace, a girl with a shady past who just loves to mess with people’s lives. They’re all also main characters.
A lot of friendships forming and friendships breaking, cracking under the pressure and the chaos that somehow always ensues. Entertaining, to say the least. Three seasons, one for each year they are at the academy.
Mind you, the character’s personalities and decisions will bother and annoy you to no end sometimes. Your favorite characters will occasionally crash and burn as the failures and underdogs they are and the characters you almost loathe will usually prosper and thrive. The writers start to recycle old ideas and have characters make choices that go against their entire natures just to stir up trouble, and sometimes I felt that seeing Sydney in the background of it all might not make watching it worth it. But I stuck through it until the end.
So watch it for Australia, to see beautiful shots of Sydney. And of course, for Sammy. Or not.