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Brittany Raymond: Taking The Next Step

Olivia Afiabo

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Dancing and acting has always been one of those magnetic combinations, not unlike peanut butter and chocolate, actually—great apart, but infinitely better together.

This could explain why The Next Step has amassed a dedicated teen following, and has launched from the screen to stage in a highly anticipated dance show set to hit Canberra in April.

In case you haven’t heard of it, The Next Step is a ‘mockumentary’ style teen drama, centred on the dancers of A-Troupe at The Next Step dance studio. Interspersed between the impressive dance routines and some inevitable teen drama—intensified by steep dance competition—are the reality-show-style interviews of characters that really make the show unique.

Like many of the cast, Brittany Raymond—who plays the bubbly Riley on the show—has been killing it in her first ever acting role. Raymond will be joining 10 fellow cast members in April for Disney Channel Presents TheNext Step – Live on Stage. As well as having a Q&A with the cast, show will be packed with performances from the television show’s choreographers Jordan Clarke and Trevor Tordjman.

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In 2016 the first The Next Step stage show resulted in a smash hit tour, selling out and making the show’s return to Australia one of the most anticipated of the year. So how did Brittany Raymond go from dancing in a studio, to being a part of one of television’s surprise hits?

“I was about four years old when I started dancing,” Raymond says, “It was actually because of my big sister, Sam. I wanted to be just like her so I started dancing and instantly fell in love with it.

“After years of dance, I ended up getting an audition for The Next Step and it was a really strange thing because no one really knew what the show was going to be about. We thought it was actually reality so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to audition. My dad was actually the one who told me to audition and I’m so happy that he did because now it’s completely changed my life.”

Even though The Next Step was her acting debut, Raymond said that it was a great way to learn the craft, as writers based the characters on the actors’ personalities, drawing storylines from their own experiences.

“There were a couple of moments that were more coincidences,” she says, “but there were a lot that when [the writers] got to know us as people, they started using our past and working it into the storyline.

“It was a lot easier for me to get into the scenes and to get into the work because it was kind of me being me. And then as the seasons went on, Riley changed a lot and as did I, so I felt like I had to really put more acting and more of my skills into it.”

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Raymond says that she is very excited for her first trip to Australia. And even though she will be dancing her way from state to state, she says the passion is still there.

“There are times where I take a bit of a break from dance just because things get too busy and then I’ll go back into a dance class and I’m falling in love all over again. It’s always been a huge part of my life and I’m sure it always will be.”

For a chance to see Raymond live on stage, along with the rest of the cast, at Disney Channel Presents The Next Step – Live on Stage at Canberra Theatre Centre on Thursday 20 April, make sure to book your tickets now.

Find more information about the tour and buy tickets at canberratheatrecentre.com.au.

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Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author

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