Kendra Oyesanya, Marcus Mitchell, and Carlito Olivero (courtesy YouTube/Lionsgate)
Happy "Step Up: High Water" eve, y'all! Everyone's favorite internet dance show makes its triumphant Season 2 return tomorrow, March 20th, on YouTube. In anticipation of the premiere, we turned to Kendra Oyesanya (Poppy), Marcus Mitchell (Dondre), and Carlito Olivero (Davis) for the scoop on all things "Step Up"—from on-set shenanigans, to embarrassing stories, to scenes to watch out for this season (hint: Episode 2's dance battle, and the season finale's final number!).
In case you haven't heard, "Step Up: High Water" is returning for a second season. Yay! In fact, production for the 10-episode, hourlong series is currently underway in Atlanta, GA. As if we weren't already excited enough, check out who's returning for Season 2—and all the stars who'll be entering the "High Water" universe for the very first time.
You could say that Donielle "Lil Dee Dee" Hansley joined the family business: His dad (a dancer and recording artist) was his first dance teacher, and his three older siblings are a circus artist, a rapper, and a singer. Dee Dee's been carving out a path in the entertainment world since the tender age of 6, when he first toured with kid rapper MattyB. In fact, you probably recognize his hard-hitting energy and undeniable charisma from Step Up: High Water, Tyler Perry's If Loving You Is Wrong, Lip Sync Battle Shorties, or—super-casual—dancing behind Usher and Chris Brown.
My mentors have always told me, Never give up on yourself. Of course there'll come times when you're like, 'Maybe dance isn't for me. I'm probably better at something else.' There's always someone better than you are—so what? Work 10 times harder so you're better than they are! —Lil Dee Dee
It's almost too good: To celebrate "Step Up: High Water" premiering on YouTube Red, producer Jenna Dewan-Tatum decided to share footage of her audition for the ORIGINAL Step Up movie. As in, a circa 2005 tape of baby Jenna showing off some impressive moves—and some impressive chemistry with baby Channing Tatum.
It is all kinds of d'awwwwww. And it is all kinds of obvious that the two young'uns have all kinds of real-life couple potential. 💘 💘 💘
It's the day we've all been waiting for—"Step Up; High Water" has officially launched on YouTube, and everything about this series (from the dancing to the drama) is completely #savage. The show captures all the elements that made us fall in love with the original "Step Up" almost eleven years ago, while also introducing fresh and exciting new components.
We especially love how the creators use the show to shine a spotlight on real life issues teens struggle with, that aren't always addressed in mainstream media. Characters deal with everything from disabilities to coming to terms with their sexual orientation and finding self-acceptance. Creating a dance series that incorporates such weighty subject matter also adds another dimension to the dancing.
This is not a drill: The 2006 classic Step Up—the dancetastic movie that inspired a series and, perhaps more importantly, marked the beginning of Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum's magical relationship—is returning to movie theaters for one night only. I repeat: THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Double leg amputee, Eric Graise dancing (via Youtube)
When you think of a dancer, a double leg amputee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Eric Graise, who's one of the stars of the upcoming "Step Up: High Water" YouTube Red series, hopes to change that. Graise, whose legs were amputated as a child due to missing fibula bones, will play a character named King in the new dance series, set to debut early next year.
Jade Chynoweth in the "Step Up: High Water" trailer (via YouTube)
In case you were wondering whether Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum knew how to cast a dance show, surprise! THEY DO, GUYS. And the new trailer for the upcoming series "Step Up: High Water," which #TeamTatum is executive producing, proves it.