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!).
Maddie Ziegler may be a teen, queen, dancing machine—however, her dance movie knowledge isn't quite on the level of her actual dance skills. Maddie took Teen Vogue's dance-movie quiz where she had to explain the plot and name some of the characters of specific dance movies. While some of the movies she was tested on were iconic dance flicks, Maddie points out she was born way after many of them were made.
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
Your opponent is staring you down. Your reputation is on the line. You've entered the ring at a break-dancing battle—and it's time to work. But what makes a successful battler? We asked some A-list breakers for their tips on how to battle like a champion.
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.
Often, Disney princesses get flak for being weak and passive as they wait to be rescued by their princes. But Scott Winn's video of Belle and Elsa breaking it down in a fierce dance battle gives these princesses some serious street cred.
It doesn't hurt that a few of the best dancers in the biz are featured in the playful parody. "Step Up: High Water" star Jade Chynoweth might initially be hard to recognize under that Belle wig, but once the dancing starts, her high energy and show-stopping moves make her easy to identify. And "Glee" standout Haylee Roderick, as Anna, brings some high-caliber technique to the spoof as well.
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.
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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.
Dirty Dancing to Center Stage to Black Swan, there are a lot of epic dance movies out there. But how well do you REALLY know them all? Take our quiz to find out!
Kathryn McCormick first won our hearts with her captivating contemporary moves and girl-next-door relatability on Season 6 of "So You Think You Can Dance," where she made it to the top three. Since then, she's returned for seven more seasons as an All Star and, last summer, gave viewers all the feels when she mentored rising dancer Tate McRae. An Augusta, GA, native, McCormick started dancing at age 3 and moved to L.A. at 18. She performed a leading role in Step Up Revolution and danced in Fame, and has worked with choreographers including Stacey Tookey, Travis Wall, and Teddy Forance. Currently, you can catch her touring with DanceMakers, where she's on faculty. —Courtney Bowers
Executive producers Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum weren't onstage, sadly. But the newest "Step Up" crew—led by the flawless Jade Chynoweth and Kendra Oyesanya—did #TeamTatum proud.