The dance captain is a member of a studio or troupe who acts as a leader, making major decisions and taking charge of important matters of business.
At The Next Step Dance Studio, dance captaincy is only delegated to a member of A-Troupe, leaving the other troupes to the mercy of revolving teachers and choreographers.
Emily becomes dance captain during her second year on A-Troupe and retains the position for years. A vote causes Emily to lose her captaincy to Michelle, although she later accepts co-captaincy with her, a very uncommon circumstance. In the lead-up to Nationals, they retain their positions as co-captains.
Michelle steps down as dance captain when she briefly decides to quit dance, leaving Emily the sole captain at The Next Step. During Emily's attempts to expose Amanda as a spy for Elite Dance Academy, her captaincy is taken away and, ironically, given to Amanda. With help from Riley and Chloe, Amanda is eventually exposed and she returns to Elite. Emily is made dance captain again, and upon Michelle's return to A-Troupe, the two become co-captains once more. Emily and Michelle remain dance co-captains until after the studio's Nationals win.
After Emily leaves The Next Step due to a knee injury and Michelle voluntarily steps down as dance captain, Giselle and Shantel compete for the position with a trio competition. Giselle wins, making her the new dance captain. She retains the position until after the team's Internationals win, when she steps down from her position and leaves the studio.
In the lead-up to Regionals, a new captain is not decided until quite late in the dance season. This time, the captain is decided by having three A-Troupe members face off in a series of challenges; after performing well against Amy and Richelle, Skylar is awarded the dance captaincy. She retains the captaincy until the following year's audition for the Regionals team, when she is cut from A-Troupe.
With the emergence of TNS East and TNS West, Richelle and Piper are appointed the respective dance captains of each team. After the teams merge, Noah is voted in as the new dance captain, making him the first known male dance captain of the studio.
When Miss Angela becomes studio head of The Next Step, Noah cedes the dance captaincy to Lily in order to help Piper. While Lily is dance captain, Richelle temporarily becomes her assistant. However, after Lily's departure, Noah becomes dance captain again. He retains the position until Regionals, when he decides to leave The Next Step.
To decide who will replace Noah as dance captain, three dancers - Kenzie, Summer and Richelle - are selected as the most likely candidates for the title. At the auditions for the alternate spots on the Nationals team, each candidate choreographs a trio for three auditioning dancers, which determines both who will fill the alternate spots and which out of the three is the best at leading a team. Despite none of her dancers making it onto A-Troupe, and having the wrong reason for Winnie to get an alternate spot (her enthusiasm instead of her technique), Summer is declared the winner of the challenge and becomes the new dance captain.
At Elite Dance Academy, it is common practice to have a dance captain and two assistant captains. Amanda is the dance captain with Tess and Shantel as her assistant captains, until Amanda leaves the studio. After Amanda's departure, it remains unknown who the studio's dance captain is, although it would likely be Tess, seeing as she was Amanda's assistant while the latter was at Elite.
Marcel appears to be the dance captain of Seeds Street Crew, despite only being referred to as the group's "leader." Jessica is the dance captain of Summerford School of Dance, and Bartek is the dance captain of Wojdan Dance Academy.
Lola is the dance captain of Encore Dance Studios until she leaves to audition for A-Troupe. After leaving The Next Step, Miss Angela becomes the owner of Encore and Lily becomes its dance captain, until they are disqualified from competing with Absolute Dance and she decides to return to The Next Step.