While Giselle is waiting in the airport lounge for the plane to take herself and the dance company on tour, she reflects on the time she spent at The Next Step and leaving behind everything she knows, but deep down is looking forward to her fresh start as a professional dancer.
Main characters and cast
- Jordan Clark as Giselle
- Tamina Pollack-Paris as Tiffany
Giselle's Quiet Time
The airliner sped down the runway, faster and faster, gathering speed for take-off. Then, all of a sudden, it lifted off into the sky, climbing steadily before levelling out, on the way to its destination.
The sight of the plane taking off was witnessed from the large windows of Terminal 3's airport lounge at Toronto Pearson International Airport by Giselle, who wished it was the flight to Europe for herself and the dance company. Still, she was enjoying all the free facilities and comforts on offer in the lounge so, as far as she was concerned, the plane could take its time. Who would have thought the dance company flew business class and would have access to this place, Giselle thought to herself. She remembered the last time she had flown from Toronto Pearson, when A-Troupe had travelled to Miami, Florida, in the United States to take part in Absolute Dance Internationals; they had to travel second class and would definitely never have been allowed in here. Giselle smiled as she recalled how Eldon looked out of the plane window and said to West, who was sitting next to him, how the people down below looked like ants. West had then pointed out that they were ants, as the plane hadn't taken off yet! Boys are really daft sometimes, thought Giselle. Clara and I never did that when we flew to Ireland with our folks to visit our grandparents when we were younger. Or maybe we did. To be honest, I can't remember!
Giselle turned away from the windows and walked over to one of the large, comfortable armchairs in the lounge, in which there were no other passengers apart from herself, her friend Tiffany, formerly a dancer at The.Next Step and now a tour assistant for the dance company; and Amber, the tour manager and Tiffany's boss. Giselle sat down, put her flight bag on the floor at her feet and looked around the lounge. Amber was making use of the lounge's wireless internet facility, while Tiffany was wandering around exploring the facilities on offer, like Giselle had done earlier. Tiffany would be accompanying the dance company for the first part of the tour, but would then be going back to Toronto where she was preparing to open her own dance studio.
Giselle had earlier gone to the terminal's book shop and bought a couple of puzzle books and other reading material, but decided not to join the other members of the dance company in checking out the other shops, choosing instead to return to the lounge where Amber had told them they were to meet up in an hour and a half, when their flight would be boarding. In the meantime, Giselle could have a bit of quiet time to herself.
I'm going to miss The Next Step, Giselle thought. But then it was definitely time for a fresh start. Being demoted to B-Troupe, promoted again to A-Troupe, winning Absolute Dance Regionals, Nationals and then Internationals; I've seen it all. What was it Grandma said to Clara and me once? Oh, yes... "The Next Step is a nest and you two are baby birds. When the time comes, you have to spread your wings and fly away." Clara had already done just that, 'flying the nest' to Lost & Found Music Studios after having gained a new interest in music. Now, it was Giselle's turn. It's a shame the dance company couldn't take Amanda too, thought Giselle. However, Amanda still had a chance to go on the tour, as the company's artistic director, Mireille, had been very impressed with her at the auditions, promising to bear her in mind if an open spot should become available at a later date.
Giselle's thoughts turned again to Clara. She hoped her younger sister would be all right, recalling how they had ended up fighting about Clara not having any friends at Lost & Found, and how they had thankfully made up before Giselle left for the tour. She remembered how it had been like any other day at The Next Step Dance Studio: she, Riley, Michelle and Amanda had been working on a new dance routine in Studio A when the telephone in Miss Kate's office rang. Miss Kate had answered it, then called Giselle in — telling her that her mom was on the phone from the hospital and needed to speak to her urgently. Giselle took the call and was told the awful news that Clara had suffered a breakdown while working on some demo tapes for James's band in the Recording Studio at Lost & Found, and had to be admitted for diagnosis. On hearing this, Riley showed what a good friend she was by calling James on her phone and asking him to drive Giselle to the hospital in the band's van, Pink Midnight; James had duly obliged. Poor Clara, Giselle thought. Who thought such a thing could happen to my own sister? At least Mr. T's going to keep her spot open for when she's well enough to return. Giselle decided there and then to video-call Clara during the tour whenever she could to let her know how she was getting on. It'll make her better, knowing I'm thinking of her.
Giselle decided to turn her thoughts elsewhere, and so reached into her flight bag, took out her copy of the dance company's tour schedule and looked it over. First, Germany; and next, France and Italy. Then, thankfully, a few days off when she could go back to Toronto and visit her friends and family. After that, the dance company would be off to England where, during one of their dates in London, they were going to perform before the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall and meet Her Majesty backstage after the show. Now that would be something to tell Clara about, Giselle thought. How many dancers at The Next Step have gone on to perform before the Queen, I wonder? Perhaps Chloe did while she was touring with La Ballet de la Reine; I'll have to give her a video-call sometime and ask.
Giselle put the schedule back in her flight bag, and looked at her watch. A hour and ten minutes had already gone by, and the dancers would be starting to arrive back at the lounge in the next few minutes.
Suddenly, a voice interrupted Giselle's thoughts. "Giselle?" It was Tiffany. "Hello? Earth to Giselle?"
Giselle obligingly returned to Earth to find Tiffany standing next to the armchair. "Sorry, Tiffany," she said. "I was miles away. So how's it going with your dance studio?"
"Well," said Tiffany. "I'm still stuck with what to call it. I've submitted a dozen names so far, and every time they've been turned down because they're already in use. Never mind, I expect I'll come up with one sometime during the tour — hopefully before we get back to Toronto!"
The other dancers were now starting to gather at the entrance to the lounge, and Amber came over to Giselle and Tiffany. "Oh, good, Giselle. You're here already," she said, then turned to Tiffany. "Could you take a roll call please, Tiffany?" she asked.
"Yes, Amber," replied Tiffany. "Come on, Giselle. You don't want to miss the plane!" Giselle got up from the armchair, grabbed her flight bag and followed Tiffany, with Amber close behind.
"Pay attention, everyone," said Tiffany, now in the mode of tour assistant and producing from her own flight bag a small clipboard with a list of names attached. "Answer when I call your name, please." Each and every one of the dancers on the list answered their name. Then, as if on cue, an announcement came over the P.A. system to say that the the dance company's flight to Germany was now boarding, along with the gate number.
"Follow me, everyone," called Amber. "And stay together."
Giselle joined the other members of the dance company and left the lounge, on her way to the departure gate, Europe and the beginning of her new career as a professional dancer.
- I decided to have Giselle and the dance company depart from Toronto Pearson International Airport, as I felt this would be from where A-Troupe flew when they travelled to Miami, Florida, to take part in Absolute Dance Internationals in the Season 3 episode "Welcome to Miami" — bearing in mind that all we see on-screen is stock footage of an airliner taking off.
- In my original draft of this fanfiction, the setting was the waiting area of Toronto Pearson's Terminal 3. Fortunately, I later decided that a world touring dance company like the one Giselle had joined would be flying business class and thus never be seen in such a place, so I gave the action an 'upgrade' to the comfort of the airport lounge instead.
- Giselle remembering how, on the flight to Miami, Eldon had looked out of the plane window and said to West how the people down below looked like ants, only for West to point out that they were ants as the plane hadn't taken off yet, derives from one of the oldest jokes there is. I added this simply for a bit of humour and because I felt it was something Eldon would probably say. (Bearing in mind we never see events on board the plane in "Welcome to Miami", who's to say Eldon didn't say it?)
- My original draft had featured only Giselle, but I decided to also include Tiffany in her role of tour assistant, as featured in the Season 4 episode "Stir It Up". As Giselle was new to the dance company, I felt she could do with a familiar face around — and sure you do too.
- The scene where Giselle remembers about when she heard the news about her sister Clara's breakdown — never shown on-screen — takes place during the penultimate episode of Lost & Found Music Studios Season 2, "You Could Have It All", and before The Next Step Season 4's opening episode, "One More Time". In my mind, both seasons of Lost & Found Music Studios take place during an unseen period (an extended 'Off Season', if you like) between Seasons 3 and 4 of The Next Step.
- Tiffany is mentioned in the Season 5 episode "Heathers" as now running her own dance studio, so I decided she would depart the tour unseen during Giselle's time off in "The Edge of Glory" after the dance company had been to Italy. With Tiffany's dance studio yet to be named at the time of writing, I decided it would be safer to say she was still trying to find a name during the first part of the tour mentioned on-screen, i.e. Germany, France and Italy.
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