The Next Step comes into the venue. Ally uncovers something shocking.
The studio with an outer-grey demeanor knew that heads would be rolling as soon as they walked in. They were getting ready a little bit later then their rival competitor and so therefore they had enough time to practice their finals routine one last time.
They were preparing it and they finished. Their music was the song Clouds Will Roll because they knew that it would be perfect for this amazingly technical routine. The studio owner smiled, and then commended them on such a great job. "Alright, we need to get going. We have 2 hours to be there before the competition starts and we need to be there an hour before. So we need to be there by 12 and I want to be there by 10." She said. Everyone nodded. "Ally, can you maybe go into the office to get the one registration thing to confirm it is us with all of our signatures?"
"Sure." Ally agreed, walking into the equally grim office. She stared and then went to find the paper. She could not find it at eye-view and therefore began to search around. She noticed a drawer in the desk was not closed. She shrugged and began to close it, before realizing that it had toe paper in the drawer. She picked the paper up before noting another paper that had 'bills to board'.
She raised a concerned brow and then brought it to the surface area of the desk. She looked at it, and there were a bunch of cheques that she'd had to yet send. One had said, for Internationals 2017. Regionals 2018. And it lasted till Internationals 2019. What the heck? She thought, how could they already have been allowed into internationals 2019? That's two years from now! Why is she saving money up now? She then chalked it up to nothing and began to put them back.
She almost did, before noticing that there was another page with cursive pen that looked like a letter with the 'Absolute Dance Company' signed. Knowing that she had to get to the bottom of this. She picked the paper up and laid it down on the desk. Thankfully, the studio had tainted windows, so no one could see exactly what in the world she was doing. She slowly began to read it out loud.
Hello, thanks for the money. Make sure no one knows that you're bribing me to let you into the next few years of Absolute Dance Competitions automatically. It'll be our little secret. Thanks so much for the money.
From, the Absolute Dance Board.
Ally was sick to her stomach. They were taking money and bribing the board in order to gain them automatic wins? How unfair! She, after collecting her thoughts, took a photo of the pages and the letter, put the pages away, and grabbed the one that she needed, before walking out.
"Oh yeah. When are you going to send me the video? You're going to need to do that." The studio owner said.
"No. I won't ever." Ally persisted. Her anger growing from inside. Using every bit of it to show discomfort to the studio and their ideas of what winning was.
"It's in your contract. You must." The owner of Gemini, Sophia, spoke out.
"No." Ally persisted. "Do you dancers have any clue of what this studio owner is doing? I refuse to be a spy for someone who bribes their way to victory. It's literally in my phone. That's right, I saw the pages, and the letter. You're buying your way to winning which seems a little unfair, especially to those of whom who practice for months, allowing yourself to get a bypass for two years is sick and insane." Ally said.
"No, you're not going to be release from the contract, and it says in your contract that it says that you can't say anything bad about us. So come with us now." She said, the studio owners voice now harsh with displeasure. Growling. Both Gemini and their little spy were both on thin ice, and so was the entirety of Nationals now.
The dancers smiled along the lines, as they were getting ready. It was early in the day and Giselle had just said the words of alright, and they all smiled. Readying themselves for 4 hours of driving. This was it, this was their moment. This was what they were waiting for.
Suitcases rolled in from them as they were trying to get themselves to fit in a certain functioning order. "Nationals is hard, but I am sure that we're gonna win. With Finn as our male soloist, Piper, Amy, Jacquie and Zara as our small group, Noah and Jacquie as our duet, Michelle as our soloist and you all as our official group, I have no doubt that we're gonna win."
Everyone clapped their hands as they got down the stairs once more for a final farewell to the studio as they ventured onto the bus. Sighs rolling them along, keeping them mentally stable and keeping them from freezing in the unusually briskly mid-June-ish air. What the couples did was talk and have fun admiring what they had in their amazing lives. They were thankful, and having fun. Regaining their low self esteems for others washing their burdens of law breaking away.
Noah and Jacquie sat in the back right row, Ozzy and Richelle sat in the back left row. It was weird that the only two couples (excluding Thalia and Eldon who were The Next Step faculty and not dancers), of The Next Step were to be sitting at the back, and so for the whole eternity of the trip, the single Next Step dancers called it the 'couples row'.
Lily sat with Zara in the second row to the back on the left. The two were not big friends, and thus were not as talkative as those who were spewing their noise pollution everywhere in the very back. However they were to have the odd conversation here and there on the trip. On the right, Finn and Josh were talking amongst themselves. Trying to make a positive of what they were given. They talked and grew closer. They were enjoying each other's company and feeling better about the duet which was almost snatched away from them like a bad weave, again.
Michelle was alone in the third row to the back, also known as the second to the front. She looked around and realizedhow this years Nationals would be so different, and how for Michelle, it almost felt like a step back from her life. She knew that for Internationals, that she'd crush the scene and make up for her not being committed to the internationals team in their prime, when her parents were unfortunately getting divorced. She knew that she'd make up for lost time, and that this was the biggest event for her ever. She could not mess it up or take this for granted. She was going to, in Ella's words, be a tornado. Crushing down every obstacle in her wake.
And, so that left Piper and Amy, the two best friends, to be sitting together in the front of the bus, or at least the frontier of which they could travel to in the bus. As Thalia and Eldon, the now married couple, were in the front, along with Chloe and Giselle, who sat in front row, Thalia and Eldon on the right, and Giselle and Chloe on the left, whilst they discussed ideas of what to do during their time while not competing.
By the time of which they got to the competition, it was 10: 00am and they got off the bus, and signed themselves in, ready for the day. Walking into the competition venue almost felt like Hollywood to them, with the same buzzing excite on everyone's faces and the strive to be the best, you could almost call it Hollywood except on a smaller scale and face-focused. The competition was not to start until after lunch, so at 12. Which meant that that had some time to kill. They walked in wearing their uniforms. The same ones that the old Next Step wore on their first venture into Nationals years ago in 2005. Ones which Emily had found and restored in perfect condition. It almost felt weirdly nostalgic to them, despite them never being in that era. Very few knew about their past back them. Their gold tracksuits glittered and shined. It made them look like a runway. Which was the perfect thing.
Meanwhile, the Gemini's got off of the bus. Skylar turned to Ally. "Ally, you need to come along the back route so that The Next Step does not find your presence." Skylar said. Ally nodded and walked down the back route, and headed through the secret pathways and went to the rows of rooms with different studio names on them. She scanned them until she found the one, that instead of Gemini's name, had the symbol of the zodiac sign instead. A classic trait for them now as they were one of the best studios now.
Back at The Next Step's side, in the venue, they scanned around for competing teams. Ones that they knew and ones of which they did not know about. They saw several they did know, like Life of Dance, Joanne Chapmans School Of Dance, Canadian Dance Company, Rhythm Plus, Dance Inc, Dimensions of Dance and Confidance. Seven off the batt that they noticed. They realized that Heather was with them. And then they saw Amanda and the touring company walk in. Their outfits glowing.
Piper, Michelle, Noah, Richelle and Amy all rushed over. Along with Giselle, Chloe, Thalia, and Eldon. Those of which who had known her before. They all gushed over the fact that she was here. However, Amanda took no friends. She just stared at them, blinked with her overly exaggerated winged eyeliner, and rolled her eyes. "You guys aren't worth my time." Amanda said.
They were in total shock. "What did we do?" Piper asked. Amanda began to talk away before hearing that and once she did, she turned around, with her resting angry face which dripped of emotion.
"You want to know what happened?" Amanda asked, beginning to get mad. "Michelle, you're the reason I was kicked off of the finals dance and guess what? We lost. You think you're going to have a solo? No, you won't. You're gonna fail that too and let your team down, you think you are all high and mighty, but your outfits look like stuff from a 1980's fashion show which flopped miserably." Amanda said. "You think you're going to win by playing nice and being yourself but sometimes being robots is what really stands out." She said before walking off. Leaving the entire team disgusted by the behavior.
Michelle then turned over to Amanda. "Maybe sure, yeah, Riley was a horrible studio head, but we have better ones now."
"Oh yeah, and guess what? The entire team turned on them, how fun?" Amanda said. "And yet somehow the team came back to them, what a shock? That means you're all dumb for going back to people who were very clearly the problem if you rebelled and had a literal uprising for their demise. You're only allowing the problems to continue! Oh and don't get me started on how they have a revolving door for one dancer named Ally who is not even a very good dancer and is very indecisive over which team she wants to be on, and how you guys gave a solo to someone but never let it actually happen! She is now stuck with a solo she's been working on for months and won't even get to perform. Frankly, I think Zara deserves the solo because Michelle can't get her act together. You guys aren't better then the horrible trash known as Riley, if anything you're only worse!"That was it, the other dancers began to clap back at one another and it turned into a war. Michelle stood there, crying and sobbing over the words of what her own teammates, former friend said. Had The Next Step actually treated her that badly? As Noah was her solace in that very moment, he helped her calm down, but the security guards had to step in and make the touring company go to their dressing rooms, and then Gemini walked in adorning their grey tracksuits as uniforms. Smirks on their faces as they prepared to dominate the competition, making everyone weep to their knees. Falling down at their command. They were to rule the competition with an iron fist. How far would it go? Well, they just had to wait and see. All they knew is that this Nationals would be warfare to all sides.