Oliver, Chloe's young assistant, visits The Next Step on his day off, where he encounters and dances with a beautiful but mysterious girl in Studio A. Who is she?
Guest starring Josie Kegram.
Main characters and cast
- Harrison Vaughan as Oliver
- Josie Kegram as the Girl
- Alexandra Beaton as Emily
Who's that Girl?
According to Chloe, The Next Step Dance Studio had a sort of magic about it. Oliver had experienced this when he and Chloe had visited The Next Step to give Noah and Richelle some help and advice with the ballet duet they were perform at Regionals. They had been due to leave when Chloe realized she had left her purse in Studio A and Oliver, who was always keen and ready to help, had gone back to fetch it. Having wondered why Oliver was taking such a long time, Chloe had gone to the studio herself only to find Oliver dancing there.
That was then. Now it was Oliver's day off and he'd decided to come back to The Next Step to see what was happening. He put his head round the right-hand of the two sets of double doors of Studio A — looking from the direction of the dance floor — and said "Hello?" No answer. The studio was deserted. Even the office was empty.
Perhaps everyone's in Studio 1, Oliver thought. Or perhaps they've all got the day off too. Oh well, I'll just have to make the best of it. He sat down on the bench in front of the office, slipped his runners off his bare feet and pulled on his half-soles.
Oliver then walked out onto the dance floor and started to perform the same dance routine he'd been practising that time when Miss Chloe had found him; a routine he had devised himself. It was while performing one of the many twists that made up the routine that he caught sight of what looked like a cloud of sparkles on the far side of the studio. Oliver assumed the bright light from Studio A's chandelier was playing tricks with his eyes, and continued the dance to its end. Having finished, he sat down on the floor to rest. Suddenly, a girl's voice close by nearly made him jump out of his half-soles. "Hello there."
Oliver looked up and saw a girl, aged around eleven or twelve, standing over him. She was very beautiful, with curly blonde hair and pale blue eyes, and was wearing dance gear topped with a red hooded TNS uniform jacket which bore the letter "J" on the right shoulder. For a moment, Oliver wondered if was J-Troupe's turn to use Studio A and if the other dancers would be coming any minute.
"No, there's only me," the girl said with a smile, leaving Oliver puzzled. He had been about to ask and she had answered before the question had passed his lips. Had the girl read his thoughts or something? And why hadn't he seen or heard her come in? It was as if she had just appeared out of thin air. But that was impossible. Tween girls didn't suddenly appear from nowhere like the TARDIS from Doctor Who — at least, none Oliver knew. Suddenly, Oliver remembered his manners.
"Hello," he said, getting to his feet. "My name's Oliver." He smiled, and held his hand out to the girl. She accepted it, and they shook hands.
"Hello, Oliver," the girl replied. Welcome back to The Next Step. You're a very good dancer. I'm sorry if I startled you."
"No, that's fine," said Oliver, "and thank you. How do you know I've been here before?"
The girl looked momentarily flustered, the composed herself. "I saw you when you came with Chloe," she said. "Do you like working as her assistant?"
"Yes, I do, thanks, Miss...?" Oliver replied,waiting for the girl to give her name. He waited in vain, but decided to continue nonetheless. "She's the most wonderful, kind and caring person I've ever known. Did you know Miss Chloe — when she was here at The Next Step, I mean?"
The girl nodded. "She was my teacher for Baby Ballet class. And I was there when she needed me, whenever she had a difficult decision to make."
"You sound like a guardian angel," said Oliver.
The girl smiled on hearing this, and said "I guess that's one way to describe me." She paused. "Could I ask you something, Oliver?"
"Sure. Fire away."
"Would you dance with me?" the girl asked. "I could do with the practice."
"Why, of course," said Oliver graciously. "I should warn you, though, seeing as you're a J-Trouper — I do have quite a bit of dance experience."
"Don't worry about me," the girl said. "I can keep up." She slipped off her jacket, and laid it on the bench near which Oliver had left his runners.
"How about the routine I was doing?" suggested Oliver. "I devised it myself as a solo, but it works just as well as a duet." The girl nodded keenly as Oliver led her onto the dance floor.
Oliver demonstrated the first part of the routine for the girl's benefit, and was amazed at how quickly she picked it up. In fact, the girl was so good that Oliver wondered why on earth she was still on J-Troupe. No sooner had this thought left Oliver's mind than the girl looked in Oliver's direction and gave him a knowing smile. "I'm still too young for A-Troupe," she said,"but you never know..."
The routine continued, with the girl performing the turns, leaps and twists every bit as well as Oliver. Finally, the routine ended, and the pair stood still on the floor to rest. Just as they were wondering what to do next, footsteps were heard in the corridor outside the studio. "Ssh!" the girl said softly. "It's Emily!"
"How do you know?" Oliver asked quietly.
"I just do," the girl replied in hushed tones. Oliver hurried across the dance floor, and the girl followed. He grabbed his runners from near the bench and the girl grabbed her jacket. Oliver started to make for the double doors through which he had entered earlier, but the girl grabbed his arm to stop him.
"Hold on," she said. "Emily'll see us. Wait til she comes in the other doors, then we'll slip out through here."
The girl seemed very aware of Emily's whereabouts, and Oliver felt he could trust her. The pair crouched down in the corner of the vestibule, beneath the large green and white KEEP CALM AND DANCE ON! poster. They heard Emily's footsteps coming closer down the corridor, then heard her entering the vestibule on the other side, followed by the sound of the office door opening as Emily entered. The girl nodded to Oliver and, still keeping low, the pair swiftly made their exit. Their half-soles made no sound whatsoever on the vestibule floor.
That's funny, thought Emily, as she entered the office, carrying a file under her arm. I could have sworn I heard voices. She peered through the windows overlooking the dance floor, and then crossed to the door opening onto the other vestibule. But there was no-one else in Studio A apart from herself.Perhaps I imagined it, she finally decided. Good job I gave A-Troupe the morning off, to give them a rest before the start of Regionals; and Michelle's away visiting her mom in Wisconsin. I can get this paperwork done without any interruptions.
Although Emily could have worked from home, she preferred to keep her home and working lives separate — and there were too many distractions at home in any case. It was much more peaceful working here in the studio office.
Emily put the file on the desk, sat down in her chair, selected the first sheet and set to work...
Oliver had gone into the boys' changing room, changed quickly into his street clothes and, accompanied by the girl, made his way to the landing of the stairway leading down to the lobby. "Phew!" he said. "That was close."
The girl nodded. "Believe me," she said, "you do not want to get on the wrong side of Emily."
The pair walked downstairs to the lobby. "You know, Oliver," the girl continued, "you really ought to consider auditioning for The Next Step in the future. You could make a professional dancer."
It was a very tempting offer, and Oliver thought about this for a moment. "Well," he said, "at the moment, I'm quite happy working with Miss Chloe, and I don't want to leave her in the lurch. But, perhaps one day."
Oliver looked at his watch, and then turned to the girl. "Do you want to come with me to Shakes 'n' Ladders? he asked. "I'm sure we could both do with a drink."
The girl smiled, and shook her head. "Thanks, but I'm going to have to take a raincheck," she replied. "I'm urgently needed at Lost & Found Music Studios."
"Lost & Found Music Studios?" Oliver echoed.
"Yes," the girl confirmed. "One of the girl there needs me. A wonderful singer, named Eva." She paused. "It was really great meeting you, Oliver. When you see Chloe, tell her I said hi and I hope she's doing fine."
"I will," promised Oliver.
The girl held her arms out to Oliver, who drew her close and gave her a big hug and a kiss. "Will I see you again?" he asked.
The girl nodded. "I expect so. I'm often around this part of the neighbourhood. Goodbye, Oliver."
Oliver watched as the girl started to skip away towards the exit and, as she did so, she seemed to leave a trail of sparkles in her wake, like the train of a bridal gown. Once again, Oliver put these down to a trick of the light. Then, he suddenly remembered something.
"Please, wait a moment," Oliver called out. The girl stopped and turned to face him, still seemingly surrounded by sparkles. "You never did tell me your name."
The girl smiled. "My name's Margie," she said.
Spoiler alert! If you've clicked on this section from the 'Contents' box, please read no further unless you've already finished reading The Girl in Studio A. Don't worry, I'll wait until you get back...
Have you read the fanfiction now? Good! You may now read on... -- FREDDIE
- Following the single appearance of Oliver in Season 6's "Pas de Don't", I decided his character was too good to waste and decided to use him in a fanfiction. As to whether Oliver will ever appear in the TV show again, that depends on the writers — and on Harrison Vaughan. At the same time, I had also decided to bring back a familiar character, who hadn't been seen on our screens since Season 3. "Who's that?" I hear you ask. Read on...
- I can confirm here and now that if you look up Josie Kegram (the Girl) — whose surname is pronounced "key-gram", by the way — on IMDb, you won't find any results. Believe me, I tried myself. That's because her only existence in life is as a pseudonym for Francesca van Keeken; Josie Kegram is an anagram of "Margie's Joke". I used this fictitious name to keep the fact that the fanfiction featured the return of Margie a surprise, and also chose to keep the character's identity a secret until the very end.
- I was never sure exactly how old Margie was in the TV show, and so in the fanfiction I decided to make her "around eleven or twelve", as Francesca van Keeken was eleven years old in 2018 when Season 6 was broadcast.
- In her last TV appearance, Season 3's "Do the Right Thing", Margie disappears before Chloe's eyes in a cloud of sparkles. I decided to have Oliver see these when he is dancing in Studio A, as well as in the lobby towards the end when Margie is leaving, and on both occasions have him think it's just a trick of the light.
- The chapter title "Who's that Girl?" alludes to the 1983 song of the same name by Eurythmics.
- I decided to provide Margie with a red J-Troupe jacket to imply she might still be at The Next Step, and dancing on J-Troupe. Oliver recognizes the jacket, so he must have obviously seen members of J-Troupe wearing these at The Next Step in "Pas de Don't" — albeit off-screen.
- To keep some mystery about the character of Margie, I deliberately chose not to describe the events as seen through her eyes — keeping virtually everything from Oliver's point of view. I also gave Margie the ability to apparently read Oliver's mind; she just may have had this particular skill in the TV show. I think I'll leave it to you to decide...
- The brief appearance of Emily in the fanfiction was merely a plot device to get Oliver and Margie out of Studio A and to the lobby for the closing scene. How Margie knew it was Emily coming along the corridor will forever remain part of her mystery.
- I wanted to imply that Margie may have been a guardian angel rather than a real person, as suggested in "Do the Right Thing" — hence she departs for Lost & Found Music Studios, where Eva needs her, in the closing scene. That, as they say, is another story — and one I'm afraid I won't be writing in the foreseeable future, as I've got far too many other fanfic ideas floating around at the moment. (But maybe one day.) Still, at least we know Margie may still be out there somewhere in the TNS universe, helping those in need. If only she could have been around for Clara during Lost & Found Music Studios Season 2...
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