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Don't even worry about it!

— James's catchphrase

James is a drummer in a band, and a breakdancer formerly on A-Troupe.

James is a long-time member of A-Troupe who eventually joins a band. At Internationals, James decides that he no longer wants to dance on A-Troupe and wants to drum with his band full time.[12]


Before the show

James joined Baby Ballet at The Next Step Dance Studio when he was six[13] and became friends with Eldon.

James eventually moved up to B-Troupe, where he dated Beth. After making it onto A-Troupe, James ended his relationship with her in order to focus on dance.[14]

At one point, he dated Amanda.[1]

Season 1

Upon making it onto A-Troupe again, James is approached by Beth, who claims that she misses him. Although, James has moved on and has no interest in getting back together with her.[14]

James struggles in school, particularly in math, causing his mom to decide that she will pull him out of the studio if his grades do not improve. Deborah explains that she's concerend about James because his grades are slipping. Deborah feels that James has been spending too much time at dance and not concentrating on school. She threatens to take him out of the studio unless his grades improve; Chris promises that he will tutor him.[15]

James tries to initiate a relationship with Riley, catalyzed by him gifting her with mountain spring water.[16] Despite Riley's frequent annoyance with him, James' efforts to woo her do not relent. He is confronted by Riley about the need for Emily to be dethroned as dance captain and becomes her accomplice in attempting to get Michelle to vie for the role.[17]

James grows closer to Riley. When she is tasked with getting the costume samples for Regionals, James tags along despite her incessant orders in an attempt to spend time with her, resulting in her to be late to the costume store. James concocts a successful plan to ultimately get the samples and is thanked by getting his hand held by Riley on the bus home.[4] It is on this day that James falls in love with Riley.[18]

After continuously urging Michelle to do so, she agrees to be the new dance captain.[19] James becomes a critical part of her reworking of the routine in order to dethrone Emily, alongside Riley and, later, West, Daniel[20] and Chloe.[21]

James fails his math test so, despite his routine working to dethrone Emily in the place of Michelle, James is left wondering if he will even be able to stay at the studio to bask in the change he worked to create.[22]
Deborah james season 1

James tells A-Troupe that he will be leaving.

Deborah informs James that he must leave The Next Step. Upon his mother's decision, James is forced to tell his peers that he is being pulled out of the studio. Although, after his friends' persuasion, his mother decides that he will only be out of the studio for two weeks, so long as his grades improve. James is grounded until his grades improve. Deborah warns James that if his grades don't improve she'll pull him out of The Next Step for good and send him to military school. Before James leaves for the two weeks, he is promised by Riley that if he gets at least a 70% on his upcoming math test, she will go on a date with him.[23]

After two weeks of studying, James scores a B+ on his math test and takes Riley on a date. For the date, he renovates Studio A — seeing as it is the first place that they met — so that there is food from all around the world. After asking Riley to dance with him, he shares his first kiss with her.[24] James is thrilled to discover that Riley wants to be his girlfriend and his relationship with her commences.[25]

James is given Daniel's Regionals solo after he injures himself, but struggles immensely with the technical choreography. He grows frustrated with his inability to master the dance, heightened by Beth's continued flirting and Riley's insistence that he give it up due to him neglecting his schoolwork to rehearse. After listening to West, James finally decides that he cannot do the solo.[26]

James is taken aback by Beth's proclamation of love before the Regionals finals, but decides against telling Riley about it. He is elated when the team wins the competition, kissing Riley in his excitement.[27]

Season 2

After making it onto A-Troupe,[28] James replaces Charlie as Beth's duet partner for an upcoming competition.[29] After auditioning for the Nationals duet with Riley, James resumes his rehearsal with Beth, which culminates in Beth kissing him.[30]

Unknowing that Riley witnessed the kiss and deeming the kiss ultimately meaningless, James does not tell Riley about it. James is met with Riley's fury and decides not to dance at the duet competition. James performs a dance for Riley, after which he apologizes, but is broken up with upon Beth's interruption.[31] James decides to perform at the duet competition with Beth, placing second and angering Riley further.[32]

James struggles with his Nationals duet with Riley. In order to distract himself from his pain, he begins spending more time with Bet and eventually dates her. James quickly realizes that being in a relationship with Beth is just as annoying as it was before and becomes more fervent about getting back together with Riley. James suggests to Riley that she creates a list of tasks which he must complete, after which they will be back together.[33]

James beth season 2 4

James looks on in annoyance at Beth's persistent declarations of love.

The first task on Riley's list is to break up with Beth, which proves to be easier said than done. Since Beth struggles to understand his attempts at breaking up with her, James moves onto other items of the list.[33] With Hunter's help, James finally gets Beth off of his back.[3]

James eventually completes the list, after which he reunites with Riley.[34] Despite being back together with Riley, James finds himself still struggling with their Nationals duet. He is delighted when Riley takes him out on a date, thus smoothing out the kinks in their relationship.[35] Additionally, he creates a new duet for Nationals with Riley.[36] 

Amidst choreographing a small group routine with West, Hunter and Eldon, James struggles with the B-Twist. After receiving advice from Luther Brown and reassurance from Riley, James ultimately performs it during their duet at Nationals.[37] After concluding the duet, he is told by Riley that she loves him and, overcome with joy, kisses her.[38]

James is elated to win Nationals, but quickly learns that their studio is being evicted. James, nonetheless, remains hopeful. He assists in packing up the items in the studio one night, when Lucien enters and proposes that Elite and The Next Step merge for Internationals.[39]

Season 3

James is forced to dance against Riley in the dance battle for a spot on the Internationals team. He tells Riley to dance her hardest, but forfeits when it is his turn to compete, thus taking him off of A-Troupe. He is met with anger from Riley, but makes her realize that he forfeited because he loves her.[40]

James becomes very committed to being the drummer in his band and is unsure of taking the newly open spot on A-Troupe, but eventually does.[41]

James riley season 3 pyf

James gives a Riley a half-eaten box of chocolates.

James forgets about his anniversary with Riley and gets her a half-eaten box of chocolates from his aunt Kathy's house as a last resort. James ultimately writes a song for Riley which he and his band perform. He loves Riley's gift of making human-sized painting.[11]

James comes to dislike Ella as Riley befriends her, deeming her tricky nature as the culprit of changing Riley for the worse.[42] Although, James realizes that Riley's friendship with Ella is correlated to his continued absence, since he is always rehearsing with his band. Subsequently, James quits the band to spend more time with her.[42]

After re-joining the band, James continues to struggle with juggling the band and dance. He eventually decides that after Internationals, he will no longer be on A-Troupe.[12] This makes him all the more determined when he must perform a tie-breaking final duet with Riley, since it is the last time that they will dance together. It pays off, as the duet leads to the team's victory.[43]

Season 4

James leaves A-Troupe so that he can focus on being in his band. At the open house for A-Troupe, he is shocked to see his little sister, Piper.[44] He advises her not to audition for A-Troupe because it is cut-throat and he will be unable to protect her. His advice does nothing to dissuade her from auditioning.[45]

James notices that Riley is having difficulty deciding whether or not to accept Kate's offer of being studio head. He advises her to take the position, especially since it will mean that she is in charge of the best studio in the world. Although, he assures her that he will be behind her regardless of her decision.[46]

West james season 4 lc

James regards the USB which holds the invitation for Bangers & Mashups.

 James signs up with West and Eldon for Bangers & Mashups International Hip-Hop Extravaganza in London.[47] He is confused when Riley appears to be wary of him going and takes her out on a date in order to ease her anxiety.[48]

James grows worried when his messages start to get ignored by Riley. When James sees how distressed Piper is while talking to her through video chat, James decides that he needs to leave London to be with her.[49]

James arrives to Riley's office and is concerned to see her crying. Although, this concern quickly evolves into rage when Riley tells him that she kissed Alfie.[50] After his bout of anger, James decides to forgive Riley because he loves her and because she forgave him when he kissed Beth. Nonetheless, the thought of Riley spending time with Alfie still angers him.[51]

James is devastated when Riley breaks up with him, which is only amplified when Riley requests that he dance with Alfie at the qualifier.[52] James initially refuses the request until he speaks to Emily and decides to leave his decision up to fate. James flips a coin,[53] which leads him dance at the qualifier.[54]

Alfie james season 4 r 2

James reminds Alfie that he doesn't like him.

James' hatred for Alfie fuels his duet. Having wished to never see Alfie again, James is furious when he and Alfie tie with another team and argues that he should be the person who dances the tie-breaking solo. After Skylar performs the solo and wins, James decides that he will return to London. Before he leaves, he is urged by Emily to have some faith.[54]

James struggles getting his mind off of Riley. One day, he encounters Ella, and details all that has going on between he and Riley after which she suggests he move on.[55]

At the finals of Bangers & Mash-ups, James pretends to be excited, but can only think of Riley. James struggles during his round and is unable to concentrate. Just when it seems they will be losing the competition, Riley enters the venue and walks onto the stage. Elated to see her, James kisses her, interrupting her apology. Rejuvenated with the resumption of his relationship with Riley, James easily wins the round and leads the team to winning the entire competition.[56]

When A-Troupe is short a dancer at Regionals, James flies to Bern and convinces Alfie to return.[57]

While disheartened at the team's loss, James comforts Riley about it. Not wanting them to ever break up again, James gives Riley a promise ring.[58]

Season 5

James attends the dance-a-thon and performs a song with his band.[59]

James helps Kate judge the dance battle between TNS East and TNS West. He is positive that TNS West will win and subsequently makes a bet with fellow judge, Riley; if TNS West wins, she will have to hold up a sign reading "James is a bubbly babe" at his next concert and if he wins, he will have to wear his dad's powder blue suit at her business school mixer. Despite standing by TNS West for the duration of the battle, James loses the bet when TNS East is declared the victor.[60]

Season 6

Although never appearing on-screen, James is mentioned by Eldon, who says that James is informed by Piper that Finn has been constantly asking her out and that James subsequently asked Eldon to watch out for her during Amy's prom.[61]

Season 7

James attends The Next Step Dance Studio's 30th anniversary Christmas party. In Piper's alternate reality James is The Next Step's janitor, ironically suffers from anxiety and is no longer dating Riley.[62] Thanks to Piper's successful efforts in reminding everyone that they love dance, in the alternate reality, James and Riley get back together.[63]


James is a very laid-back and collected character — presented in his catchphrase, "Don't even worry about it"— albeit very determined to be successful. He is extroverted and, thus, even talks to strangers, as they are "friends [he hasn't] met yet".[4] Although he enjoys provoking people for his own humour, he is really just a comedic, albeit slightly critical, individual and does not harness any true spite. As time progresses, James is able to take things more seriously.

James season 3 wtm

James glowers at Eldon.

James is a confident "ladies man," as he has dated at least three girls, equal to the most of any of the males on the show. This confidence often verges on conceit, and mixed with a short temper, occasionally results in explosive anger when others do not comply with his wishes or see his point of view. Despite his self-assurance, he is sometimes a wuss, shown in how easily he chickens out when presented with the task of eating raw eggs[64] and how terrified he is of stepping into the water at the Everglades.[65]

James always stands up for what is right regardless of the opinions of others or possible backlash. Despite this, he can be very stubborn and can hold onto to grudges for quite some time, proven when he is unwilling to become friends with Hunter. Such a grudge also displays James's unceasing loyalty to his friends, though, because he harbors such animosity towards Hunter because of the wrongdoing he commits unto Eldon.

James is a family man; he is one of the only characters on the show who has had more than one of their family members shown, as well as the only character whose parent has been shown. He is highly affectionate when he truly cares for someone, especially shown in how he acts around his family.

Physical appearance


James has dark brown eyes and tan skin. He has dark brown hair which is initially in a buzzcut, but is later grown out. He has a considerably thick eyebrows of which Stephanie has ridiculed.[66]


James's dance wear is very casual and dark in colour. He usually wears a dark t-shirt or undershirt with dark sweatpants or shorts.

James's street wear is equally dark and casual. James usually wears a t-shirt or pullover sweater with jeans. Only once does James wear a shirt that is not dark (in this case, it is pink).[67]



  • Acro: James is extremely proficient in acro.
  • Ballet: James can perform ballet, although there are conflicting accounts about his proficiency in the genre. James has no problem performing fouettés during the choreography round of the Challenge and in the routine that Michelle choreographs to overthrow Emily as dance captain, but he struggles with the pirouette section of Daniel's solo for Regionals.[28][22][26]
  • Breakdance: Breakdance is James's dominant style. Nonetheless, he momentarily struggles with B-Twist, of which he eventually masters.[36]
  • Hip-hop: James is extremely proficient in hip-hop and has arguably done more hip-hop than he has done breakdance. James has called himself a hip-hop dancer.[13]



  • Drums: James is an exceptional drummer. He eventually joins a band and quits dance to pursue his drumming full-time.[12]
  • Painting: While James's painting skills are somewhat elementary, one of his paintings is hung in his aunt Kathy's living room, meaning that at least she likes it.[11]
  • Song writing: James has written at least two songs independently, "Song for Riley" and "Brave", both of which Riley loves very much.[11][68] Seeing as both she and his other band members like them, his song writing skills are exceptionally proficient. He has also had input in the other songs that the band wrote, namely "Lost and Found", "We Are" and "Can You Feel the Love".[69][70][71]
  • Rapping: James is a talented rapper. He shows off his rapping skills in "The Other Man".


  • Magic: For an unknown item on a list to get back together with Riley, James learns a few magic tricks.[72]


Main article: James/Relationships


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 7


Group dances

Group Dances

Group dances

Group dances

Group dances


Group dances


  • James's favourite food is shawarma.[12]
  • James's phone's voice-mail initially is "You know who it is, you know what to do,"[1] but it is later changed to "Yo, this is James. I'm not here, but don't even worry about it."[73]
  • James has a driver's license.[74]
  • James is allergic to squid.[72]
  • His favourite dance song is "Baba" by Geko.[75]
  • If James were jelly or jam he would be peanut butter.[75]
  • James's favourite animal is an elephant.[15]


Main article: James/Quotes

External links


Kathy Riley season 3 episode 13 "Look at that painting!"

To view the James gallery, click here.


  1. James joined The Next Step Dance Studio when he was six years old. Eldon presumably started when he was five, as Emily says that she has known him since he was five, and she started the studio when she was two. If Eldon started when he was five, two years before James was six, it means James is one year younger than him. Eldon is sixteen, meaning that James is fifteen.
  2. In Toronto, the minimum driving age is sixteen.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Time to Move On." Wikia. Retrieved on October 4, 2015.
  2. "East Meets West." The Next Step. Family Channel. Retrieved on October 18, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Heartbreaker." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Road to Joy." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  5. "Marry Me." Wikia. Retrieved on December 10, 2015.
  6. "I'm Your Captain." Wikia. Retrieved on October 28, 2015.
  7. "The New Girl In Town." Wikia. Retrieved on August 26, 2015.
  8. The Next Step Cast On... Physical Tolls & Injuries. Youtube (October 22, 2014). Retrieved on March 30, 2016.
  9. "Runaway." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2017.
  10. "The Favourite". Wikia. Retrieved on March 31, 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Put You First." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "She's Not You." Wikia. Retrieved on December 23, 2015.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Next Step: James - Draw My Life - CBBC (contains spoilers). Youtube (Jul 8, 2015). Retrieved on August 26, 2015.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Everybody Dance Now." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Dance, Dance." Wikia. Retrieved on January 2, 2016.
  16. "Rock and a Hard Place." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  17. "Love Story." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  18. "Song for Riley." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  19. "Can You Keep a Secret?" Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  20. "Get It Together." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  21. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Sabotage." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  23. "Changes." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  24. "First Date." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  25. "We Are Family." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Come Back... Be Here." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  27. "Winner Takes All." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "The Final Cut." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  29. "The Girl Is Mine." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  30. "It Takes Two." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  31. "What'll I Do." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  32. "Never Enough." Wikia. Retrieved on October 6, 2017.
  33. 33.0 33.1 "Make a Plan to Love Me." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  34. "Just Dance." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  35. "Water It." Wikia. Retrieved on June 2, 2016.
  36. 36.0 36.1 "I Don't Know." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  37. "Run This Town." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  38. "You Love Me." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  39. "Rewind." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  40. "The Fallout." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  41. "The Nutcracker Prince." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  42. 42.0 42.1 "Mixed Messages." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  43. "How It Ends." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  44. "One More Time." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  45. "Stir It Up." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  46. "Welcome to the Jungle." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  47. "London Calling." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  48. "Walk This Way." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  49. "Rumour Has It." Wikia. Retrieved on October 21, 2016.
  50. "Tainted Love." Wikia. Retrieved on November 4, 2016.
  51. "A Fool in Love." Wikia. Retrieved on November 12, 2016.
  52. "Karma Police." Wikia. Retrieved on November 25, 2016.
  53. "Danger Zone." Wikia. Retrieved on December 5, 2016.
  54. 54.0 54.1 "Rivalry." Wikia. Retrieved on December 5, 2016.
  55. "It Ain't Easy." Wikia. Retrieved on March 23, 2017.
  56. "Bold As Love." Wikia. Retrieved on June 19, 2017.
  57. "Livin' on a Prayer." Wikia. Retrieved on June 21, 2017.
  58. "A Change Is Gonna Come." Wikia. Retrieved on June 21, 2017.
  59. "12 Hour Party People." Wikia. Retrieved on July 28, 2017.
  60. "East Meets West." The Next Step. Family Channel. Retrieved on December 17, 2017.
  61. "Twinkle Toes." Wikia. Retrieved on December 28, 2018.
  62. "It's a Wonderful Life, Piper - Part 1". Wikia. Retrieved on March 28, 2020.
  63. "It's a Wonderful Life, Piper - Part 2". Wikia. Retrieved on March 28, 2020.
  64. "Cry Me a River." Wikia. Retrieved on October 22, 2015.
  65. "Lost at Sea." Wikia. Retrieved on October 31, 2015.
  66. "Video Killed the Radio Star." Wikia. Retrieved on August 31, 2017.
  67. "It's My Party." Wikia. Retrieved on October 18, 2015.
  68. "Walk This Way." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  69. "Marry Me." Wikia. Retrieved on March 16, 2018.
  70. "The Edge of Glory." Wikia. Retrieved on March 16, 2018.
  71. "12 Hour Party People." Wikia. Retrieved on July 28, 2017.
  72. 72.0 72.1 "Sacrifice." Wikia. Retrieved on October 12, 2015.
  73. "Heat of the Moment." Wikia. Retrieved on June 25, 2016.
  74. "Better Than This." Wikia. Retrieved on August 27, 2015.
  75. 75.0 75.1 The Next Step: Get to know James. Youtube (Aug 9, 2013). Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
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