... I may not tell you this enough, but you are one incredible dancer - and I believe in you more than you can ever imagine.

Noah to Jacquie

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"Mean Twirls" is the 6th episode in Season 6 of The Next Step and the 160th episode overall. It aired on October 7, 2018.


Summer is tricked by dancers who are threatened by her, while TNS rents out some rehearsal space to a new dance team, AcroNation.[1]


In Studio 1, Jacquie is rehearsing alone. She confesses that she feels betrayed that Noah thinks Summer is a better dancer than her, so she is putting in extra time to try and become the best dancer at The Next Step Dance Studio. Richelle enters the studio, and confesses that she is sure Jacquie is trying to take the top spot from Summer, and she can't let her get there before she does. After Jacquie finishes a tumbling sequence, Richelle provokes her by calling it "pedestrian" - and before long, the two commence a dance battle. However, as they try to outdo each other by performing the same moves, they suddenly realize that their battle has morphed into a duet, and Jacquie confesses that their shared goal of beating Summer seems to have brought them together. After the girls finish the duet, Michelle and Emily come in and ask them to clear out of the studio; when they ask why, Emily reveals that they are renting out the space to a new team. Right on cue, Thalia enters the studio, and happily embraces Emily and Michelle; she confesses that it is great to be back at The Next Step.

Thalia's new team, AcroNation, performs their first group routine in Studio 1. Thalia confesses that she spent some time on tour after leaving Wojdan Dance Academy, and that now she is back, she decided it was the perfect time to open her own dance studio. Summer enters during their rehearsal, confessing that everyone has been talking about the new team that is renting Studio 1. She is amazed at seeing a team made up entirely of acro dancers, and believes that they will be hard to beat. Summer congratulates Thalia on the routine, and asks if AcroNation will be performing it at Regionals; she responds that they won't be going this year, confessing that she hopes they will qualify next year.

In the Studio A office, Emily and Michelle are awaiting a call from Rita, their contact at Absolute Dance; Emily confesses that they are hoping to convince her to let them host the Absolute Dance WildStylz convention at the studio. As they argue about which of them should speak to her, the phone starts ringing; Emily picks it up before Michelle can get there, and quickly finds out that another studio is already hosting the convention. Ignoring Michelle's suggestions of ways to change Rita's mind, Emily frantically claims that she can get Dytto to attend the convention if they host it. Michelle is flabbergasted that she would make such a bold statement, but nevertheless, it convinces Rita to change the host studio to The Next Step - though as Emily ends the call, she and Michelle instantly start panicking about how they will get a world-class dancer to appear at the convention.

In the locker room, Summer tells Amy about how amazing AcroNation is, while Richelle and Jacquie listen from the couch. Richelle confesses that she has an idea on how she can reclaim the front-row spot from Summer, and tells Jacquie to follow her lead. Richelle approaches Summer and lies they are about to go to a workshop with AcroNation, and asks her if she wants to come with them; Jacquie quickly follows suit, and pretends that Michelle texted everyone saying that rehearsals are cancelled that day. Summer falls for their story, and agrees to go; Richelle confesses that with luck, Summer will decide to transfer to AcroNation, and she and Jacquie will then take their rightful places in the front row.

As AcroNation is warming up, Summer enters, and becomes suspicious when she realizes Jacquie and Richelle aren't there. She asks Thalia about the workshop, and she confirms that there isn't one, to Summer's frustration. Noting that she seems confused, AcroNation's dance captain, Simone, asks Summer if she wants to dance with them; as the alternative is rehearsing with Richelle and Jacquie, Summer decides that she'd rather stay with AcroNation. Thalia asks to see what she can do, and Summer performs a sequence of tricks, which everyone applauds; Thalia notes that she has landed on one of her favourite sweet spots, and is delighted when Summer reveals that she is able to find them too.

In Shakes & Ladders, Heath is telling Winnie a story about his dog, Snuggles, going missing; however, Winnie instantly becomes distracted when Ozzy enters, and she pretends to laugh at Heath's story before rushing over to speak to him. Winnie quickly begins flirting with him, insisting that he seems "more manly" and asking if he has had a growth spurt, only for Heath to interrupt them and claim that Ozzy looks the same to him. Heath then confesses that he and Ozzy have been rivals since they were in J-Troupe, and he is convinced Ozzy is still jealous of him. Ozzy mockingly congratulates Heath on moving up to B-Troupe, and Heath responds by implying that Ozzy doesn't deserve to be in A-Troupe; he is unfazed by this, and walks away. Winnie confesses that although she likes Ozzy, he never seems to notice her, and she has a plan to use Heath and Ozzy's rivalry to win the latter's affections.

In Studio A, Jacquie and Richelle gloat about their plan to make Summer leave The Next Step for AcroNation, and jokingly agree that they have done her a favour. Michelle then enters to oversee their rehearsal, and confusedly asks them where Summer is; they lie that they don't know,  slandering Summer for her apparent lack of commitment. Michelle sees through them almost immediately, and pretends that she is now considering giving Summer's front-row spot to either Richelle or Jacquie, and asks them who should have it; sure enough, the two instantly start arguing about who should take Summer's place, and only make cases for themselves. Amidst the girls' bickering, Michelle takes the Internationals trophy from the office and slams it down in front of them. She tells them that when she won the trophy with her teammates, they did it by putting aside their personal problems for the sake of the team; she then reprimands Richelle and Jacquie for attempting to sabotage Summer, and for believing that they have the right to be in the front row over her.

AcroNation and Summer are freestyling in Studio 1, as it is important to Thalia that her dancers are proficient at improv. Summer confesses that she enjoys how relaxed this team is, and how they work hard but have fun at the same time. As Summer performs her freestyle, Ty confesses that he thinks she would be a good fit for their team, and Simone echoes this. Summer decides that she is glad Jacquie and Richelle tricked her into dancing with AcroNation, as she feels more at home with them than she ever has in A-Troupe. As the dancers disperse, Simone asks Summer how she ended up with them instead of her own team - but before she can say why, she correctly guesses that Summer was put in the front row, as she has been in the same situation before. Simone assures Summer that she can always come and dance with them if she gets tired of the drama, and Summer begins to seriously consider whether she would be happier at AcroNation than at The Next Step.

Winnie and Heath are stretching in Studio A, as Winnie has asked Ozzy to watch them perform a duet they have been working on. Heath doesn't understand why he has to watch them dance, and voices his resentment to Winnie, who confesses that she is hoping to make Ozzy jealous when he sees her dancing with Heath. Ozzy then enters, and he and Heath coldly acknowledge each other before Ozzy asks to see the duet. Heath confesses that Ozzy only made it to A-Troupe through luck, and he is ready to prove that he is better than him. Winnie and Heath commence their duet; as they dance, Winnie tries to figure out what Ozzy thinks of it, but as he wants to seem professional, he appears completely stoic as he watches them. Once they have finished, Ozzy praises Winnie's dancing, but claims that she had no chemistry with Heath, and tells him pointedly that as he is in B-Troupe, he has lots of time to work on improving it. Despite Ozzy showing no signs that he is any more interested in her than before, Winnie is still happy with the outcome of her scheme, and is confident that Ozzy will return her feelings someday.

In Shakes & Ladders, Jacquie and Richelle approach Summer, intending to apologise to her. It takes them a few tries before Summer believes they are being sincere, but eventually, she accepts their apology, confessing that she was never seriously thinking about joining AcroNation. Summer then receives a drink she ordered, cheerfully informs the cashier that Richelle and Jacquie will be paying for it, and walks off - with it quickly becoming apparent that neither girl has any money.

Michelle enters the office, and asks Emily why she is smiling; Emily reveals that she managed to book Dytto for the convention, much to Michelle's relief. She confesses that she is glad to be running the studio with Emily, as she is able to efficiently take care of the business side of things while Michelle can focus on the dancers.

Noah approaches Jacquie in the locker room, and asks if the rumours that she tried to get Summer to join AcroNation are true; Jacquie dodges the question, saying it is a long story. Wanting to get to the bottom of Jacquie's recent strange behaviour, Noah asks if she is jealous of Summer, and Jacquie immediately responds that it is nothing to do with her - it is about the fact that Noah doesn't seem to believe in her. Jacquie confesses that it is hard to be confident in the competitive dance world, as people are constantly trying to outdo you, and it is particularly difficult when someone else is getting more attention than you. Jacquie tells Noah that from her perspective, he more or less said that Summer is a better dancer than her, and she was hurt by it. Noah responds that even though he might not always say so, he thinks she is an incredible dancer, and that even if she isn't in the front row for this dance, she will be there next time. The two embrace, and Jacquie confesses that she is glad to be dating someone who believes in her.




  • Amy implies that she has met Thalia before, despite never officially meeting her on the show. However, it is possible the two could have been introduced offscreen sometime prior to this episode, possibly during the events of "12 Hour Party People".

Behind the Scenes

Cultural References

  • The title of this episode alludes to the teen comedy film Mean Girls.
  • Richelle calls Jacquie "pedestrian", which is a term used in the dance world to refer to a non-dancer.





Featured music

Riley season 3 wtm i'll "I'll get to you when I get to you!" - The missing information in this section of the article is to be added.

Featured dances


Main article: Mean Twirls/Quotes


Main article: Mean Twirls/Aftershow


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

To view the Mean Twirls gallery, click here.


  1. BBC iPlayer - The Next Step - Series 6: 6. Mean Twirls. BBC iPlayer (July 23, 2018). Retrieved on August 8, 2018.
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