This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the song. You can find the disambiguation page here.
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"Rivalry" is the 29th episode in Season 4 of The Next Step and the 123rd episode overall. It aired on December 9, 2016.


"James and Alfie represent The Next Step at the final Qualifier. Skylar has to step in to help when the situation is at a crossroads."[1]


Alfie james season 4 rivalry

Alfie and James rehearse their duet for the qualifier.

Alfie discusses the duet choreography with James, who has decided to stay after flipping his coin. Riley and Emily watch the two rehearse from Riley's office and note that it is going surprisingly well.

At the qualifier, Riley, Emily, and Skylar watch Dance Inc.* perform their routine from the audience. Riley is very antsy and feels that, as studio head, she should be doing something. Riley suggests that she speak to the boys, but Skylar assures her that she has already done so. Emily makes Riley promise to leave the boys alone. Dance Inc. finished their performance and scores 85, preventing them from qualifying to Regionals. Riley decides to leave the audience to get a drink, although Emily knows that she is going to speak to the boys. Surely enough, Riley finds the boys and wishes them good luck. Irritated at Riley's presence, James leaves. Alfie tells Riley that he could use a good luck kiss; just as Riley and Alfie lip-lock, James returns to retrieve his mountain spring water and witnesses the ordeal. Riley realizes that she just made things ten times worse.

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Piper, Amy, Noah and Sloane enter, to find Henry lying on the floor.

Piper, Amy, Sloane, and Noah race into Studio A upon seeing Henry lying on the floor. Henry reveals there is negative energy in the air and fears that it may affect how the team does at the qualifier. Noah realizes that Phoebe is the only person who can help them and calls her. Phoebe picks up, surprising him due to Phoebe being located in the Galapagos Islands (although, Phoebe reveals that after installing WiFi solar panels onto the backs of tortoises, the island has 4G). After Noah discloses the problem, Phoebe suggests that the dancers share their most inspirational dance stories. Although, she warns that good stories and bad vibes often to do not mix, that they should not mention the qualifier, and they must dispose of all electronic devices.

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Emily and Skylar cringe at Riley.

Oberhauser Dance Academy, who Emily deems to be the day's best competitors, perform. Riley returns to her seat and Emily, knowing that she spoke to the boys, asks how it went. Riley explains the experience which leaves both Emily and Skylar cringing. Trying to look on the bright side, Emily admits that James was bound to see Riley and Alfie kiss eventually and that he will now be able to move on. Emily confesses that they have to hope they are not completely doomed. Oberhauser finishes their duet and scores 96 points, moving them to first place. The Next Step Dance Studio is called to the stage.

Noah collects Sloane, Henry, Amy, and Piper's phones in a pillow case and sets them aside. The dancers sit in a circle in preparation of their positive stories. Henry goes first and tells a recurring story of him performing with the wrong crew and his own crew, thus getting both teams disqualified. Next, Sloane recounts a time when she forgot her costume and had to uncomfortably dance on-stage in tight jeans. Amy then reminisces about being cut from a team because she could not master a double-back-handspring-back-layout and not making it even after practicing the move all summer. Slowly, the dancers realize that the bad vibes are preventing them from telling good stories.

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James yells at Alfie.

In the wings of the stage, Alfie apologizes to James about kissing Riley earlier that day. James angrily reminds Alfie that they don't like each other and he only wants to see his face on-stage and never wants to see him again afterwards. James and Alfie enter the stage and perform their duet, which is fueled by their hatred for each other. The two are awarded 96 points for their performance, thus tying them with Oberhauser. The Next Step and Oberhauser have five minutes to create a solo to break the tie. Riley realizes that she'll have to choose between James and Alfie.

Noah realizes that he and his peers need to dance to solve their problem. Although they are unsure of whether or not their dancing has eliminated the studio's bad vibes, the dancers feel decidedly better.

The female dancer from Oberhauser's duo performs her solo. In the wings, Alfie and James urge Riley to make a decision, but she realizes that she cannot. Consequently, James and Alfie begin arguing with each other about who should perform the solo. Skylar is in disbelief about how quickly the team's chances at Regionals are slipping away.

Skylar james riley emily alfie rivalry

Skylar takes the stage.

Being unable to take James and Alfie's arguing and Riley's indecisiveness, Skylar retreats behind the curtain and creates a makeshift costume out of her scarf. When the team is called, Skylar walks on to the stage, much to Emily, Riley, James, and Alfie's disbelief. Skylar performs an exceptional solo and finishes to a standing ovation. James and Alfie accompany Skylar on-stage, and their opponents also make their way on-stage. The Next Step is announced as the winner of the qualifier, leaving everyone except for James ecstatic. Henry, Sloane, Piper, Amy, and Noah receive text messages which reveal that the team is moving on, leaving them excited. Amidst the celebration, Riley thanks Emily who urges her to go celebrate. Riley runs onto the stage into Alfie's embrace, causing James to retreat to the wings where he hugs and thanks Emily. James supposes that he now has a plane to catch, although Emily assures James that he should have faith that he and Riley will work out. James leaves the venue, confessing that he doesn't have much faith left. Riley suddenly turns around and is surprised to find that James is gone. Riley confesses that she is happy that they won, but that it feels weird to celebrate without James.

*Although, this team is called "Dance Extreme" on-screen, it is actually Dance Inc.




  • Noah only refers to Phoebe with the title "Miss," although no dancers, Noah included, have ever referred to her as such before.
  • Skylar is aware of and seemingly okay with Riley's feelings for Alfie. This is strange for two reasons: (1) in "On the Rocks," Skylar is irate about Riley's apparent lack of direction of the team, and (2) Skylar never finds out about Riley and Alfie's relationship on-screen. Although, it is possible that this is merely a result of Skylar's character development and her character being made aware of this off-screen.

Production errors

Cultural references





Featured music


Main article: Rivalry (episode)/Transcript


Main article: Rivalry (episode)/Quotes


Main article: Rivalry (episode)/Aftershow


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

To view the Rivalry (episode) gallery, click here.


  1. The Next Step Season 4 Episode 29 - Rivalry - Zap2It TV Listings. Zap2It (November 18, 2016). Retrieved on November 18, 2016.
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