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I just find it ridiculous that you are just waiting around for James to be ready.

Ella, to Riley

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"Sweet Spot" is the 16th episode in Season 3 of The Next Step and the 80th episode overall, as well as the first episode of Season 3.5. It aired on September 11, 2015.


James is preoccupied with his band and can't devote time to his duet with Riley for Internationals, so Ella helps her let loose. Meanwhile, Eldon and Thalia try to uncover the studio's sweet spots.


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Michelle tells the team that she will be staying.

A-Troupe practices one of their Internationals routines in Studio A and reminisces about recent events: Giselle's new dance captaincy, James's preoccupation with his band, the new Elite members joining the team and the departure of a former A-Troupe members, Thalia and Eldon's newfound attraction for each other, and Michelle still being in Madison without any sign of whether she is returning. At the routine's end, Kate tells the team to take a short break. Seconds later, Phoebe arrives with a letter from the Internationals board. Giselle snatches the envelope and opens it to reveal that the Internationals board has declared that every team must concoct a duet that will act as a tiebreaker if need be. West suggests that he do a duet with himself, but Riley and James are granted the dance instead. Riley asks James if he'd like to practice their duet after rehearsal, but he replies that he cannot because he has band practice. Though disheartened, Riley accepts this and the two instead decide to practice at 3:00 p.m. Michelle finally returns from her trip and confirms that she will be staying at the studio.

At 3:30, James is still rehearsing with Theo and Luke in the Music Room. Frustrated that James is late, Riley arrives and tells him that they need to rehearse, although the band urges him to stay. Riley tells him that she will be in Studio A, where she expects him to join her in ten minutes. James confesses that he doesn't want to rehearse the duet, but wants to stay with the band.

While walking down the street together, Eldon gives Thalia a map which outlines all the sweet spots that Eldon could find. Eldon confesses that James had told himself and Thalia that they are not allowed to even communicate until he reaches 30 pirouettes, so they are being particularly secretive. Worrying that James will somehow see them together, Eldon sprints away.

Riley still waits for James in Studio A. Ella approaches her and, upon discovering why Riley is in the studio alone, urges Riley to do things without waiting for James' readiness. Riley realizes that she Ella right and agrees to join in on some fun with her.

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Riley fools around with Ella.

Michelle helps Thalia find sweet spots in the building with Eldon's map as the guide despite not understand exactly what a sweet spot is. Meanwhile, Ella and Riley sit in Hidalgo's, jokingly stuffing fries into their mouths to resemble teeth. The two then decide to order drinks while pretending to be the other person. Riley admits that she is actually having fun.

Eldon places a love letter he wrote for Thalia under the bench in the last sweet spot on the list. Elsewhere, James texts Riley that he is ready to rehearse, but Riley ignores it.

Thalia is still testing the newly-found sweet spot, with Michelle claiming that Eldon and Thalia are meant for each other since they are both crazy. Thalia resorts to staying in her spot and gives Michelle the map to find the last spot on the map. Michelle finds Eldon's letter, reads it, and is astounded by how much thought Eldon put into it for Thalia, vowing to deliver it to her. When Michelle returns to Studio A Thalia is nowhere to be found, leading Michelle to search for her. As Michelle exits, Ella and Riley enter the studio. Ella eventually persuades Riley into play football (or, rather, soccer). Riley eventually kicks the ball so hard that it bounces off the left-hand vestibule wall and straight into Kate's office, whereupon there is a loud smash as the ball hits the Nationals trophy and breaks it.

Kate reprimands Ella and Riley about the broken trophy, since it does not actually belong to them and they have to give it to the next team that wins Nationals. Ella cheekily jokes that The Next Step ought to win next year's competition so that they don't have to fix the trophy. Riley offers to teach dance classes to pay for the damage, and Kate proclaims that Riley will have to do so for the rest of her life to raise enough money! Her patience clearly exhausted, Kate orders the pair from her office, with Riley astounded at how calm Ella is.

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James attempts to snatch Eldon's love letter from Michelle.

Michelle is re-reading the love letter in Hidalgo's when James enters and sits across from her. Michelle fills him in Eldon and Thalia's situation, angering James, seeing it as a direct violation of their agreement. He snatches the letter from Michelle and decides to takes matters into his own hands.

Riley is still in disbelief about what she did to the trophy, with Ella still barely alarmed. Riley, done with Ella's games, decides to go find James, but realizes that her life really does revolve around him and questions how she can gain more excitement in her life.

Thalia and Eldon enter Hidalgo's, having been beckoned by James who subsequently reads snippets of the letter furiously. Despite Thalia finding the letter romantic, James decrees that the two cannot communicate with each other whatsoever until Eldon reaches 30 pirouettes. Thalia and Eldon protest, causing James to admit that he could lower the amount of pirouettes, but that it would make their relationship less meaningful. After admitting to each other how much they like one another, Thalia and Eldon realize that they should wait if they want their relationship to work.

James and Riley finally find time to practice their duet. Newly concerned about her uptight nature, Riley asks James for advice on how to loosen up without worrying about the consequences. Although, James merely tells Riley that she is the sensible one who keeps his feelings of culpability in check, which is why he likes her. Riley confesses that she doesn't know if she wants to be that person any more.



  • Despite Kate proclaiming that Riley will have to teach dance classes for the rest of her life, Riley is never seen teaching a dance class after this episode.

Cultural References

  • The title refers to a song of the same name by Flo Rida ft. Jennifer Lopez.





Featured music

Featured dances


Main article: Sweet Spot/Quotes


Main article: Sweet Spot/Aftershow


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

To view the Sweet Spot gallery, click here.