| "Well, I guess so!"
There are presumptions on this article that may be incorrect.
The timeline of The Next Step is a disputed topic. Although it is believed by many that every season of the show is a year, the official The Next Step ask.fm account has confirmed that every season is every 4 months,[Reference needed] meaning that Season 4 is a year after Season 1. Although, Season 5 takes place a year after Season 4, and Season 5 and Season 6 take place within 3 weeks of one another. Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3 take place in 2015, while Season 4 takes place in 2016, and Season 5, Season 6 and Season 7 in 2017. With this in mind, a rough timeline of major events has been constructed.
Before the show
|1980s||Cathy opens and starts running The Next Step Dance Studio.|
|1995||Cathy starts A-Troupe.|
|1997||Cathy starts B-Troupe.|
|1998||Regionals, Nationals, and Internationals are created by Absolute Dance.|
|1999||Skylar is born.
Noah is born.
|2001||The person who wins the title of Miss Nationals Soloist becomes the first individual to win the title twice in a row.|
|2005||Cathy opens J-Troupe.|
|2006||Chris is hired as head choreographer of The Next Step Dance Studio, although initially to teach J-Troupe.|
|2012||Elite Dance Academy wins Absolute Dance Regionals in Region 7.|
|2013||Kate takes ownership of The Next Step Dance Studio after Cathy retires.|
|2014||Elite Dance Academy wins Absolute Dance Regionals in Region 7.|
During the show
- Although each season officially takes place within one to four months, there are countless inconsistencies:
- Every season, without fail, at least one character proclaims that it has been a year since the previous season.
- Considering the amount of physical growth some characters undergo, this timeline seems illogical. This is exacerbated by Noah's age being announced in Season 6 as 18, meaning that he went from 15 to 16 from Season 1 to Season 3 which is an impossible feat, given his physical growth and how he was supposed to be younger than the rest of A-Troupe in Season 3.
- Toronto, where the show is filmed and likely set, has four seasons: summer, fall, winter, and spring. Yet, all shots of the outdoors (excluding the Christmas special episodes in Season 7) throughout the show showcases that it is summer or spring.
- Although there are few official ages (the only ones being announced are Skylar and Noah's), different evidence is presented throughout the show, allowing Steppers to deduce certain characters' ages. This timeline makes characters who are clearly years apart, closer together in age. For example, it has been deduced that Emily is 17 in Season 4, although, since Season 4 takes place in 2016 and Skylar proclaims during that season that she was born in 1999, that would mean Emily and Skylar are the same age. Worse, Noah is declared to be 18 in Season 6, meaning that he is the same age as Emily and Skylar.
- Another issue with ages lies in the characters going to university. Emily graduates from university in The Off Season: Season 1, although she is supposed to be 18 by that point. In Canada, one typically enters university when they are 18. For this to work, Emily would have had to skip four grades sometime during her education.
- Additionally, this timeline would mean Riley, who is at least a year younger than Emily, becomes studio head when she is 16 or younger, which is not only illogical, but illegal since she would be a minor. Although, this would make Riley's relationship with Alfie more appropriate. It would also mean that Skylar and Noah are older than Riley, which is clearly not the case.
- The events of Lost & Found Music Studios would appear to take place during an unseen period — an extended 'Off Season', if you like — between Seasons 3 and 4 of The Next Step, judging by the following observations:
- The cafe featured in both seasons of Lost & Found Music Studios is Java Junction, as it was during The Next Step Season 4. (If Lost & Found Music Studios had been renewed for a third season, it can only be guessed as to whether this would have become Neutral Grounds, as it did during The Next Step Season 5.)
- Giselle is still at The Next Step Dance Studio, which she does not leave to join the world touring dance company until Season 4.
- Riley has a new hairstyle (originally blonde, but which later changed to a brown, dip-dyed blonde style) in both seasons, one she never sported during The Next Step Seasons 3 and 4, or any later season in which she appeared.
- Michelle is John's girlfriend in Lost & Found Music Studios Seasons 1 and 2, something which is never mentioned during The Next Step Seasons 3 and 4, or any subsequent season.
- James has left The Next Step, and is now attending Lost & Found where he plays drums for the Boys' Band.
- The events of "It's a Wonderful Life, Piper - Part 1" and "It's a Wonderful Life, Piper - Part 2" appear to be set at an unknown time. Due to it being Christmas, it should logically take place between Seasons 4 and 5, but there are countless inconsistencies:
- Kingston, Ozzy, Summer, Kenzie and Finn are present, whereas Noah and Jacquie are absent.
- The dance clothes that the dancers wear are their Season 7 outfits.
- Emily and Michelle are co-studio heads, as opposed to Riley or Emily (independently).
- The Next Steep is the cafe featured below The Next Step Dance Studio, as opposed to Java Junction or Neutral Grounds.
- Events that occurred in Season 5 and Season 6 such as Amy leaving to join Gemini, Ms Angela and Lily taking over The Next Step, Piper struggling with confidence and Eldon's attempt to be Electric Eldon are referenced.