A VIVID memory from Victoria Baldesarra’s childhood makes a lot of sense given the career path of the 21-year-old Canadian.
“My parents threw me into a dance class when I was three years old and I remember being the only kid who didn’t cry,” Baldesarra said.
“I started competitively dancing when I was six and then I started on The Next Step when I was 13.
“It’s been a crazy journey. Dance has been a huge part of my life and always will be which is pretty amazing.”
Baldesarra moved to LA last year but was back in her home city of Toronto for a few weeks during the northern summer to teach and work on The Next Step set.
She is one of the original members of the scripted reality-style show that focuses on the relationships, friendships and drama experienced by dancers at a dance studio and is the only cast member to appear in all six seasons.
It all began after attending an open casting call with choreographer and casting director Amy Wright.
“I got a call-back and we shot a pilot for the show,” she said.
“They sent it off to the network and then nine months later they had more auditions where I reauditioned for my role Michelle, they cast me and we started shooting the show.
“I was in eighth grade and my whole life changed in the matter of a year.”
Whether you are a dance fan or not, Baldesarra said the program taught valuable life lessons when it came to dealing with bullying, relationships, friendships and other everyday issues for young adults.
She described her character Michelle as a leader who people looked up to, especially as her role evolved from the new girl to teacher over the seasons and she was given the opportunity to choreograph for the show.
“I still think her personality is very reserved where she doesn’t like to take chances but she will when it’s necessary,” Baldesarra said.
“Her feud with Emily is an everlasting battle. Emily and Michelle are very different but they do like to meet in the middle at the end of the day to do what’s best for the team.
“It’s awesome and I think we have a unique on-camera relationship that has shaped the show to what it is.”
As life imitates art, Baldesarra’s role in live stage production The Next Step – Absolute Dance touring Australia in September/October will see her take on the duties of host and assisting creative director.
“It’s fun because I’m taking that step back from dancing on the live shows and into a leadership role,” she said.
“With this live experience audiences will get to meet the new cast members and watch dances that fans will recognise from later seasons of the television show.
“There will be new dances in solos, duets and trios with a Q and A, loads of interaction and the thrill that comes with an awesome live dance show.”
The tour will be Baldesarra’s fourth trip to Australia with the most recent in January where she taught a series of dance workshops alongside fellow The Next Step star Brittany Raymond.
“I got to experience an Australian summer and loved every minute of it,” she said.
“Every time I come back I have a different experience, so this time I hope I learn or see something new.
“My father always says if I just keep doing what I love then I’ll never work a day in my life. I definitely feel like that.”
What: The Next Step – Absolute Dance
Where: HBF Stadium
When: October 8