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James Riley West season 3 episode 19 "Spoiler alert—he dies at the end."

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Emily tns season 1 "I think Kate and Chris's dance is great for two old people."

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Let me guess. You're one of those 'don't even worry about it' types, right?

Zoltan to James, "Work It"

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James is a full time drummer in a band. Prior to his commitment to the band, James was a long-time member of A-Troupe. He is Piper's older brother.


Before the Show

James started dancing at The Next Step Dance Studio when he was 6 years old. At this point, he joined Baby Ballet.[8]

When James moved into B-Troupe, he dated Beth. When he moved up to A-Troupe, he broke up with Beth in order to focus on dance.[9]

At an undisclosed time, he dated Amanda.[10]

Season 1

James is set on impressing Riley, the only girl seemingly immune to his charm. He eventually falls in love with her, allegedly in the episode "Road to Joy."[11]

James begins struggling in school, particularly in math, and his mother, Deborah, threatens to pull him out of the studio if his grades do not improve.[12]

West, a newcomer to the troupe, begins dancing in front of him on random occasions to initiate a friendship. Despite finding it annoying at first, he warms up to West and the two become best friends.[12]

Upon Riley's assertion that Emily should be dethroned as Dance Captain with Michelle, James tries to get Michelle to agree to the task, to which she eventually does.[13] Under Michelle's guidance, he, ChloeDaniel, West and Riley choreograph a new Regionals routine that is to be shown to Kate.

James begrudgingly reveals to Riley that he believes he failed his math test, meaning that he will be pulled out of the studio. Although the routine he is a part of works to dethrone Emily as Dance Captain and instate Michelle with the title, the joy is cut short with the realization that he will no longer be able to dance.[14]

James's mother forces him to leave the studio indefinitely due to his grades. When he reveals the news to A-Troupe, they persuade his mom to take him out of the studio for two weeks with full omission from dance, after which he can return so long as his grades improve. Deborah reluctantly agrees, but she tells James that he's grounded until his grades improve. Additionally, James is told by Riley that if he scores a 70% on his next math test, she will go on a date with him.[15]

 After two weeks of studying, James scores a B+ on his math test and takes Riley on a date. For the date, he renovates Studio A—seeing as it is the first place that they met—so that there is food from all around the world. After asking Riley to dance with him, he shares his first kiss with her.[16] James is thrilled to discover that Riley wants to be his girlfriend, and his relationship with her commences.[17]

Despite having broken up with Beth, James finds that she is still making advances at him. At Regionals, James is told by her that she still loves him which he does not tell Riley about.[18]

Season 2

James replaces Charlie as Beth's duet partner for an upcoming competition.[19] While practicing one day, Beth kisses James and he does not pull away.[20] James does not tell Riley about the incident because the kiss meant nothing to him, but he eventually discovers that Riley had seen the entire incident. James attempts to make it up to her, but Riley breaks up with him nonetheless.[21] As a result, he struggles with his Nationals duet with Riley.

Beth james season 2 4

James kisses Beth.

James begins hanging out with Beth in order to distract him from the pain that he is in, and he eventually starts dating her. James comes to realize that being in a relationship with Beth is only 10% fun and 100% annoying, leading him to become all the more fervent about getting Riley back. James eventually suggests to Riley that she creates a list of tasks which he will complete, after which they will be back together.[22]

The first task on Riley's list is to break up with Beth, which proves to be easier said that done. Since Beth seems to not get the message, James moves to other items of the list. With Hunter's help, James finally gets Beth off of his back.[23]

James eventually completes the list, after which he reunites with Riley.[24] Despite being back together with Riley, James finds himself still struggling with their Nationals duet. He is delighted when Riley takes him out on a date, thus smoothing out the kinks in their relationship.[25] Additionally, he creates a new duet for Nationals with Riley. 


James performs the B-Twist.

James struggles with the B-Twist. After receiving cryptic advice about it from Luther Brown, James is conflicted about performing the move in the small group at Nationals.[26] He doesn't perform it in the dance, as he doesn't feel it "speaking to him," but he ultimately performs it in his duet with Riley after her vote of confidence. After concluding the duet, he is told by Riley that she loves him. Overcome with joy, he kisses her, forgetting that they are on-stage in front of thousands of people.[27]

The excitement about winning Nationals is cut short when James discovers that their studio is being evicted, but he still remains hopeful. He assists in packing up the items in the studio one night, when Lucien enters and proposes that Elite and The Next Step merge for Internationals.[28]

Season 3


James hugs Riley once she comes to understand why he forfeited.

James is forced to dance against Riley in the dance battle for a spot on the Internationals team. He tells Riley to dance her hardest, but forfeits when it is his turn to compete, thus taking him off of A-Troupe. He is met with hostility from Riley, but tries to assure her that he forfeited for her. Eventually, he reunites with her as she comes to understand his reasoning.[29]

James becomes very committed to being the drummer in his band. He is unsure of taking the newly open spot on A-Troupe, but eventually rejoins.[30]

James riley season 3 pyf

Out of breath, James hands Riley a box of chocolates.

James forgets about his anniversary with Riley and gets her a half-eaten box of chocolates from his aunt Kathy's house as a last resort. He lies that he has a better gift for her later, but eventually comes up with an idea. James writes a song for Riley which he and his band perform. He is excited to find that Riley's gift to him is making human-sized painting.He is elated to find that she loves it.[31]

 James is given the tie-breaking duet for Internationals with Riley.[32] James comes to dislike Ella, as he believes that she is changing Riley for the worse. Consequently, he struggles with his duet with Riley. 

When James discovers that Riley feels as though he is never around because he is always with the band, he quits.[33] He suggests that he and Riley walk

in each others for a day, which works to smooth out the kinks in his relationship with her.[34]

James continues to struggle with juggling the band and dance and eventually decides that after Internationals, he doesn't want to be on A-Troupe.[35] This makes him all the more determined when he must perform a tie-breaking final duet with Riley, since it is the last time that they will dance together. It pays off, as the duet leads to the team's victory.[36]

Season 4

James leaves A-Troupe so that he can focus on being in his band. At the open house for A-Troupe, he is shocked to see his little sister, Piper.[37] He advises her not to audition for A-Troupe because it is cut-throat and he will be unable to protect her. His advice does little to persuade her and she ultimately decides to audition anyway.[38]

James notices that Riley is having difficulty about deciding whether or not to accept Kate's offer of being studio head. He advises her to take the position, especially since it will mean that she is in charge of the best studio in the world. Although, he assures her that he will be behind her regardless of her decision.[39]

Riley james season 4 wtw

James hugs Riley, jokingly assuring her that there is an app for her problem.

 James signs up with West and Eldon for Bangers & Mashups International Hip-Hop Extravaganza in London.[40] He is confused when Riley appears to be wary of him going and takes her out on a date in order to ease her anxiety. He confesses that he and Riley will always be together.[41]

James grows worried when his messages start to get ignored by Riley. When James sees how distressed Piper is while talking to her through video chat, James decides that he needs to leave London to be with her.[42]

James arrives to Riley's office and is concerned to see her crying. This concern quickly evolves into rage when Riley tells him that she kissed Alfie.[43] After his bout of anger, James decides to forgive Riley because he loves her, and because she forgave him when he kissed Beth. Nonetheless, the thought of Riley spending time with Alfie still angers him.[44]

James is devastated when Riley breaks up with him, which is only amplified when Riley requests that he dance with Alfie at the qualifier.[45] James initially refuses the request until he speaks to Emily and decides to leave his decision up to fate. James flips a coin,[46] which leads him dance at the qualifier.[47]

James' hatred for Alfie fuels his duet. Having wished to never see Alfie again, James is furious when he and Alfie tie with another team and argues that he should be the person who dances the tie-breaking solo. After Skylar performs the solo and wins, James decides that he will return to London. Before he leaves, he is urged by Emily to have some faith.[47]

James struggles getting his mind off of Riley. One day, he encounters Ella, and details all that has going on between he and Riley.[48]


James is a very laid-back and collected character — presented in his catchphrase, "Don't even worry about it"— albeit very determined to be successful. He is extroverted and, thus, even talks to stranger, as they are "friends [he hasn't] met yet".[1] Although he enjoys provoking people for his own humour, he is really just a comedic, albeit slightly critical, individual and does not harness any true spite. As the show progresses, James is able to take things more seriously.

James season 3 wtm

James glowers at Eldon.

He is a confident "ladies man," as he has dated at least three girls, the most of any of the males on the show. This confidence often verges on conceit, and mixed with a short temper, this occasionally results in explosive anger when others do not comply with his wishes or see his point of view. Despite his self-assurance, he is sometimes a wuss, shown in how easily he chickens out when presented with the task of eating raw eggs[49] and how terrified he is of stepping into the water at the Everglades.[50]

He always stands up for what is right regardless of the opinions of others or possible backlash. Despite this, he can be very stubborn and can hold onto to grudges for quite some time, proven when he is unwilling to become friends with Hunter. Such a grudge also displays James's unceasing loyalty to his friends, though, because he harbors such animosity towards Hunter because of the wrongdoing he commits unto Eldon.

James is a family man; he is one of the only characters on the show who has had more than one of their family members shown, as well as the only character whose parent has been shown. He is highly affectionate when he truly cares for someone, especially shown in how he acts around his family.

Physical appearance


James has brown eyes and dark brown hair. In Seasons 1 and 2, James' hair is in a buzzcut. From Season 3 onward, James' hair is longer. He has a considerably thick eyebrows of which are the centre of some ridicule in the first season. He is one of the tallest characters on the show.


Main article: James/Outfits

James typically wears a dark undershirt and sweatpants in the studio. He occasionally wears a t-shirt and, even less often, shorts. In the earlier seasons, James's street wear is synonymous with his dance-wear, all except for the integration of dark-washed jeans or a pullover. As of Season 3, James begins to dress more diversely. He begins to sport light-washed jeans, and has even worn a pink shirt.[51] In the earlier seasons, James apears to own only Converse, but as of Season 3, James begins wearing black sneakers. During Season 1, James almost always wears shorts but from Season 2 and onwards, he has only worn them on a few occasions.




Breakdance is James's dominant style. Nonetheless, he struggles with B-Twist during Season 2, of which he eventually masters.[52]


James tumbling audition

James performs a tumbling series.

James is extremely proficient in acro.


James is extremely proficient in hip-hop and has arguably done more hip-hop than he has done breakdance. In a "Draw My Life" video, James calls himself a hip-hop dancer.[8]



Main article: Amanda
See also: Jamanda

James dated Amanda before Season 1.


Main article: Eldon

James has known Eldon for years, and is his best friend.


Main article: West

James initially finds West incredibly odd, especially when West randomly dances in front of him to initiate a friendship. Somehow, it pays off, and the two eventually become best friends.


Main article: Riley
See also: Jiley

In Season 1, James develops a crush on Riley. Riley tells James that if he gets a 70% on his math test, they can go on a date.[15] He accomplishes this, and they go on their first date and share their kiss.[16] Things go awry when Riley sees Beth kissing James during their duet rehearsal, and Riley breaks up with him. Desperate to get her back, James proposes that Riley write a list of tasks for him to do; after he completes the list, he reprises his relationship with Riley.

James discovers that while he was in London, Riley kissed Alfie. He is initially angry, but eventually forgives Riley, as she forgave him when he kissed Beth.[44] James is distraught when Riley breaks up with him.[45]


Main article: Beth
See also: Jeth

James and Beth used to date when they were both in B-Troupe, but later broke up. When practicing for a duet competition, Beth kisses James and Riley sees,[20] leading to the reprise of James' relationship with Beth. Although, he quickly realizes that he still loves Riley, and they eventually break up.[23]


Main article: Hunter

James is not too fond of Hunter after he steals Eldon's solo. Although, after Hunter helps James with his "Beth problem", they become "bros".[23]


Main article: Ella

When Ella arrives at the studio, James is indifferent toward her. He grows to dislike her when he feels as though she is changing Riley;[32] he eventually warms up to her.[51] However, after Ella steals Riley's Internationals solo, James presumably dislikes Ella again.[53]


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4


  • James's favourite food is shawarma, in fact, he has it so often that he often gets food poisoning from the meat.[35]
  • James's phone's voice-mail initially is "You know who it is, you know what to do,"[10] but it is later changed to "Yo, this is James. I'm not here, but don't even worry about it."[54]
  • James can play the drums.[55]
  • James has a driver's license.[56]
  • James knows, to some extent, how to do magic tricks.[57]
  • James is allergic to squid.[57]
  • His favourite dance song is "Baba" by Geko.[58]
  • If James were jelly or jam he would be peanut butter.[58]
  • James's favorite animal is the elephant.[12]


Main article: James/Quotes

External links


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

To view the James gallery, click here.


  1. James joined the studio when he was six years old. Eldon presumably started when he was five, as Emily says that she has known him since he was five, and she started the studio when she was two. If Eldon started when he was five, two years before James was six, it means James is one year younger than him. Eldon is sixteen, meaning that James is fifteen.
  2. In Toronto, the minimum driving age is sixteen.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Road to Joy." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  2. "Marry Me." Wikia. Retrieved on December 10, 2015.
  3. "I'm Your Captain." Wikia. Retrieved on October 28, 2015.
  4. "The New Girl In Town." Wikia. Retrieved on August 26, 2015.
  5. The Next Step Cast On... Physical Tolls & Injuries. Youtube (October 22, 2014). Retrieved on March 30, 2016.
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named s4e8
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named :12
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Next Step: James - Draw My Life - CBBC (contains spoilers). Youtube (Jul 8, 2015). Retrieved on August 26, 2015.
  9. "Everybody Dance Now." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Time to Move On." Wikia. Retrieved on October 4, 2015.
  11. "Song for Riley." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Dance, Dance." Wikia. Retrieved on January 2, 2016.
  13. "Can You Keep a Secret?" Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  14. "Sabotage." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Changes." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "First Date." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  17. "We Are Family." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  18. "Winner Takes All." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  19. "The Girl Is Mine." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "It Takes Two." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  21. "What'll I Do." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  22. "Make a Plan to Love Me." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 "Heartbreaker." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  24. "Just Dance." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  25. "Water It." Wikia. Retrieved on June 2, 2016.
  26. "Run This Town." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  27. "You Love Me." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  28. "Rewind." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  29. "The Fallout." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  30. "The Nutcracker Prince." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  31. "Put You First." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  32. 32.0 32.1 "Sweet Spot." Wikia. Retrieved on September 20, 2015.
  33. "Mixed Messages." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  34. "Never There." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  35. 35.0 35.1 "She's Not You." Wikia. Retrieved on December 23, 2015.
  36. "How It Ends." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  37. "One More Time." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  38. "Stir It Up." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  39. "Welcome to the Jungle." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  40. "London Calling." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  41. "Walk This Way." Wikia. Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  42. "Rumour Has It." Wikia. Retrieved on October 21, 2016.
  43. "Tainted Love." Wikia. Retrieved on November 4, 2016.
  44. 44.0 44.1 "A Fool in Love." Wikia. Retrieved on November 12, 2016.
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Karma Police." Wikia. Retrieved on November 25, 2016.
  46. "Danger Zone." Wikia. Retrieved on December 5, 2016.
  47. 47.0 47.1 "Rivalry." Wikia. Retrieved on December 5, 2016.
  48. "It Ain't Easy." Wikia. Retrieved on March 23, 2017.
  49. "Cry Me a River." Wikia. Retrieved on October 22, 2015.
  50. "Lost at Sea." Wikia. Retrieved on October 31, 2015.
  51. 51.0 51.1 "It's My Party." Wikia. Retrieved on October 18, 2015.
  52. "I Don't Know." Wikia. Retrieved on August 25, 2015.
  53. "When the War is Over." Wikia. Retrieved on December 15, 2015.
  54. "Heat of the Moment." Wikia. Retrieved on June 25, 2016.
  55. "Video Killed the Radio Star." Wikia. Retrieved on August 26, 2015.
  56. "Better Than This." Wikia. Retrieved on August 27, 2015.
  57. 57.0 57.1 "Sacrifice." Wikia. Retrieved on October 12, 2015.
  58. 58.0 58.1 The Next Step: Get to know James. Youtube (Aug 9, 2013). Retrieved on August 25, 2015.

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