Riley is introduced as a long-time member of A-Troupe and E-Girl. Although, after taking a stand for Michelle to her older sister, Emily's, detriment, she is kicked off of the revered group. Riley becomes detrimental in Emily's dethronement as dance captain, and Michelle's promotion to the title.
After playing an integral part in the team's Internationals win, Riley is offered the role of studio head, which she takes. Riley struggles with the role and, under her guidance, the team loses Regionals.
The loss puts a lot in perspective for Riley and, realizing that it is time to follow her dreams, she ultimately decides to attend business school.
Before the Show
Riley used to play baseball when she was younger, but eventually quit after having to choose between baseball and dance. Riley began dancing because of two reasons: Emily's influence, and a best dancer ribbon she believed she received without even having to dance (revealed to have been given to her by Emily after Riley threw a tantrum because Emily got a ribbon and she didn't).
Riley sees the value of newcomer, Michelle, both as an individual and as a dancer, and grows upset with how Emily begins to treat her. Riley reaches her wit's end when Emily makes obviously biased line positions at Michelle's detriment, causing Riley to publicly question Emily. This results in her being kicked out of E-Girls.
As things continue to get worse for Michelle at the hands of Emily, Riley decides that it is time for her to be dethroned as Dance Captain and eventually decides that it is Michelle who should dethrone her. After much persuasion, Riley is finally able to get Michelle to agree to the idea. Alongside Michelle, James, West, Daniel, and eventually, Chloe, Riley partakes in a secret routine that is to be shown to Kate in the near future in the hopes of dethroning Emily.
Riley realizes that her sister is onto her and discovers that she has become aware of their routine. Thus, she and her group are asked to perform the dance, after which a vote is held for who should be the Dance Captain. Riley votes for Michelle over Emily, resulting in a catastrophic fallout with her sister. Riley is devastated when Emily later leaves the studio for Elite Dance Academy, as she believes that it is her fault.
Despite herself, Riley develops romantic feelings for James. When James gets pulled out of the studio for a week due to his poor math grade, Riley tells him that if he gets at least a 70% on his upcoming test, she will go on a date with him. After James pulls through, Riley goes on a date with him and shares her first kiss with him.
Riley attempts to make up with Emily and, after telling her a story about their kittens, she finally reconciles with her sister. While speaking to her sister, Riley expresses her confusion about her relationship status with James and is prodded to ask him where they stand. Riley takes this advice and asks James if they are official, after which they become a couple.
During a team routine at Regionals, Riley's hand gets stuck in her hairpiece, causing her to falter briefly. This, in turn, causes the team to lose the round against Dance Inc., devastating Riley. Riley is reminded of the wildcard by James and, much to Riley's relief, the team is thrust back into the competition.
Riley is devastated when she catches James and Beth kissing when she goes to tell him that they won the duet for Nationals. Although James attempts to make it up to her, Riley is too hurt to accept his apology and breaks up with him, causing their duet to suffer as a result. Nonetheless, Riley still misses James tremendously. She attempts to get over James by dating Charlie, but this only works to make her miss him more.
Riley discovers that Amanda is actually a double-agent for Elite Dance Academy whose sole purpose at The Next Step is to bring it down from the inside and works with Emily to thwart her agenda. Riley concocts a plan that Emily takes unto herself: make everybody in the studio hate her, therefore gaining Amanda's trust, making it easier to bring her down. The plan is set into motion when Riley auditions for the Nationals solo; as she dances, Emily yells at her and Riley runs out of the room. It is hard for Riley to see everybody turn on Emily so easily, and Riley comforts Emily as she cries at the outcome.
Riley begins to speak to James again after he assures her that he will get her back. James presents her with a proposition which she accepts; she makes a list consisting of any items pleases and, upon him finishing all of the tasks, they will resume dating.
When Emily is suspended from the studio for allegedly stealing the Nationals money, Riley, with Chloe's help, deduces that the money was stolen by Amanda. She and Chloe notify the team, which has a bittersweet outcome: Amanda leaves the team upon confrontation, but the team is one dancer short from being able to perform at Nationals. Thus, Riley tells James that as a final item on the list, he has to get Michelle to return to the studio. Once this is successfully completed, Riley resumes her relationship with James.
Although she is back together with James, Riley still struggles with the duet. After receiving advice from Emily, Riley takes James out on a date during which Riley claims that they are now official. Riley creates a new duet with James as well, which she performs with James at Nationals. After the duet, Riley tells James that she loves him, causing her to be kissed by him right on the stage in front of hundreds of people.
Riley is devastated when Emily injures her knee, making her unable to dance in the finals. She begins to notice that Amanda seems rather sympathetic of the team's situation, a premonition that proves right when Amanda steps in for Emily in the finals and leads the team to victory. The celebration is cut short when Riley discovers that the studio has been evicted upon their return, meaning that they do not have anywhere to dance. She 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.
Riley no longer wants to participate in the dance battles when she discovers that she will have to battle James, but she still dances her hardest after James makes her promise to. Thus, Riley feels betrayed when James forfeits. Riley eventually comes to understand that James bowed out because he loves her.
Riley celebrates her anniversary with James. She struggles to find a gift that will match James' song for her, but gets an idea after conferring with Kathy. Noting James' love of painting, Riley creates a "human painting" with James by wearing a protective suit and painting on a floor-wide canvas.
Riley is initially put off by Ella's tricky nature when she arrives at the studio. Eventually, Riley learns to let loose around her and comes to consider Ella as her best friend. This new-found friendship weakens her relationship with James, as James believes that Ella is changing her for the worst. Consequently, Riley struggles to practice her tie-breaking duet for Internationals with James and she re-enters a rocky patch in their relationship.
Riley feels at fault when James quits his band after she tells him that he is never around anymore. She apologizes to James and decides to take part in an activity with him in which they pretend to be each other for a day to see each other's perspectives. After completing this task, she reconciles with him.
Riley's friendship with Ella disintegrates soon after. After Ella bails on paying for a meal that she promised to treat Riley to, Riley must work as a waitress in order to pay back the cost. Riley soon realizes that Ella is beginning to give her the cold shoulder, but is no less shocked when Ella plagiarizes her choreography allowing her to gain a five-point advantage and the title of Miss Internationals Soloist. Riley defines this as the irrevocable end of their relationship.
Riley is a part of the two to seven person dance with Giselle, Stephanie, Cierra, and Noah. Riley is extremely wary of performing the dance when she discovers that it will have to be done blindfolded. She is faced with a proposition from James to calm her nerves: she doesn't fall into a spotter during the routine, he will take her on a date. Riley does not fall of the stage during the routine and, as promised, James takes her on a date that night. During the date, Riley notices that James is distracted and wonders if he wants to be with the band rather than her.
While preparing to rehearse the finals routine, Riley is pulled aside by James who tells her that he wants to focus on the band instead of dance after Internationals. Riley has a hard time accepting this as she has an underlying fear of change. She is consoled by James and comes to realize that change is inevitable and not inherently bad.
After the team ties with Stockholm Dance Theatre in the finals, she and James must perform their tie-breaking duet. Riley is especially emotional while awaiting their performance since it is probably the last time that she and James will dance together. Riley performs the duet with James which leads the team to victory.
Riley fears that with so many people leaving, the team will not be able to win Regionals due to a lack of chemistry. She meets Alfie, a dancer from another team at Internationals, who will be auditioning for A-Troupe, giving her hope that the team will be okay. She makes it onto the troupe, but is soon after presented with the opportunity to become studio head since Kate is leaving to become a judge for a dance competition in the U.K.. Riley has trouble making a decision, because, while it is a great opportunity, it will mean that she has to give up her spot on A-Troupe. After lengthy deliberation and some advice from James, Riley decides to accept the position. Riley's first decision as studio head is to give her spot to Amanda, a decision that both Kate and the rest of dancers do not seem to agree with.
Riley prepares for the first round of the upcoming Regionals qualifier which is a trio competition. After seeing the auditions, Riley makes her decision; she picks the trio that originally consisted of Piper, Noah, and Sloane, but replaces Sloane with Richelle.
Riley begrudgingly allows James, West, and Eldon use her laptop to sign up for the Bangers & Mashups International Hip-Hop Extravaganza and encourages them to go, but is still wary of James leaving. She admits that without James there, she won't have anybody to rely on when the stress of being a studio owner proves to be too much. She is invited to a date with James later that day which proves to make her feel a little better, but still leaves her somewhat worried.
While conversing in Java Junction with Alfie one day, Riley discovers that Alfie is the prince of Switzerland after a few tourists greet him. Riley discovers that Alfie is going to be forced to return home because of his sighting and is even offered an abundance of money by the Swiss ambassador to let him leave. Nonetheless, Riley declines and persuades the ambassador to let Alfie stay.
Riley becomes concerned when Noah begins marking the trio and allows Skylar's trio to re-audition for the qualifier. In the end, she keeps the original trio after Noah assures her that he is okay. Nonetheless, Riley is extremely nervous as the qualifier and fears that the trio will perform poorly. Her greatest fear comes true and Noah fumbles immensely during the dance, resulting in the studio's loss. Upon this, Riley contemplates about resigning as studio head because she feels that the loss is her fault. After some encouragement from both Alfie and James, Riley begins to realize that she needs to step up as studio owner for the sake of the team and becomes newly confident with her role.
Riley becomes increasingly aware of her growing romantic feelings for Alfie, but also recognizes that she is still in love with James, causing her to struggle with her conflicting emotions. Her feelings for Alfie reach an all-time high when she dreams of him singing her a love song and kissing her. When Alfie approaches her with the confession that he has feelings for her, Riley admits to him that she feels the same way, but that they cannot act on their feelings because she is with James and is the studio head. Nonetheless, Riley's feelings for Alfie do not waver.
After hearing that the winning team at the second qualifier can poach a dancer from any team they choose, only reaffirmed by Gemini's assurance that they will take Alfie if they win, Riley makes a tough call and pulls the team out of the qualifier.
Riley prepares for the final qualifier and picks Alfie and Noah to represent the team. Soon after making this decision, she is confronted by Noah who reveals that the reason he messed up at the first qualifier and the reason why he has been so uncommitted is because he has sustained a back injury, shocking her. She tells Noah that the doctor's verdict goes; if the doctor says he can dance, he can stay on the duet, but if not, he will be booted. In lieu of Noah's unknown status, she is approached by Alfie with the preposition that she learn the duet and choose whomever is best suited for the role. Riley grows to like dancing with Alfie so much that she is bothered by the idea of Alfie doing it with anyone else and genuinely considers performing at the qualifier with him. She comes to realize that her desire to dance at the qualifier with Alfie is irrational and, upon Alfie's consent, decides to hold auditions for the duet. The auditions become all the more important when Riley discovers that Noah has to have back surgery. Riley has trouble watching Alfie doing the duet with Piper, but ultimately picks them to perform it at the qualifier.
Riley meets Alfie in Studio A after being asked to see him there. She is presented with a song by Alfie and confesses that even though her body is telling her to leave, her heart is what is keeping her from doing so. After Alfie concludes the song, she kisses Alfie.
Riley is racked with guilt and paranoia about her kiss with Alfie, but refuses to tell James about what occurred. She also avoids speaking to Alfie, fearing that if others see them together that they will know of what she did. She is shocked when Piper tells her that she saw her kiss Alfie and that she will tell James about it if she doesn't. Although she knows that he has to tell James about kiss, Riley doesn't know how, as she knows that the revelation will break James' heart, but Riley tells Alfie that Piper saw them kiss.
After being advised by Cooper to speak to James, Riley finally calls him. She is surprised to find him standing in the doorway of her office. Riley reluctantly admits to James that she cheated on him with Alfie, and is brought to tears when he refuses to speak to her. She is happy to ultimately be forgiven by him, but is still unsure about where her heart lies.
Riley is surprised to see Emily in the studio, and even more surprised when she asserts that she is there to help her. Riley begrudgingly agrees to let Emily help take care of things around the studio. Riley stands by Emily's decisions, until she suggests that Riley break up with James. Riley is torn up about ending her relationship with James, but realizes that it is the right thing to do. Tearfully, Riley breaks up with James.
After Noah backs out of the qualifier duet, Riley is forced to think of a replacement. She immediately objects to Emily's suggestion to get James to dance in place of Noah, as she just broke up with him and would be asking him to dance with Alfie. Despite her initial rejection, Riley realizes that there are no other options and asks. As she suspected would happen, she is met with angry refusal from James. James eventually decides to do the qualifier, but Riley is still left racked with nerves especially due to the friction between James and Alfie. When the team ties with another, Riley struggles to choose between James and Alfie to perform the tie-breaking duet. She is pleasantly shocked when Skylar steps in, and even happier when the team qualifies to Regionals.
Riley goes on a date with Alfie, but her s mind continues to wander to memories of James. Overwhelmed by her resurfacing memories, Riley runs out of her date it tears. When she see Alfie again, Riley is quick to apologize and is forgiven. To make up for the ruined date, she has a makeshift date with Alfie in the Lounge, during which she is read French poetry and kissed.
Despite this enjoyable date, Riley comes to realize that she and Alfie have lost the spark they once possessed, amplified by her failed attempt at a date and her repeatedly calling Alfie James. When Alfie proposes that she meet him at the airport for a trip, she decides to fly to London instead where she reconnects with James and resumes their relationship.
When Riley returns to the studio with James, she is content at the warm welcome she receives, but is confused to find that Alfie is absent. After apologizing to and reuniting with Piper, Riley calls Alfie and discovers that he is in Switzerland and has no intention of returning. Riley feels guilty, believing Alfie's departure to be her fault, and worries about the team's prospects at Regionals. Riley replaces Alfie's spot with Piper and makes Cassie an alternate.
Once at Regionals, Riley discovers that she misread the rules concerning the solo and that the soloist's name is to be drawn from a hat. Riley fears for the team's fate when Sloane is picked, as she knows she is a weaker dancer than Michelle, who was the original soloist. Riley is pleasantly surprised at Sloane's performance and even more so when she wins the round. Although, Riley's contentedness devolves into anger when she discovers that Sloane knowingly performed choreography, disqualifying her from the competition, and forcing the team to compete in the sudden death trio round.
The trio round goes well, until Michelle faints from exhaustion during the routine. Although the team moves on in the competition, Michelle is taken to the hospital, leaving the team one dancer short. Riley is relieved when James manages to get Alfie to return to fill in her spot.
Right before the team is to compete in the finals, Michelle returns and demands that she be put into the routine. Riley, knowing that Michelle is one of the strongest dancers and should perform, decides to pull Amanda out of the routine because she believes that she has been unfocused. Despite the decision, the team loses Regionals, much to her guilt and devastation.
Riley is comforted by James about the loss and receives a promise ring from him, as a sign that they will never break up again.
Riley still feels as though she made the wrong decision in taking Amanda out of the finals, but has moved on from the team's loss.
Riley performs one final solo in Studio A, and decides she will move on from the studio and fulfil her dream of going to business school.
Riley is initially characterized by her impartiality, morality, and practicality. Riley specializes in being able to make tough decisions because they are right regardless of the consequences, as exemplified through her decision to dethrone Emily as Dance Captain despite being her sister. She is extremely perceptive and notices everything that is happening in the studio, even things that others would easily miss. Although, Riley's sensibility contributes to her constant state of anxiety and inability to let loose without considering possible ramifications, regardless of their unlikelihood. Her shyness and inability to flirt only worsens this anxiety, especially when talking to the opposite gender. In conjunction to this, Riley has been described as finicky and quirky. Nonetheless, Riley is very excitable, as seen with how thrilled she is to meet Brighter Brightest.
Riley is initially quite insecure, but becomes more confident after having helped the team win Nationals and, later, Internationals. At one point, she even attempts to become more of a relaxed individual and takes part in childish pranks, such as tricking A-Troupe into learning how to square dance. Although she retains much of her worrying nature, she eventually exhibits less of a serious outlook on life.
When Riley receives the leadership role of studio head and James leaves for England, her new-found confidence and staple decisiveness waver immensely. Unlike in previous seasons, she is unable to make independent decisions with ease and constantly depends on others to assist her in making even the simplest of choices. Even when she does make a decision, she is never secure in the choice or it simply proves to be an irrational one. Additionally, Riley displays disloyalty and an inability to think with her head rather than her heart, as displayed in the advances that she makes towards Alfie despite being in a monogamous relationship with James. In fact, Riley even admits that she is very lonely and usually has a very woeful disposition. In conjunction to this, Riley can often be found drowning her sorrows with candy and compulsive online shopping.
Riley bears little to no resemblance to her older sister, Emily. While she is short and fair-skinned like Emily, she is much slimmer, possibly due to a fast metabolism. Likewise, she is a natural brunette rather than a blonde, although, her hair is dyed partially blonde in Season 3 - 4, and is dyed completely blonde in Season 5. Her hair is initially straight and shoulder-length, but it is cut into a bob in Season 2 after which it remains above shoulder length. Her hair is also occasionally curled in Season 4. From mid-Season 1 to the beginning of Season 3, Riley wears braces.
In Season 1, Riley wears very loose-fitting clothes in the studio, allowing her to establish her quirk of rolling up her shorts. As the seasons progress, Riley begins to wear more fitted clothing. Additionally, Riley's initially simple and girly street wear becomes more versatile and mature, especially when she becomes studio head.
Acro: Acro is not Riley's strong style. In Season 1, when Riley is acting nervously in front of Brighter Brightest, she manages to perform a cartwheel... but not very well although this is probably due to nerves. James teaches her how to do an aerial in Season 2, and this remains the only acro move she can perform.
- Main article: Riley/Relationships
- Group dances
- Group dances
- Group dances
- Group dances
- If she could dance with anybody it would probably be Kenny Wormald.
- Riley's favourite movie is Footloose.
- If she was stranded on an island the CDs she would bring are Brighter Brightest and One Direction.
- Riley's favourite band is Brighter Brightest.
- If she was a jam or a jelly, she would be blueberry jam.
- Her dream job is to be a famous dancer or actress.
- Riley hates musicals.
- Riley is known for rolling her shorts.
- Riley's phone voice-mail is "Hi, you've reached Riley. Please leave a message."
- There are conflicting accounts of Riley's proficiency in Spanish:
- Main article: Riley/Quotes
- at the
| "Look at that painting!"
To view the Riley gallery, click here.
- ↑ In "Get the Party Started," Emily reveals in that she has attended The Next Step Dance Studio from the age two. In "Under Pressure," Kate says that Emily has been at the studio for fourteen years; thus, Emily is sixteen in Season 2. Since Riley is Emily's younger sister, she must have been younger than sixteen in Season 2.