Our Love Letter To Dance Academy (The Best Show You’ve Never Heard Of)

August 29th, 2012 by


About the Show: Dance Academy is an Australian show that centers around students at the fictional National Academy of Dance. The show takes us through the journeys, trials and tribulations of high school, all while balancing the rigors of being a top ballet dancer. The show is a mix of Felicity, My So Called Life and Center Stage, and reminds us of the best vintage WB shows.

Character Breakdown:

The Bad-Ass: Christian (played by Jordan Rodrigues) reminds us of Jordan Catalano in the best way. He’s the brooder, the one the girls all fall for and the loyal best friend. His troubled background shows up throughout season one and two, but it’s clear he’s a good person at heart, and a great dancer.





The Perfectionist: Abigail (played by Dena Kaplan) is the girl you love to hate. She’s the teacher’s pet, and her competitive nature often gets in the way of her friendships. Of course who do they stick the teacher’s pet with? The new girl. Abigail is forced to room with Tara, much to both girls chagrin. Abigail reminds us of Cordelia from Buffy.





The Natural: Tara (played by Xenia Goodwin) comes to the Dance Academy from a farm in The Bush, with little formal training in dance. She’s the center of the Academy Universe, the Felicity or the Rory, if you will. Tara goes through guys the way she goes through point shoes…and let’s just say there’s a lot of point shoes on this show.





The Best Friend: Sammy (played by Tom Green)…what can we say about Sammy other than that he is the perfect best friend. He’s the bottom of the class, local kid who barely got in. But his spirit and personal journey is definitely our favorite of the show.





The Legacy: Kat Karamakov (played by Alicia Banit) comes from a famous ballet family. She has a ton of natural talent, but doesn’t know that she wants to use it. She’d rather ditch class and dance hip hop.





The Hearthrob: Ethan Karamakov (played by Tim Pocock) is Kat’s hot older brother, and a third year student. He also has a big reputation to live up to, and often struggles to find his way. He is the Noel of the Dance Academy world.




The Evil Teacher: Evil Ms. Raine! She is played by Tara Morice, and she’s the evil Giles, if you will. When trying to come up with a description for Evil Ms. Raine, Sarah pointed out she’s a fucking badass, and I wholeheartedly concur. She’s a great part of the cast, and a provides many a comedic moment. There are only four words to adequately describe Ms. Raine: The bitch in charge.



Why We Love It:

Remember the feeling you got after a great episode of Gilmore Girls, when you just wanted to live in Stars Hollow? We promise you, Dance Academy will have you wanting to live in Sydney at the National Academy of Dance. Dance Academy is as emotionally poignant as Friday Night Lights and Gilmore Girls (yes, we said it) but has all the wonderful makings of a teen drama. Love triangles? Check. Hot boys? Check. Family drama? Check. We care deeply for these characters and promise you will too. But it’s not just the characters that make this show so lovely and amazing. The backdrop of a Dance Academy is a perfect setting for a television show. It balances the world of dance and the world of school so well. We really can’t say enough good things about it.

Season 2 Discussion:

Okay, if you haven’t watched season two, stop reading right now. No seriously, STOP READING RIGHT NOW. If you keep reading, you will hate yourself forever. And us. Then yourself some more. We’re going to put a picture here so you don’t look if you haven’t watched.



No seriously, we both respectively bawled for a solid half hour or more over Sammy’s death. Sarah watched the finale in April and is still crying about it. When I think about it, she starts getting teary all over again. There was nothing, absolutely nothing that could have emotionally prepared us for this death. WE’RE NEVER GETTING OVER IT. EVER. NO. SERIOUSLY. NEVER. WE’RE CRYING RIGHT NOW. We really are. This is not a lie. All caps are needed.

Photo Credit: Forever YA

We still cry about Sammy’s bucket list scene. SAMMY HAD A BUCKET LIST. Tears. Tears. So many tears.


  • Sammy’s final dance. As we mentioned before, we are still not over this.
  • Abigail’s reaction to Sammy’s death: This was probably one of the most emotionally poignant scenes of the entire series. And we loved it. A lot.
  • Tara dancing the Red Shoes. Suck it, Saskia. No really, suck it.
  • Kat winning over Ms. Raine, passing her exams and proving she has a place at the Academy.
  • Ben’s backstory and his show with kids dealing with cancer.
  • Sammy and Abigail’s kiss the night before he died. I mean, come on, we were all rooting for them to work it out! (even though Sammy was gay).
  • Abigail finally going against everyone’s wishes and venturing out into the world of theater. She ended up back at the Academy of course, but it was fun to see her sing and dance.
  • Sammy and Tara winning the Nationals. They started out at the bottom of the class and ended up on top! Sammyyyyyyyyy!

The show just started filming the third season and we can’t even wait. How will the Academy deal with the loss of Sammy? (considering we are clearly not dealing with it so well). Will Tara earn a spot in the company? We have learned that it’s only going to be 13 final episodes and quite frankly, if we hadn’t cried all the tears in the world over Sammy’s death, we would be even more devastated by this news. We need 7 more seasons of this, Australia, we wish you could make this happen.

The first 2 seasons are available for streaming on Netflix or you can catch it on Teen Nick (don’t let the Nickelodeon brand fool you, it’s not a show for kids. We’re sort of adults and we love it).

What are you waiting for? You need to go watch right now. Or if you have watched, join in our love of Dance Academy and leave us a comment.


  • This was perfect. I love Dance Academy sooo much, and I’m devastated season 3 is only 13 episodes. :( You should put in your take of the love triangle situation. Team Christian or Team Ben? I’d love to hear what you guys think!

  • I loved Sammy and was absolutely heartbroken when he died. I thought it was beautiful of Ben to dedicate his solo to Sammy. I cannot wait until Season 3. I really hope Christian and Tara get back together.

  • I love Dance Academy. I can’t wait until season 3, I’m team Christian and hope he gets back with Tara in season 3.

  • i am def team ben and i dont care what anyone says ben is way better than christian
    it should be tara and ben
    christian and kat
    ethan and abigail
    and grace and ollie (no more gay stories please that is so cliche)

  • team ben. tara needs someone like him, they’re different and that is what i love.

  • team christian he brings tare to life and is amazing
    it should be
    christian and tara
    kat and ben
    abigail and ollie
    a new should be brought in for ethan and grace should be left on her own as she doesnt know how to love
    kat is my favourite as she is so wild and i would love to be more like her

  • […] taste in television. My Senior Writer, Sarah and I wrote a love letter to Dance Academy last year (check it out here) and we are legitimately waiting with baited breath for season three. Dance Academy is an […]

  • Hi dance academy you rock your show is amazing me and my friend are addicted to it watching over 7 a day but know I’ve finnished season 2 so I don’t know what to watch BRING OUT MORE DANCE ACADEMY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your all amazing dancers especially Tara and christian I was going to say sammy but I can’t say that anymore : ( and the way Tara is right for Christian so why is shy know with the weirdo Ben GET BACK TOGETHER

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