Tara, backstage, next to Ben who is shooting an angry look off screen at Christian


Title: Dance Academy S3.E09-11
Released: 2013
Series:  Dance Academy

Episode 9 Key Solo: Tara
Episode 10 Key Solo: Jayden
Episode 11 Key Solo: Tara

I know most of you have already finished the final season of Dance Academy, but I’m still in denial slowly making my way through their third year and SAVORING EVERY SECOND. As usual, there’s a shizz ton of drama (and dancing) packed into these episodes, so let’s tie on our toe shoes and pirouette right in!

3×9: Don’t Let Me Down Gently

Backstage (What happened on the episode)

  • SO MUCH CHRISTIAN AND BEN AND TARA ANGST! After Christian shows up at Tara’s hotel room at the end of the previous episode, they stay up all night, talking and goofing off, until Tara falls sleep, whispering, “Christian, I love you.” Which in Christian-speak means, “RUN FAR FAR AWAY.” The next day, Ben refuses to let Tara break up with him, because he’s both an idiot and a big ole sweetheart. Things get even worse for the Benster when Zach decides that Christian will play Romeo in the final performance, then Christian, afraid of losing Ben as a friend, takes it out on Tara. CHRISTIAN WHY ARE YOU THE WORST. Thanks to Ollie’s injury, Christian subs in for the part of Mercutio, which leaves Ben to dance as Romeo with Tara, who has finally convinced him that it’s over. And that darkness that Ben could never grasp as Romeo? It’s safe to say that he’s got it in spades now, and his last dance is gorgeously angry and heartbreaking.

  • Now that they’re finally together, Abigail and Wes are SUPER CUTE and PDA-y. Wes auditions for Sir Jeffrey so that he can stay close to Abigail, but he fails to get the gig. Abigail immediately assumes that he didn’t get the job because of her dancing (girlfriend obviously needs me around to remind her that she’s AMAZE), but Wes eventually tells her it’s because Sir Jeffrey doesn’t think his choreography was good enough. In other news, Sir Jeffrey is an idiot. (But we knew that already.) Abigail’s response, i.e. a freakout, to the truth just goes to show how much she cares for Wes, and he tells her he’s going to try to get another job in Sydney. They kiss in the wings, then Abigail goes out and dances like a BALLER. By the end of the episode, they decide that their feelings are strong enough to support a long distance relationship, since Wes already has a job in Spain. FAVORITE COUPLE ALERT.

  • Wish I could say the same for Kat and Jamie but WHAT? Kat and Ponytail guy?! Ugh. So, Kat finishes her final scene in the movie, but she’s not quite ready to say good-bye to the magical world of film. She agrees to go with Jamie to the wrap party, where Ollie (who reeeeally needed to simmer down in this episode) is busy taking advantage of Reese to try to get some of his music on the film soundtrack. Reese, who is inexplicably a nice guy, gives Ollie the mic to sing, but no one really pays attention… until Kat grabs Jamie and they start up a dance party. Reese walks out, because it’s obvious that Ollie wants fame more than a relationship, and Kat kisses Jamie. I have no idea why, because there is NO WAY he deserves her.

Key Solo (MVP of the episode)

Well, there’s a first time for everything, because it’s Tara! Even though I think she’s dumb to pine over Christian and kick Ben to the curb, she can’t help her heart, and her interactions with both guys are surprisingly mature.

To Christian, when he’s freaking out over the idea that Tara might still have feelings for him: “For once, I don’t think this is me creating it all in my head.”

To Ben (in the most killer moment of the episode): “You have to let me break up with you, Ben.” You know it hurt him to hear that, and it hurt her even more to say it, but it still had to be said. Besides, the Benster deserves better!

Bravura (Favorite moments)

Abigail, sitting in the dressing room, holding a ballet shoe with a WTF look on her face

I cracked up when Abigail joined in on Kat and Tara’s girl talk in the dressing room. After overhearing Tara talking about her dramz with Christian and Ben, Abigail decides to keep it real: “I suddenly have more respect for you. How you have all of this gunk in your little head, and still managed to get through the academy.” Tara responds, “Thank you?” and then Abigail shares her own boy dish and does a really hilarious Wes impression. Always keeping it sassy, that one.

Sprained Ankle (Worst development)

I feel like I broken record but SERIOUSLY CHRISTIAN GET OVER YOURSELF.

And that goes for you too, Ollie. Stop trying to be famous and just appreciate the fact that a super hot and famous actor is into you! Why is that so hard?

Ollie, in red pants and suspenders, in a dance battle

3×10: N’Fektd


  • Christian narrates this episode, and his anxiety over the voices in his head, which are constantly telling him that he’s letting everyone down, is supposed to make his character more sympathetic. It… kind of works?

  • Ben, still raw over the break-up, decides to get back at Tara and Christian using two completely ineffective strategies. He makes out with Grace in front of Tara, who just wants Ben to be happy (although if she’s cool with him being in the arms of THE DEVIL, then I’m not sure how much Tara cared for him in the first place). To get revenge on Christian, Ben creates his own crew (Grace, Abigail and two other dudes I’ve never seen before) to compete against Christian (and Ollie and little Jayden) at the Street Beats tournament. While Ben’s team name (Brace, get it?) is certainly cooler than N’Fektd (it hurts me to type that), they still ultimately lose against Christian and Ollie’s superior hip hop skills.

  • At Street Beats, Ollie is a huge dick to Jayden, and Christian doesn’t stand up for him like he should. But it’s okay, because Jayden is obviously way more awesome than those two idiots combined. When Christian eventually decides to go looking for him before the Street Beats finals, little guy has decided that he’s over this crap and just wants to go home. His parting words to Christian: “You’re kind of hard on yourself, dude.” PREACH.

  • Sammy’s dad shows up! OH MY HEART. He’s been fundraising to create a memorial in Sammy’s name, and he and Miss Raine ask Christian for ideas. And WHAT A SURPRISE, Christian gets all closed off and simply says, “I’m not the person to ask,” before walking away. Thankfully, Christian finally wakes up to the fact that he’s letting those negative voices in his head control him, and it just takes a near drowning surfing break for him to realize that his attitude is his choice, and his future is what he makes of it. PEACE OUT ASSHOLE CHRISTIAN. NEVER COME BACK. Fortunately, Sammy’s dad decides to show up for the second day of Street Beats, where the new and improved Christian approaches him with an idea for the memorial: a drop-in center for kids who can’t afford dance classes. That’s a great idea, dude! (But don’t think that makes all of your past behavior okay. You need to apologize to Tara STAT.)

  • Jamie and Kat are officially dating, and Tara is as enthused about it as I am. Jamie wants Kat to stay focused on her burgeoning film career, but Kat still feels loyal to ballet, and she decides to audition for the solo role (Swanhilde) in the second year performance.

Key Solo

Jayden FTW! Not only is this dude brave enough to compete against guys twice his age, but he also puts up with Ollie and Christian just long enough to realize that, well, he’s better off without their bullshizz. Does anyone else smell a Dance Academy spin-off show?!!!


Everything about Street Beats was AWESOME, from the dancing to the cheesy MCs and terrible matching outfits. In particular, this:

Abigail, with her Street Beats team behind her, making a V shape with her fingers and pointing at her eyes

And this:

Ollie: “You’re gonna have to bring it.”

Ben: “Oh, we brought it.”

I also loved this exchange between Ben and Grace, after Ben complains about not getting picked for Ollie’s Street Beats team:

Grace: “Why do you suddenly look constipated?”

Ben: “This is me, plotting.”

And finally, Jamie and Tara nervously watching Kat’s audition:

Jamie: “I think Miss Raine’s hating Kat’s Swanhilde.”

Tara: “That’s just her face.”

Sprained Ankle

I realize that Christian eventually turned it around but DANG I wanted to facepunch him SO HARD.

And Ben! Poor Benster. Dude, seriously, Tara is not worth kissing Grace this angst. You’re hot! You’re talented! Go hook up with a second year or something!

Tara and Christian kissing in the ocean

3×11: Start of an Era


  • This episode was all kinds of WTF. Like, within the first minute, Christian says to Tara, “I think we should be together.” QUOI THE QUOI?!!!! I haven’t even had time to ease back on to Team Christian, and besides that, this is hardly the romantic scenario I would have imagined. Apparently, Christian is determined to get his life back on track, which means dating Tara, scoring a spot on the Company and getting a paying job in the meantime. For the latter, he lands a lifeguarding gig, and Tara comes by to visit him, which results in some K-I-S-S-I-N-G in the pool! I’ll admit, the magic between them feels a little faded? Tara and Christian apparently feel the same way, because only an hour later, while walking home, they realize that there are too many emotional minefields between them. Tara asks, “Have you ever thought that if it was going to work then…” “It would have happened by now?” responds Christian. YES. EXACTLY. THANK YOU. But then Christian has to go and say, “I don’t think I’m ever going to love anyone the way I love you.” And now I’m all conflicted again. But it seems like these two star-crossed crazies are realizing that their love story has come to an end, and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

  • Sir Jeffrey is retiring!! I’ll miss you, you crazy loon. All of the third years are freaking out, because now his assistant, Rebecca (a.k.a. Ice Queen with Bangs), is the new artistic director, and no one knows what she’s looking for in the upcoming auditions. Abigail is especially obsessed with cracking the “Rebecca enigma,” so she enlists Ollie’s help in exchange for helping him with a back-up dancing audition with Jessica Mauboy. But, because the two of them together are so FIERCE and FABULOUS, Jessica decides that she wants them as a pair for her upcoming tour. Torn between a sure thing and the Company auditions, Ollie and Abigail aren’t sure what to do… but it seems like they’re gonna place their bets with the Company. (FOOLS!!! YOU COULD BE ON TOUR WITH A POP STAR! And then someone like Justin Timberlake might notice you! How could you pick ballet over JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE?)

  • Kat scores the coveted role of Swanhilde in the second-year production, while Miss Raine assigns the Company audition solo pieces: Ollie gets Macbeth, Tara will be Firebird, and Christian and Ben both have to be Prince Charming. (Because there’s not enough animosity between them?) Tara’s back is acting up, so she’s forbidden to practice, which drives her into the arms of… SASKIA?!!!!
"Sassy Gay Best Friend" guy, wearing an orange scarf
“What are you doing? What what what are you doing? Look at your life. Look at your choices.”
  • Saskia is apparently an expert on Firebird, and now that Sir Jeffrey is out, she’s been sacked. (HA! SUCK IT!) Sooo, she’s got some time. I still think Tara is INSANE for asking for wisdom from the woman who BROKE HER BACK, but I guess the writers are feeling charitable and want to give Saskia a little redemption. She actually provides Tara with some excellent advice about the reality of being a professional ballerina, and she warns her against pursuing a life edged in physical pain. (WHICH, LET’S NOT FORGET THAT YOU CAUSED, SASKIA.) She refuses to help Tara if she persists with Firebird, so Tara goes with her recommendation of an easier yet more expressive solo, Persephone. They continue training together, and Saskia keeps telling Tara stuff she needs to hear, like, “Being a professional is about what you do on your worst night.” HOW IS SASKIA SAYING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS? IS THIS REAL LIFE? Miss Raine tries to step in and get Tara to do the solo she assigned, but Tara stands firm. I feel some major solidarity with Miss Raine in this scene, cos you know she’s WTF-ing just as hard as we are.

Key Solo

Well, I’m obviously NOT giving the MVP award to Saskia. The world isn’t THAT upside down. So I guess I’ll give it to Tara, because even though she was insane to approach Saskia, it also took a lot of courage and highlighted the strength of her passion for ballet. Plus, she handled the Christian thing REALLY well. Tara Webster, I think you’ve finally grown up!


A group of ballet students in shock because they've just had mud dumped on them
  • As much as I still hate Grace, I gotta hand it to her and Ben for convincing Kat to help them pull a prank on Muck-Up Day. The resulting Dirt War was SO GREAT, and it lead to one of my favorite show moments of ALL TIME between Tara and Abigail:

Tara: “This is our last wharf battle. We graduate in three weeks.”

Abigail: “Game on, Tara Webster. Game on.”

  • Tara, to Christian: “You realize I have no reason to trust this ‘born again Christian’ thing.”

  • Wes, via Skype, instructing Ollie to get on his knees and beg Abigail to help him. Abigail’s smug face = PRICELESS.

Sprained Ankle

I wish I could say that Saskia and Tara teaming up is the worst thing ever but… it’s not? WHO AM I?

So… what do y’all think? Is Saskia actually not 100% evil? Did Christian and Tara make the right choice to end their romantic relationship, or do you wish they had given it another shot?

Let’s convo below, and remember: no spoilers on the last two episodes! My final (sob!) post on Dance Academy will be coming soon…

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.