Dance Academy

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Left to right: Ethan, Tara, and Christian.

Dance Academy is an Australian teen TV show that follows Tara Webster and her time at the National Academy of Dance in Sydney. The story also focuses on Kat Karamakov (Tara’s best friend), Ethan (Kat’s half brother), Sammy Lieberman (Kat and Tara’s friend), Christian Reed (Sammy’s roommate) and Abigail Armstrong (Tara’s roommate and biggest competition).

Ever since Tara was a little girl, she knew she wanted to dance. In her hometown, she is known as “the dancer”. So when she is 15, she decides to audition for a position at the prestigious National Academy of Dance (NAOD). When she is accepted, she thinks her new life at the academy will be spectacular. However, it doesn’t take her long to discover that there is much more to surviving at the academy than just dancing. She soon becomes painfully aware of how far behind she is in her ballet training and that there is a long way to go if she wants to become a principal dancer.

The series became most-watched drama ever aired on its home channel ABC 3 during its first broadcast in 2010. Season 2 premiered in 2012, and a third season is already planned. The show started airing in the U.S. on Teen Nick in February 2012.

Tropes used in Dance Academy include:
  • Alliterative Name: Kat Karamakov.
  • Back for the Finale: Okay so Ethan came back in the penultimate episode not the finale but his reappearance at the end of season 2 still fills this trope.
  • Bi the Way: Kat possibly. She does say she's had "girl crushes" before.
    • Sammy, he's dated Abigail then Ollie before kissing Abigail again.
  • Big Eater: Kat, though it's a more realistic portrayal of one.
  • Bury Your Gays: Sammy dies in a car crash near the end of season 2
  • Coming Out Story: Sammy's about halfway there.
  • Continuity Nod: Kat baking when she's sad, Tara finding four leaf clovers before an exam and Tara having lied to Ethan about losing a bracelet are all referenced in season 2.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Christian's mother.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Abigail is initially quite a horrible person, but Sammy's persistence and support of her eventually makes her much nicer and she eventually falls in love with him despite her claims that she "[doesn't] do emotions."
    • Christian starts off very cold and distant from everyone and isn't too keen to make friends. Tara, Kat and, again, Sammy all play a role in making him a warmer person.
    • Depending on how her reaction and subsequent behaviour in the last episode of series 2 is to be interpreted, Grace may be in for this in series 3. After watching her dance The Red Shoes, Abigail comments that Grace has "never felt a genuine human emotion"; by the end of the competition, though, it's clear that she has.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In season 2, the first years dislike the second years for focusing more on relationships than ballet. Because of this, they decide to flour bomb the second years and then squirt them with water pistols in the middle of the night.
  • Disappeared Dad: Christian's father.
  • Frenemy: Abigail mentions that Kat is hers. Abigail and Tara could also qualify.
  • Funny Foreigner: Petra. German exchange student.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Abigail, of all characters, gives this to Christian about Kat. "If you break her heart like you did Tara's, I'll hurt you."
  • In Medias Res: Episode 13 of season 2 starts with Tara in Miss Raine's office after her broken back has been found out.
  • Killed Off for Real: Sammy in season 2
  • Love Dodecahedron: as per the norm for a Teen Drama
  • Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Sammy when one of the football players visiting the academy asks for his number.
    • Subverted later though.
  • Mood Whiplash: Tara goes from loudly annoucing she's going to make out with Ben to complaining about how Miss Raine dealt with her back being broken by Saskia.
  • Poisonous Friend: Grace.
  • Put on a Bus: Ethan, on a bus to Barcelona.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: for the musical in season 2, Abigail says she's always wanted to be the mean judge on a panel.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When Kat and Sammy are talking about him being gay and liking Christian.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Tara and Ethan for the first half of season 1, Tara and Christian for the second half.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A major aspect of Grace's MO. Example: destroying Tara's and her own shoes, to convince Tara Abigail did it.