Being a Millennial isn’t easy. There’s school, work, finding a job, balancing the work/social life balance – it can be pretty overwhelming. We wanted to find out what millennials like YOU were up to and how you were dealing with the real world.
This week we interviewed Victoria Baldesarra & Shelby Bain, stars of the Family Channel TV show The Next Step. Victoria, 18, and Shelby, 15, aren’t your average millennials. They spend most of their time on set, learning choreography, and lines for The Next Step and travelling around the world for their live shows. They certainly have interesting lives, so let’s here their stories!
Could you tell us a little bit about what led you to where you are in now?
Victoria: I started dancing when I was three years old and I began competitive dancing at the age of six – so I was pretty young. I’ve always had a passion for dance and when I was 13 I auditioned for The Next Step and it changed my life. The show blew up, and before I knew it we were filming our fifth season this past summer. I’ve gotten to travel to many places in the world because of The Next Step and we’ve gotten to meet our fans in so many different places!
Shelby: I started dancing when I was four and I went straight into competitive dancing. I also did a lot of acting when I was younger and sang a little bit. I auditioned for The Next Step at the age of 9 for season one and kept auditioning for every single season. Nothing really came of the auditions but then, when I auditioned for season four I got the opportunity to work on the show. Coming from competitive dance I’ve always been in a very competitive mind set but The Next Step has helped me to realize that we’re not always in a competition, and it’s been such a treat to be part of something so big. Now I have the opportunity to go on tour – we’re headed to Australia in a few weeks and I’m so grateful.
Favourite Next Step Moment?
Victoria: One of my favourite moments was my very first audition ever. I remember that it was a couple of days before my 13th birthday, and it was an experience that I’ll next forget because that was when my life changed.
Shelby: My favourite moment was my first day on set. Growing up watching the show, it was super surreal to actually be on the set, and all of my idols were just there in front of me. It was my first acting experience, and I got to dance. It was really everything that I loved to do!
Do you think you & your character in the show are similar in personality?
Victoria: I feel like my character has changed a lot. She used to be a lot more chill and relaxed and a little bit of a push over. But I think as I’ve been on the show, I, along with the character, have really evolved and grown up. It feels very natural to be in character.
Shelby: Although Amy, my character, and I are a lot a like, we do have some differences. I think Amy takes a lot more risks than I do but I think we’re both very positive people. When I’m on set it doesn’t really feel like I’m acting, it’s very natural.
Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do?
Victoria: I’ve always had an urge for the spotlight but was a little bit shy and just wanted to dance. But now that I’ve gotten a taste for acting, it’s what I want to go for now.
Shelby: I always knew that I wanted to be a dancer but I thought I would probably end up dancing in a company. But now that has totally changed and I know that I want to act. I would really like to host a breakfast TV type show and stay in the industry.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t in the position you’re in now?
Victoria: I feel like I would still want to be in or around the screen, maybe behind the scenes.
Shelby: I’m actually really into science so maybe I would do something in that field.
Do you have any advice/tips for those wanting to the pursue the same field as you?
Victoria: You can’t take anything personal in this industry. It’s all about the work and experience. After doing this for five years I’ve grown and learned so much. It’s important to keep growing and making connections – from there you’ll be able to build your career
Shelby: Keep going and move onto the next thing. Don’t get down and let someone else’s opinion take away from who you are as an actor or person. Hard work never goes unnoticed. Just persevere and don’t let others get you down
What’s your typical “day in the life”?
Victoria: I just graduated high school in June, but the last four years have been fairly unpredictable. I was in school, training and on and off tour. Days on set are much different. We wake up super early and are on set all day until around 7pm, do homework and then we do it all again the next day!
Shelby: I’m in grade ten, so I still go to school. My average day is just getting up, eating breakfast, going to school, and then I’ll go to dance. Sometimes I have auditions as well.
You both have had the opportunity to travel a bit with The Next Step, is there anything you do that reveals you’re Canadian. Do you snowboard? Love poutine? Secretly in love with Justin Bieber?
Victoria: Well I still love Justin Bieber! But I definitely say ‘Eh!’ and love skiing.
Shelby: I never really snowboarded or skiied, but I just started getting into maple syrup!
Fave Toronto hangout?
Victoria: I love Queens Quay and the waterfront. The East end is awesome too
Shelby: I love Queen West – especially getting crepes and going shopping there!
It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year. Can you give us a birthday wish to Canada or to all your Canadians fans out there?
Victoria: Thank you so much to all our fans in Canada! I am so thankful to live in this country. There’s really no place like home.
Shelby: Canada really is home. We did ‘Big Ticket’ last summer around Canada and it was super cool to tour all around and see the amazing sites that we have here. Canada is so beautiful. And thank you to all the fans, your support is really motivating!
So we all know, navigating being a millennial/Gen Z isn’t necessarily easy (even at the best of times) but what is it like being a Canadian icon who’s widely recognized?
Victoria: It’s really cool! We’re helping to inspire the younger generation to follow their dreams. It’s super special to be a role model.
Shelby: It’s so cool and surreal. I used to look up to all the dancers on the show and now to be one of those people is really heartwarming.
Is there a millennial or Gen Z-er who’s giving you some serious inspo right now?
Victoria: I love Jennifer Lawrence. She’s super talented and really inspiring. I really look up to her, especially for having accomplished so much while being so young. There are many young Canadian bloggers and entrepreneurs that are up and coming who inspire me as well.
Shelby: I also love Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley. They’re really inspiring
What do you think is the most common misconception about millennials and what would you want people to know?
Victoria: Social media is really interesting- it’s the worst and the best thing ever. It can be used in a really powerful way or a negative way, but there are so many great things that can come out of it
Shelby: I think people think that we don’t actually go to school! We’re not filming everyday.
Be sure to catch Shelby and Victoria on The Next Step Season 4 on Family Channel, every Friday!