In the 1980s many Australian children grew up with Spike, Joey and Caitlin on Canadian television series Degrassi Junior High. Now they watch The Next Step.
The Canadian series, aired on ABC ME, is shot in a fly-on-the-wall mockumentary style and follows the lives of a group of dancers. Like Degrassi, The Next Step is character driven and tackles universal - and relatable - themes in a personal way.
One of the show's most popular characters is Briar Nolet, who plays Richelle and is coming to Australia in September to perform in The Next Step - Absolute Dance. The 90-minute stage show will feature solos, duets, trios and group numbers, and sold out venues when it toured Australia in 2016 and 2017.
"We have some new characters coming along this time," Nolet tells Weekender from her home town of Toronto in Canada. "There will be tonnes of tricks and we'll be getting to interact with the fans, which I love."
Nolet, 20, is a contemporary dancer who made it to the finals of World Of Dance season three in the US and narrowly missed out on the $1 million prize money. The reality competition television series is produced by Jennifer Lopez, who is also a judge on the show alongside Derek Hough and NE-YO.
Known for her strength and technique, Nolet has won Canadian dance titles, taught at major dance conventions and is an ambassador for dance-related education programs and charities. She has also released a single, Boys, on Spotify.
What makes Nolet's success all the more remarkable is that she developed epilepsy at the age of 16 and it was triggered by, of all things, dancing. It was a heartbreaking diagnosis but the determined Nolet never gave up hope. Nor did she give up dancing.
"It was a crazy time. I don't know how I did it, to be honest," she says.
"I was misdiagnosed and it started to get worse but we finally found an amazing doctor who was able to diagnose me properly. Even though I found out I have epilepsy, I was so relieved to finally have an answer and a way to solve it. I had a super amazing support system from my family, my friends and my boyfriend, though. I'm very lucky."
Nolet's boyfriend is Myles Erlick, who plays Noah on The Next Step. They met on the show when Nolet was 13 and seven years later are still going strong. Fans of the show refer to them as "Bryles".
"We have grown up together on the show - it's pretty crazy when I think about it," she says, laughing.
"I look back at then I first started on the show and I was so tiny. So young. And people watching have grown up with me, I guess."
Nolet's parents were gymnasts (her father was a world champion) and her life was dominated by gymnastics until the age of seven, when she switched to dancing. Acting came later.
"Dance was my whole life. Casting director Amy Wright was going to every dance studio in Toronto to see if there was anyone who spiked her interest," she explains.
"I went to an audition, made it to the call backs and found a new love for acting. It became a new hobby of mine. I got a few more call backs and they tried us all out for different characters and watched how we worked together, then I got an email saying I had made it and we were going to start shooting. I was 13 at the time."
Nolet is considered an inspiration for millions of young dancers worldwide. She decided to speak out about her health struggles in an attempt to help others.
"I'm happy to be back on my feet and working towards my dreams but not everyone is that lucky," she says.
"It very humbling knowing that people look up to me. I was so sick but I kept it quiet, even on social media, but now that I've spoken out I am reading so many heartwarming messages. I am happy I can inspire people who are going through something like I went through."