In the new Netflix Original dance movie Work It, a group of people who aren’t dancers have to become dancers so that one of them can get into Duke University. Such are the stakes of the dance movie genre. But, because they do have to do a ton of dancing, the cast of Work It, unlike their onscreen counterparts, do have actual dance experience. A couple of them are actors who dance, but the vast majority of cast is made up of dancers who also act.
The film stars actor and singer Sabrina Carpenter (The Hate U Give, Girl Meets World) as Quinn, a straight-A student who convinced someone at Duke admissions that she was also on her school’s award-winning dance team, the Thunderbirds. Problem is, she isn’t. So, she has to put together her own new dance team, called “TBD,” in order to compete in the big Work It competition and prove that she actually is a dancer.
To make it work, the actor playing the lead character needed to be someone who could dance and the supporting roles had to be filled by dancers who could deliver a few lines between awesome dance montages.
Luckily, the cast of Work It all fit that bill. We’ve got a Dancing with the Stars winner, an Australian dance star, and a whole lot of Canadian pro dancers who came together to make up the movie’s dance crew.
Sabrina Carpenter, Who Plays Quinn
Work It is based around the fact that Sabrina Carpenter’s character, Quinn, can’t dance, but learns how. So, Carpenter had to be able to dance well, but also convincingly dance poorly.
Carpenter recently explained to Rolling Stone that she grew up dancing and dances when she’s on tour, but that Work It was “a very, very big reminder that I haven’t stretched in seven years.” In fact, she ended up getting tendonitis: “That how you know I really tried.”
Liza Koshy, Who Plays Jasmine
YouTube star-turned-actor Liza Koshy plays Jasmine, Quinn’s best friend, who is one of the best dancers at their high school and has dreams of being a professional dancer.
And she actually has been dancing for most of her life. During a recent appearance on The Daily Show, Koshy said she started dancing at four years old doing tap, ballet, and jazz, took a “hiatus” in middle school,” and then did drill and dance team in high school. While she’s clearly very talented, she said some movie magic helped on Work It: “We had the best damn editor, because I’m definitely not the best dancer.”
Keiynan Lonsdale, Who Plays Juilliard aka Isaiah
The other top dancer at the school is the head of the Thunderbirds, who goes by “Juilliard” and is played by Keiynan Lonsdale.
The Australian actor is a professional dancer, as well. He previously starred in the Australian series Dance Academy and its sequel movie Dance Academy: The Comeback. You can watch a ton of videos of him dancing on his YouTube channel where he also posts his music videos. Yep, he sings, too.
Jordan Fisher, Who Plays Jake
Jordan Fisher — who you may recognise from another Netflix Original, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You — plays Jake, who graduated from Quinn’s high school and was a hotshot dancer before suffering an injury.
Fisher is a dancer, which anyone who watched season 25 of Dancing with the Stars already knows — he won the competition, which was somewhat controversial since he was already a trained dancer. Fisher told AL.com ahead of DWTS that he wasn’t a sure bet to win because he didn’t know all types of dance. “All ballroom is new to me,” he said. “All ballroom, period. The end. Never done it. I’ve never felt so uncoordinated in my whole life.”
Bianca Asilo, Who Plays Raven
Raven, played by Bianca Asilo, is a goth environmentalist, who posts dance videos on Instagram, and is recruited by Quinn to join her new dance team.
Neil Robles, Who Plays Chris
Neil Robles plays Chris, a football player who Quinn believes would make a better dancer and recruits him for her team after seeing his victory dance.
You can probably guess where this is going by now. Yes, Robles is a pro dancer, too, and he’s represented by the same Canadian agency as Asilo, and several other co-stars. Check out his moves on his Instagram.
Nathaniel Scarlette, Who Plays Tapes
Tapes is a guy who is known for making great mix tapes, and Quinn sees his potential to dance along to his music, too. He’s played by Nathaniel Scarlette.
Tyler Hutchings, Who Plays Robby
Tyler Hutchings plays Robby, who Quinn asks to join her team because he does karate and knows how to flip.
But Hutchings actually knows how to do much more than flip. The professional dancer and actor previously put his skills to work on the Canadian teen drama The Next Step about a group of dancers.
Indiana Mehta, Who Plays Priya
Priya, who is a roller skater-turned-dancer, is played by Indiana Mehta. Her character brings a little of her Indian dancing style to the team.
Briana Andrade-Gomes, Who Plays Trinity
Briana Andrade-Gomes plays Trinity, one of Juilliard’s snobby sidekicks on the Thunderbirds.
Kalliane Bremault, Who Plays Brit
Juilliard’s second sidekick, Brit, is played by Kalliane Bremault.
Bremault is the final Canadian pro dancer/choreographer on our list, and her work can also be seen on her Instagram. Her dance styles are hip hop, breakdance, and contemporary.