It’s been a busy, exciting year for Mission native Liam Mackie.
The 18-year-old dancer recently finished a three-month long shooting schedule in Toronto. Mackie is one of the new leads on the sixth season of the Family Network TV series The Next Step.
Mackie was working as a landscaper when this new journey began.
“I got a call from my agent saying there was an audition opportunity for a lead role in The Next Step series and I was like, this is kind of a big deal because a lot of my close friends were on the show.”
He decided to give it a shot and prepared a video of himself dancing and talking about his past dancing experiences.
The video obviously made an impression.
“They said they were super interested and I flew out to Toronto for a weekend of auditions and found out a month later that I got a lead role.”
“It was all pretty fast,” he added.
Mackie first began dancing when he was about five-years-old.
Born and raised in Mission, Mackie started dance lessons at Can Dance Studios and eventually trained at schools in Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Vancouver.
He has trained in genres such as Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Stage, but has one favourite style.
“Hip Hop is definitely my preferred style, but I’m classically trained in Ballet, Contemporary – I can do it all except Tap.”
In 2015 Liam was a big part of Team Canada that won the silver medal at the World of Hip Hop Championships in Italy. He was also a part of the 2014 team that finished fourth in Germany.
Some of his other accomplishments include, Performing with Imagine Dragons and Dallas Smith at the Grey Cup. He also performed at the 2014 Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Now he’s enjoying his first lead role in a television series.
“The experience was simply unreal, amazing. Everyone is so professional, it made my experience so enjoyable.”
Despite his new gig, Mackie stresses that he is a dancer first and an actor second.
“I’ve been acting for about seven years now. One the show, we’re hired as dancers not actors, so my acting comes second.”
Mackie said the cast filmed in Toronto for about seven straight weeks, 12 hours a day, but he isn’t complaining.
“It’s something I’ve never done before but everyone on set made it so enjoyable. I was kind of laughing about it because, I would never call it work, because it was so fun.”
While enjoying his time on the show so far, Mackie said he has a different dream to fulfill.
“My end goal is getting to a world tour with an artist. So, like back-up dancing for Chris Brown – if he’s still around when I get that opportunity – Drake, any sort of big hip hop artist… It’s like getting paid to tour the world,” he said.
The sixth season of The Next Step is on now on the Family Channel.
“My character (Finn) is pretty funny and just a light-hearted guy who doesn’t really care what other people think because he’s solid in himself. I just want to tell kids… just be true to yourself and believe in yourself. Hard work as well, that hard work will pay off.”
Mackie is proof of that.