'Bunheads' Preview: Cast Teases Family Visits, More Dance and a New Bunhead in Paradise

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When we last saw ABC Family’s Bunheads, dance teacher Michelle Simms (Sutton Foster) had fled Paradise after her unfortunate use of pepper spray infuriated parents and sent dancers to the hospital prior to the performance of The Nutcracker.

With her departure to Vegas and Fanny’s (Kelly Bishop) dance studio now defunct, the second half of the dance drama's first season opens with the bunheads in very different scenarios than we’ve seen before. The next eight episodes also feature appearances from some of Michelle’s Family, including her brother played by Foster’s real-life sibling, Hunter Foster.

Celebuzz was on the set of Bunheads recently to get all the scoop from the ballerinas on what will go down when we return to Paradise, Calif.

Here are 9 things you can expect from Bunheads this season.

1. Michelle’s return to Paradise. The winter premiere of Bunheads will find Michelle returning to Paradise by episode’s end but what brings her there? “I think what brings her back is that people see worth in her,” Foster told reporters on-set. “I think Michelle's pretty convinced she's a loser and has nothing to offer. And I think that what you'll see with Michelle is her finally committing to something. I think in the first 10 episodes she always had a pretty solid foot out the door, ready to jump at a moment's notice. And I think now she's like, 'Maybe there's something of real value here. Maybe, I can mean something here.'”

2. Hi Brother! Foster will make his debut on Bunheads as Scotty on the Jan. 28 episode in a storyline that has similarities to the real life siblings’ living situation. Not only is his character crashing at Michelle’s place on the show but he is also living at Sutton’s during filming. Hunter calls Scotty “a chronic divorcee" having been divorced four times.

“I fall in love easily. I get married, I get divorced. And then every time I get divorced I show up on her doorstep. And so again, I show up on her doorstep and I crash at her place. And immediately start looking for wife No. 5,"  he said.

3. Michelle’s brother isn’t the only Simms member coming to Paradise. In addition to the arrival of Michelle’s brother, the Simms matriarch will also descend on the small town. Lolita Davidovich will take on the role, first appearing on the Feb. 4 episode of the drama. The introduction of Michelle’s family on these back eight episodes will give us some insight into just who Michelle really is.

“I think Scotty represents sort of my past and is a pull against where I'm moving in my future," said Foster. "He still is like, ‘What are you doing? You know, this isn't you. Like you flee, you don't make roots, you don't have roots.' And, so it's fascinating. With the introduction of Scotty and with the mom character you really start to begin to understand why Michelle is the way she is. Why she’s so guarded. Why she has so many walls and defenses. And why she’s been such a floater throughout life.”

4. A love interest for Michelle? While Foster told us there isn’t anything happening in Michelle's love life yet, she said she believes that a man is not the answer for her character. “Wouldn't it be great to have a character who finds herself and then maybe love will come?” she said. “I really want her to find herself … and then find love. I think I'd like for her to have a little fun. She can have some fun while she's finding herself. But you know, but those are longterm goals.”

5. The bunheads and Michelle. When their former dancer teacher returns to town, the relationships between the bunheads and Michelle will obviously change. “Sasha and I, we were cut from the same mold,” Foster says of Michelle's relationship with Julia Goldani Telles’ character. “She needs somebody and I'm like, ‘I don't know if that person is me. Or if I have the capacity but I'll do what I can to help you.’ That's the relationship right now that's probably the strongest with me and the girls.”

Bailey Buntain, who plays Ginny on the show, told reporters that she also gets to bond with her dance teacher upon her return.

 

6. Ginny's new gig? When Season 1B opens with Fanny’s dance studio closed, some of the bunheads have taken it upon themselves to get new hobbies. For Ginny this includes a stint taking over her mom’s real estate business, but how long will she keep it going? “It's really dependent on how long her mom is in crazy town,” said Buntain. “And it looks like she's there for a while. So she's going to be pulling her weight in the family for a good bit. I think it's good. I think it also kind of distracts her from what's going on. It gives her something to do and focus on.”

7. A clash between the new bunhead and Ginny. When a new bunhead pops into Paradise -- played by Jeanine Mason, the Season 5 winner of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance -- on the Jan. 14 episode, Ginny will be none too pleased.

“The relationship with the four girls goes through some stuff. We get an added girl. She's not one of the four of us, but it switches dynamics a little bit. Some girls bond with her, some don't,” Buntain told reporters. “And Ginny hates change, so she really resists it. I would hate to see that separate her friendships with the other three girls for too long. You know, if they ruffle her feathers, that’s OK. But I would hate to have that wedge stay there.”

a little bit. And definitely with the other girls. It kind of starts isolating her a bit from the other girls.”

9. A lot more dancing. In addition to all the drama, the cast of Bunheads told reporters we can expect a lot more dancing on the next eight episodes of the freshman drama, including a performance of Sleeping Beauty. Not only will the dances take place in the classroom and during performances, but there will also be some “out of context emotional dances” to look forward to as well. Buntain said the increased dancing has been “really fun” and that the “level that the nature dance was at [on the first half of the season], we’ve got some of that that surpasses that.”

Bunheads' winter premiere airs Monday at 8PM on ABC Family.

Are you excited for the Bunheads to return? Let us know what you’re looking forward to most in the comments below!

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