Credit: Courtesy of Mac Cartwright    
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Meet Your Next Teen Heartthrob: Garrett Clayton Talks Dancing, His Dream Role, and His Holiday Spin — Exclusive

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Zac Efron, watch your back!

Disney’s newest triple-threat, Garrett Clayton, is poised to take the former High School Musical heartthrob’s place in the Disney universe and could well be on a path to full-blown Nicholas-Sparks-mystery-man stardom in the next couple of years.

Next summer, we’ll get to see his own High School Musical equivalent, Teen Beach Musical (with The Vampire Diaries’ Grace Phipps) on the Disney Channel... but before he bursts into song, we’ll get a little taste of Garrett’s talents this Sunday in the Lifetime movie Holiday Spin.

Garrett plays Blake, the estranged son of a professional dancer (played by Dancing With the StarsRalph Macchio) who, after the death of his mother, has to move in with his dad and reluctantly shows off his brilliant footwork to save his father’s dance studio from going under.

“It’s really about how you reconnect with someone who’s never been there,” Garrett says. “It’s not like [Blake’s] dad came back of his own free will. He came back because [his] mom died.”

Though Garrett took college-level dance classes while still in high school, ballroom dancing took him by surprise.

“I came at this as a dancer who’d done musical theater, tap, and jazz; but I had to learn the Viennese waltz and the samba, so for me it was a big challenge. As the man, you have to be really in control and confident in what you’re doing,” says Garrett. “I’ve worked more muscles doing ballroom dance than anything else. I’m ready to go on Dancing With the Stars!”

And although he would be a shoo-in for the ABC dance competition, not to mention Smash or Glee, the show he’s really itching to work on is Ryan Murphy’s non-musical show. “I love American Horror Story!” he gushes. “I think those are the most exciting parts [to play]. They not only scare you but challenge you. I think it stirs up a lot of real emotions when you’re nervous.”

On second thought, maybe it’s Evan Peters who should be watching his back. As you were, Zac Efron.

11.17.2012 / 12:01 AM EDT by Carita Rizzo
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