You have to wonder how or why Abby Lee Miller smiles, no seriously, this woman in 4 episodes of Lifetime’s new hit “Dance Moms” has barely cracked a grin. She’s either scowling or she’s scolding her little students; well, I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh; she encourages them with a firm tone in her voice, that’s better. Now the background on Miller is very straight-forward, she’s ran the aptly named Abby Lee Miller Dance Company in Pittsburgh for 25 years, although Wikipedia says she opened her studio in 1980. I’ve yet to see Abby dance herself, but I trust she knows something about it or she wouldn’t be doing this or have a reality show! I would say don’t judge a book by its cover.
Now, onto the real stars of the show, the moms. Each one is hopeful her daughter, one has two daughters studying with Miller, can make it to the top of Abby’s “dance pyramid”, whoever is on top, she is considered the star performer for the week. None of the Mom’s last names are given, and for good reason, they are all a little off. Melissa’s daughters Maddie and Mackenzie are two of Miller’s stars and Maddie is usually at the top of the pyramid. The other Moms get so jealous if their daughters are NOT on top. Kelly also has two daughters (Brooke & Paige) enrolled with Abby and they are also considered better performers.
As for the rest of the Moms, Holly and her daughter Nia haven’t really made much noise; Holly complained about the inappropriate costumes in episode 2 and that’s been about it. The two Moms to watch are Kristi, daughter is Chloe and Cathy, daughter is Vivi-Anne (really?). Christi is continuously and jealous and upset with how Chloe is treated, and she took in a few drinks at the bar in the second episode. Last night was a doozy, each girl had a solo for the week, but one girl, Maddie got two solos because she’s the star. Christi went off and she complained Abby wasn’t working enough with her daughter or the others on the solos and Chloe also got her music late which Christi blames on Maddie’s mom Melissa (see, since all this dance stuff is so expensive, Melissa works part-time at the studio). The result? Chloe stops after 10 seconds into her solo and just stands there on stage, scared to death and Abby claims that’s never happened in all the years she’s taught. So, following the awards ceremony, Christi confronts Abby in front of the other Moms and the kids, it’s really ugly, unfortunately, I’m not able to find a video clip, if I do, I will put it into this post.
But for now, let’s move on to Cathy, who is new to the group with her daughter, Vivi-Anne. Cathy is a dance teacher herself, and she has a studio in Ohio, however, she knows of Miller’s reputation and she’s decided to commute from Ohio to Abby’s studio. Well so far, Cathy has NOT been a team player by evidence of not letting Vivi actively accept Abby’s training. In a competition in last week’s episode, Vivi-Anne performed a solo her mother taught her and when Vivi was asked on-stage what studio she was representing, she said “Candy Apple’s Dance Center”…uh oh! Abby was shocked and she decided in this week’s episode, she was going to work more with Vivi-Anne. And by the way, Vivi-Anne, and really a majority of the girls featured on the show, are not really all that interested in dancing and I know things have definitely changed since I was in dance many moons ago here’s proof:
Yes, that’s me at 4, my first year of dance. I was a dandelion and when the time came for the big recital, I had to run off stage to pee! (If I’ve told this story before, I’m sorry! LOL!) I only did ballet and dance for about 5 years and I was never pushed like the kids are today. And kudos to Miss Debbie Burden for always being kind and cool.
Dance Moms airs Wednesday nights at 10E/9C on Lifetime…give it a shot!