I’m absolutely obsessed with Dance Moms, and I think with every episode it’s getting better; yeah, the concept is already older than Tuesday’s earthquake, but it’s still entertaining. However, last night’s episode took on a heavier tone than Abby’s risky “Where Have All the Children Gone?” routine–which won–from last week. Specifically the role of race at Abby’s dance studio.
Meet Holly, Nia’s mother
She introduced herself as a successful African-American woman with hopes of trying to emulate First Lady Michelle Obama; I think she even said she thought she looked a little like her, anyway, Holly has been frustrated with Nia’s position on the dance pyramid all season and really, you don’t see Nia much, unless Holly has an issue with either the costumes in the second episode, she deemed “inappropriate” and yes, they were, but Abby insisted they would make the judges take notice. And last night, when Nia’s solo, called “LaQueefa” (I’m not making this up!) would require her, by Abby, to wear a leopard print costume and a 70’s afro. Holly had had enough and I’m still puzzled why she wasn’t more upset over the character name LaQueefa than what her daughter had to wear.
Abby’s position on the issue? Nia will have a better shot at landing “ethnic roles” if she performs these types of solos. That’s all fine and good, but it makes you wonder what the extent of Abby’s knowledge on ethnic is. The other side of this is Abby doesn’t think Nia is the best dancer and we saw her getting on to Nia more than the other girls in rehearsal, which all the moms at one point or another has probably had a problem with. When competition time came, Nia did fail in her execution and Maddie (the star!) was very upset and passed off her anger as “I twisted my ankle”, whatever. And when Abby and Holly got into the stereotyping of Nia issue, Abby’s simple response was “take your money and go someplace else!” It’s not that easy.
So what is more important, being a good dancer or trying to push your ethnicity out there? It’s hard to say. I think even if Nia was the star, Abby would still put her in stereotypical costumes, but we’ll have to wait and see if Nia even stays by the end of the season.
I just want to point out two examples of what I think are 70’s afros:
Activist Angela Davis
Actress Pam Grier aka “Foxy Brown”
I think Holly should at least explain to Nia, who was oblivious to the controversy, what all this is about and she should point to these two iconic women who were proud of their afros, even if the look was big in their time. Or better yet, Abby should’ve pointed to these women; it was sad she didn’t back up enough her “ethnic roles” argument.
I hope next week is back to more of Crazy Cathy and less drama.