And on the top of the pyramid…. Maddie.
Ever since being in quarantine, I have been re-watching Dance Moms. I have realized that this show is the best one to watch while having nothing to do. The show has eight seasons and 236 episodes in total.
This show has it all: rivalries (between studios and each other), strongly opinionated moms, drama and most importantly, dancing.
Abby Lee Miller is the owner of the Abby Lee Dance Company. This company is the center of the show and is located originally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but is then moved to Los Angeles, California in later seasons. The show follows the competition team during their whole trek to nationals. They learn new dances every week to perform that weekend at the competition.
The first competition team consists of Maddie (the favorite), Mackenzie, Brooke, Chloe, Paige, Nia and Vivi-Anne. The team evolves each season with either: guest performers, people leaving and coming back, people leaving for good or new dancers that Abby invites to stay.
The first episode sets you up for the tone of the show as a whole. In the show, Vivi-Anne’s mother, Cathy, runs what eventually turns into the rival dance studio, Candy Apples. Cathy brings Vivi-Anne to dance, but it is made obvious that Vivi-Anne has zero interest in dance. But, she is brought to be a dancer and Abby has hope. She eventually leaves to go back to dancing at her mom’s studio and this is when the Candy Apples versus Abby Lee Dance Company rivalry continues.
This rivalry stays throughout the seasons and gets stronger. They go back and forth beating each other. The kids are civil, the moms, on the other hand, are not. They have all had their fair share of arguments and confrontations with Cathy.
Abby talks herself up during the first minutes of the show about how great her teaching is. Yes, she does make stars, but at what cost? Abby is known for her yelling. She yells at students to get through to them. This would not be a huge problem if it was equal, but it is not. Just like in everything, she has her favorites. Maddie is always praised in the show and rarely gets yelled at. However, Paige and Brooke get yelled at the most. Abby does not yell at them or place them on the pyramid just based on their dancing, but also their mom’s behavior. If Abby doesn’t like your mom, you will be lower on the pyramid.
While watching this show, I noticed more things. I used to relate to the dancers more because they were so interested and wanted to be the best they could be. I was this way with soccer when the show was airing. Now that I am older, I relate to the moms more. I used to think all the fights between the moms and Abby were uncalled for. Now looking back, I realize how valid the moms’ points were.
Abby treats the kids terribly. She yells at them for simple mistakes and favors students. The moms that get into the fights with Abby frequently are Christi (Chloe’s mom) and Kelly (Brooke and Paige’s mom). For Christi, this is because of the rivalry between Maddie and Chloe that Abby has made. For Kelly, it is because she feels her children are treated the worst by Abby. These moms are the most vocal, but all of the moms have altercations with Abby. Holly (Nia’s mom), fights with Abby, but in a more civil and respectful manner. The moms do not let Abby treat their children terrible without speaking up about it.
Abby believes that her tactics make the kids better and stronger dancers. This is proven untrue because all of her original dancers end up quitting and leaving her studio. She has an entirely new team in the last season because of this.
The fighting and drama keep you invested in the show. They show has dancing, but the dancing is not the main focus. It seems that the drama and fighting keep people more focused on the show.
I recommend this show because it can show you what not to do and what you do not want to be like. All of the seasons are available on the lifetime app to watch for free!
As Abby Lee Miller always says, “Save your tears for the pillow.”