The show focuses on Abby Lee Miller and her dance studio, also named Abby Lee. We immediately learn that Abby makes girls - and their parents - cry. Abby claims she's doing the girls a favor by making them cry in her studio - she says she'd rather see them cry here than at an open audition.
Abby has non-traditional methods, like ranking her elite dancers. She places their pictures in a pyramid format and ranks the girls in order of best (top) to worst (bottom). Maddie is the star of the group, which creates dissent among both the kids and the parents. It's not her fault, though - Abby Lee perpetuates this. Abby believes winning is the only option, and she'll do whatever it takes to make the girls work as hard as possible.
On this episode of Dance Moms...
The Dance Moms premiere focused on a competition in which the Pittsburgh based dance studio went to Pheonix to compete in a dance competition. Abby Lee gave the girls a week to learn two new routines.
At one point, Maddie got sick, and rather than going home, she shed some tears and got right back to practice.
|Image from MyLifetime.com|
When a mom barged into class after Abby kicked her daughter out for being dressed inappropriately, Abby told both mom and daughter to get out of her studio, calling them trash. Mom (who happened to be a minister) insisted that she allow her child to stay because she pays like everyone else. Abby told her to take her money and go, and a screaming match ensued.
The girls competed in the West Coast Dance Explosion competition. When they arrived at the venue, Abby immediately started with rules: the girls must be properly dressed at all times, no flip flops, etc.
Abby noticed that two of the girls had French manicures and made them remove them because white polish will draw attention to their hands and not everyone has that color nails.
Abby called all of the parents as bad parents because they stepped away from preparing their kids for competition to have some drinks. Here's the thing - with Abby around, they really need the drinks! She's brutal!
Right before the competition, one of the girls, Paige, walked into a curling iron that hurt her arm. At this point, everyone really banded together. There was no jealousy, none of the my-kid's-better-than-your-kid drama and no drama among the kids. That was refreshing after all of the mean things that happened.
Paige admitted that the girls don't like Abby to be backstage with them because she can make them nervous and mess up.
The girls did really well with their Party, Party, Party routine, but were disappointed to come in third place.
The trio of dancers (three dancers from the first dance) danced next. Chloe's headband fell off of her head and over her face. She may have been dancing without seeing a thing - her eyes were covered for part of the dance. Even with that setback, she kept dancing and didn't miss a beat. The headpiece eventually ended around her neck. Despite the great dancing, Abby went off on Chloe's mom Christi about the headpiece falling over her face. Mom was obviously upset, and was quick to remind Abby that she pays her bills. Abby said she'd Chloe out if she had to so she doesn't have to deal with Christi.
Even with the headpiece fiasco, the girls took first place, and we went into the previews of the next episode. We'll see dances that are too sexy, inappropriate outfits, and a whole lot of tears and fighting.
One of the parents admitted that she pays $16,000 a year for her daughter's dance classes with Abby.
A mom stated that she sometimes puts dance in front of her daughter's schooling.
The girls and their moms seem to have matchy names. Christi has Chloe and Melissa has Maddie and Mackenzie.
What is particularly interesting is the differences between the dance moms: one is a principal with a Masters degree, one was a dancer when she was younger, one's a minister and one is a dance instructor who loves Botox.
The girls compete every weekend, and all competitions lead to the major goal: Nationals.
Some of the dancers were very, very thin.
The skimpy dance outfits rival those on Toddlers and Tiaras.
Dance Moms is a great show. It's got the meanness like Simon Cowell's attitude, moms like the women from Real Housewives shows, and the "I can't believe parents do this to their kids" feeling of Toddlers & Tiaras.