Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dance Moms 8/24/11: Starpower at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut

In the beginning of Dance Moms tonight, Abby complimented the kids but insulted their mothers. She said, "I also am very proud that all the moms kept their mouths shut and didn't say anything to me. See how much nicer it is when everything goes so smoothly?"

This week's competition was Starpower, held at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Abby Lee made some strict requirements: the kids had to dress a certain way every day that they're at the competition, and they have to work harder than ever before.

The pyramid was different this week. I believe it had Maddie on top, but all of the other girls, except for Mackenzie and Vivi in the middle, as they were on the bottom.

Minister Dawn, who caused a scene and had to be removed by the police last time we saw her, was back in Abby's studio this week. Abby told Dawn that she had to pay the rest of her bill, and Dawn said she doesn't have to pay because Abby kicked her and her daughter out and she never finished her contract. Abby threatened to take her to court, and then gave us this gem of a quote: "Thou shall not lie, thou shall not steal, and thou shall not disrespect Abby Lee Miller."

Abby let the moms and kids know that there would be a dress code for the Starpower competition. Abby said it's so she can easily find the kids, but she also said that it's so she can grab the kids at any time for photographs. Since the dress code was for the moms and kids, Cathy had a hissy fit and said that she's not a team player. She said that wearing black and white is not appropriate for her, since she bought a fuchsia dress and Candy Apple dresses in style. She went on to tell us that "I'm smarter than the average bear". My first thought was 'well, yeah, you're smarter than a bear, but maybe not most humans.'

Cathy later went on to tell Vivi that she wants her to enter the contest for the best contest because you enter a photograph, and Cathy did that kind of thing when she was a kid. Much like she's told us that she doesn't really want to dance, she also said that she doesn't want to be a model.

Abby Lee started getting really frustrated with Nia. She said Nia keeps making the same mistakes and it was getting on her nerves. In the confessional, Nia told us that she tries to do everything right, but sometimes it's too hard.

Abby showed up with the costumes. Nia's was presented first. Per Abby, it was supposed to be a satire of a drag queen image. Nia's mom Holly showed up right at costume time. She immediately noticed that Nia (the only African American child) was dressed in animal print. To add insult to injury, Abby said that Nia has to wear an Afro. Holly was horrified. Holly said she respects the lifestyles of others, but an Afro is not part of who she is, and she thinks it's wrong to do that to Nia. Abby defended her actions, saying that Nia has an advantage over the other girls because she can play different ethnicities.

The Starpower Competition

The Starpower competition was running thirty minutes early, so the girls had to rush to get ready. Melissa got frustrated with daughter Maddie's attitude. Abby noted that when things don't go Melissa's way, she gets frustrated, which gets her daughters frustrated.

First up for the Abby Lee Dance Company was the group number. The girls were dressed in black and gold. The outfits were a bit skimpy, in my opinion, but the dance was good. During the dance, Nia was off her mark, and Abby was not pleased. Maddie also was upset at Nia's performance, but instead of throwing Nia under the bus, she told Abby that she hurt her ankle. (Note: Last week Abby told the girls they should only cry when their arm is falling off or someone dies, but she was okay with Maddie's tears.) The girls did not win the competition (I believe they came in second), and Abby and the moms did not look happy.

Despite her initial aversion to modeling, Vivi-anne started having fun with her photo shoot and made all kinds of fun poses. It was nice to see her actually enjoy something. Unfortunately, the judges ripped the picture apart: the makeup was wrong, her eyebrows were wrong, the photo wasn't good, Vivi wasn't centered - they said it was all wrong. Cathy immediately blamed the photographer for the photo being bad, but to be fair, Vivi's hair was messy and her facial expression looked more like a snarl than a smile.

Maddie did a lyrical dance called Angel. She said she was doing it for her grandmother, who is watching her from heaven. Maddie's dance was amazing, and she did this incredible movement that looked almost like a forward-facing cartwheel, but her hands never touched the ground. If anyone can tell me what that's called, I'd greatly appreciated it. Maddie took home the grand prize for her division.

Nia was given what Abby called a 'character piece' called Laquifa (not sure about the spelling). Abby decided that since she's African American, she wants to teach her ethnic dances. Ultimately, despite her reservations, Holly gave into Abby when it came to Nia having an Afro and got her an Afro wig. To her face, Cathy agreed with Holly, but behind her back, she said that she thinks this is getting to Holly too much. Kelly said that she doesn't think it's bad that Nia's being typecast because Brooke experiences it too - since Brooke does acro routines best, that's the only style of dance assigned to her. I'm not convinced that it's exactly the same thing, but I see how she makes the comparison. When Holly saw Nia's performance, she was angry - she said that Nia looked great, but she was walking on stage, not dancing. Holly brought her concerns about the wig to Abby after the dance. She said it was stereotypical, and Abby agreed, but she said that it's a special, positive thing. Holly went on to say that everything Nia is given has a bit of a negative, stereotypical undertone, so Abby told her to pick her own music and a new choreographer. Abby insinuated that Holly can't afford to go to her studio and Nia keeps messing up her dances.

The episode ended here, so I'm guessing that Nia didn't win anything. But we can be sure that the drama didn't end, and we'll have lots more to watch next week on Dance Moms.


Anonymous said...

I would call Maddie's forward facing cartwheel a "front ariel", which is basically front walkover without using your hands. This is from my gymnastics days, so there may be a different term in dance/acro

Anonymous said...

A front ariel is what my daughter calls a no handed front cartwheel. She does them in gymnastics and dance. :) They are very pretty!