Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dance Moms: Abby Lee Makes the Moms Dance

"Chloe would not be a national title winner, she would be nothing." - Abby Lee Miller to Christi, Chloe's mom, in reference to her involvement in Chloe's life and dancing.

If you recall, Christi went nuts after the dance competition the week before when Maddie was awarded two solos, whereas Chloe only had one. She freaked out in front of Abby, the moms and kids. In response, Abby wrote up a contract for Christi to sign if she wanted to keep Chloe in dance. It limited where she could and could not go, along with other stipulations.

Christi apologized to Abby and the moms, ultimately. But clearly, everything is not resolved. Christi still felt that things with both Abby and Melissa were not quite resolved.

Abby criticized all of the kids and said they could have all done better last week. She was tough on Chloe, definitely due in part to her mom's antics at last week's competition.

Keeping the Kids in Line and Making the Moms Dance

This week is the ALDC (Abby Lee Dance Company) Showcase. This is when family and friends come to see what the dancers do. The performance would decide who goes to regional competitions. An agent would be in attendance looking for new clients for a Broadway show. The agent, Cesar Rocha, was from Telsey and Company. He would be looking for talent for a new production of Annie on Broadway.

Abby threw in two other shockers: the moms would be performing, and Cathy would be choreographing their dance. At the first rehearsal, Christi was late, and Cathy immediately got an attitude with her. Christi thought the whole thing was ridiculous, especially because she has no interest in dancing, and especially has no interest in listening to Cathy. She said she'd go with it so Chloe's not punished, but she still spoke out when Cathy had each woman dance by herself.

More drama ensued when Holly was missing from the moms' dance rehearsal. When Cathy called Holly, she said she wouldn't be participating in the dance routine...because she was going to the graduation ceremony for earning her doctorate degree. Totally understandable! But apparently not to Cathy. Cathy then said, "Holly is not committed to dance, and I think it's very reflected in the way Nia dances." You know, despite the fact that she'd just said that Holly was the best at the walk portion of the dance.

On a positive note, the kids sat in the viewing room as their moms danced. The kids loved it. It was nice to see the kids having pure, childlike fun, instead of dancing for hours on end and being yelled at by Abby.

Abby asked the moms to get their kids' resumes ready, and she also had photos taken of the kids.

Abby pointedly noted that the props are heavy and dangerous, but when one of the kids said it, Abby told her that she'd be fired for a comment like that at a real job. When one of the kids got hit with one of the Sugar Daddy stick props, Abby made her keep going. I understand that this line of work has risks, but why create extra risks with heavy, large props?

Kelly and Christi were put in charge of PR for the show, and Kelly noted that it was probably punishment for their kids' performances.

Chloe came to class with her hair down, and Abby had a fit. When Chloe cried, Abby had no sympathy. In fact, she said, "Kids should cry when their arm is broken and it's hanging off or when somebody died." Kids should be able to cry because they're kids, and tears will happen. And that's okay!

Performing for the Casting Director

When he arrived, casting agent Cesar talked about the Broadway musicals his company casts, but when he mentioned that he'd cast for a Disney movie, that's when the kids got super excited...and probably much more nervous.

Chloe appeared for the casting agent first, which was noted to be punishment. Christi said that while Chloe sometimes rises to the occasion, she can also give into pressure. She did well.

Nia was asked if she could sing when she came in, and she tried, but probably due to nerves, it was awful.

Paige seemed to forget her dance again, and Cesar stopped her during her dance. He asked Brooke what it was like dancing with her sister Paige, and she said it could be annoying. She read from a script, but it didn't go too well.

Abby criticized the girls for their reading comprehension, yet she says dance comes before school, and apparently the moms go for that. In fact, they regularly miss school for dance events.

Mackenzie and Vivi danced together. Cathy, of course, thought Vivi-anne did well, but in reality, she just paled in comparison to Mackenzie. Before the girls went on, Abby coached Mackenzie and Vivi about saying yes to everything. Can you sing? Yes. Can you dance? Yes. Despite that, Mackenzie said no to singing when asked. Abby was not happy and came into the room to criticize her. Cesar asked Abby to step out of the room because she makes the kids nervous. Mom Melissa was also mad because she pays for Mackenzie to go to weekly voice lessons. Meanwhile, Mackenzie's a kid. She gets nervous! Can you really blame her?

Maddie danced well, but still seemed nervous. After her performance, she cried because she wasn't happy with how it went.

The Abby Lee Dance Studio Showcase

During the rehearsal, we saw lots of amazing dancers that don't appear on Dance Moms. I wonder how Abby finds time to coach them when she's so busy with the Dance Moms girls.

When Cathy told Abby that Holly wouldn't be dancing, she asked Abby to dance. Abby said she couldn't because of insurance reasons, but the truth is, Abby doesn't like to be onstage. The insurance this is definitely an excuse.

The lollipop props kept breaking before the girls' group number. And, they weren't fully assembled by dress rehearsal. Abby, of course, criticized the moms for not finishing the props.

Abby noted that she uses this showcase to study what dances are good enough to use at Nationals.

The mom dance was the beginning. It was not technically difficult, but it was fun. And everyone seemed to be having fun, except for Christi, who scowled. Then, halfway through the routine, Cathy started doing...something. The moms stood in shock as Cathy put on a crazy facial expression and started improvising a solo for herself. From offstage, Abby flipped out. This supports my hypothesis that Cathy was cast on Dance Moms specifically to cause drama. The moms were upset because Cathy made them look dumb by messing up the dance, and also noted that cathy did what she did so she'd get noticed by the Broadway casting agent.

One of the Sugar Daddy lollipop props broke before the girls danced, so Maddie was chosen to not have a lollipop because she was in the center. Christi, of course, was angry because it made Maddie more noticeable than Chloe. Chloe did great on her solo dance, so Christi didn't need to worry. But Maddie did great as well in her solo, so I'm sure Christi was still upset.

After the show, Cesar congratulated the girls, then pulled Maddie aside. He said Maddie's a star, and had glimmer and sparkle. He asked her to keep in touch and contact him if she's ever in New York. Christi, once again, said that Maddie only got picked over Chloe because Abby makes it that way. The thing is, Chloe had her own dance as well, so Cesar had the opportunity to see the talent of all of the girls.

Once again, Christi got jealous, and while there is reality and truth behind her feelings, I'm not convinced that she's 100% justified in her words and actions. All of the kids in the competition classes are talented, but maybe Maddie has something that the other girls don't. It's not Abby's fault or Melissa's - it may just be life.


jazzyman6 said...

Ummmm What Was The Song By. And Whats The Name?And Who Sings It!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think Chloe's dancing is always more graceful and charming and enjoyable to watch. Maddie reminds me of a tough little wind up toy when she gets going.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous: Are you kidding me?! Maddie seems more polished than the other girls, even Chloe. Maddie's movements are more crisp and sharp than Chloe's (by far including the first comment I said). I think Chloe's movements are like a robot.

Anonymous said...

OMG, if you two above me are grown women then you should be ashamed. You are arguing over two little girls and who is better and resorting to name calling. Both children are good in their own right.
But you are behaving exactly the way the show intends its audience to behave. You are making a competition between Maddie and Chloe where there shouldn't. They are friends.