Reality TV World did an interview with Abby Lee Miller of Dance Moms, and some interesting things came to the surface.
* The show initially was supposed to focus on the dance moms, not Abby Lee. The idea for the show came from Abby's complaints about the moms of her dancers, so the moms were supposed to be the focus. However, when Abby's crazy personality came out, the show really fell into place. After all, we really watch the show for Abby, not the moms! And this explains why the show is called Dance Moms, not Abby Lee: Extreme Dance Lessons.
* The competitions shown on Dance Moms aren't the ones that Abby Lee's studio usually frequents. The competitions we saw on Lifetime took place in April, which is after Abby's usual competition season ends. The show actually found the competitions for Abby and her girls to attend, which explains the extensive (and expensive!) traveling. Abby Lee and her dancers actually attend local competitions during their traditional competition season. I'm glad to hear that this isn't really how the moms and kids compete - this was a lot of crazy traveling in a short amount of time! That being said, Abby and her students do travel frequently for auditions and other things.
* Dance Moms was cast by Collins Avenue Entertainment, so the girls we see are not the only girls on Abby's competition team. Moms of the dancers were interviewed to determine how entertaining they'd be on TV, and Melissa, Kelly, Christi and Holly were chosen. The dancers did not audition. Maddie, Chloe, Paige, Brooke, Nia and Mackenzie actually are Abby's students, but they aren't the only ones that compete for Abby's studio. I still believe that Cathy Nesbitt-Stein and Vivi-Anne were 'planted' and were never part of Abby's studio - the whole cast was determined by producers!
Was Dance Moms real? Sort of. Abby does teach dance and she does have a successful studio. But she has a lot more going on than coaching the girls featured on Dance Moms, and the competitions we saw weren't the ones that Abby Lee Dance Studio usually attends. That's reality TV for you - mixing the real with the fake to come up with something entertaining.