October 20, 2014

Review: Dance Moms

The New York Post calls the new Lifetime series Dance Moms a cross between Real Housewives and Toddlers & Tiaras.  It centers on the Pittsburgh dance studio run by the Bela Karolyi of the little girls’ dance world, Abby Lee Miller. Abby Lee is portrayed as the antagonist of the show right from the start.  The pushy, female version of Simon Cowell, Abby doesn’t miss a detail, telling her 7-12 year old students to stand up straight, to take off their nail polish and that they are to listen to her in the studio and not their own mothers. The only thing fascinating about the show is that the flaky stage mothers continually undermine Abby Lee like rebellious teenagers, yet they keep coming back for more, making them the real dunces of the show. My 9-year-old watched a bit of it with me and he said, “ I don’t know who the bad guys are- the dance teacher or the moms.”

 

The moms mimic Abby behind her back. Their little girls confess to the camera that Abby intimidates them. But in a weird way these mothers seem to be looking for boundaries as much for them as they look to Abby to teach their daughters to dance.  It’s kind of like Abby Lee is the Super Nanny for them all.

 

When one Mom refuses to remove her daughter’s nail polish minutes before a stage competition because she just paid for the manicure, she snarls at Abby in front of all the children, “I’ll take it off if you give me the $20!” Abby calmly reaches for her purse to refund her.  The Mom storms off to the hotel bar for a drink like an errant daughter running from her too strict mother.

 

The stage moms all visibly percolate throughout the first episode, ready to blow at any time. They react to Abby like she is their warden, but why do they sign up for more lessons? Is being taught by what they perceive as the best dance instructor worth any cost? As one woman threatens, “I pay your bills, Abby!”  But why?

 

The little girls are the sad, supporting cast of characters. In the scenes we are supposed to be getting background on them the mothers are all like steam rollers and the girls look sullen, hardly thrilled to be doing what they all say they love. One little girl, Mia, holds up a rhinestone crown and says, “This is my crown. I had to buy it because I haven’t won one yet.”  It’s supposed to show determination, but it broke my heart to watch her.  The scene flashes to another mother saying, “Maddie is a perfectionist,” of her 8-year-old daughter.  She is, or the mother is?

 

In the end, two of the moms finally do blow up at Abby.  One is forcibly removed from the studio and the other threatens to quit her daughter from dance classes.  It’s sad to think that the little daughters will probably take the same path as their moms someday- where beauty and control are the ultimate prizes to be obtained. And we all know both are fleeting.

 

Are we actually supposed to learn something by watching a bunch of middle-aged women living through their daughters?  Is it supposed to make us all feel better about our own parenting?  It’s a tired script we’ve seen time and again. Too bad these real life women are profiting from their poor behavior.  I don’t plan to watch the show again. I get the picture already.Dance Moms

 

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m4s0n501

Comments

  1. sounds like a nightmare. and yet another reason to not watch tv.

  2. I saw Dance Moms one time and only one time. This is not entertainment.

  3. I watched this show for the first time tonight and won’t watch it again it is terrible. How can these parents allow this fat ignorant woman to take control of their children, talk down to them and boss them around. I understand she’s a coach but she has no right to act that way, its mental abuse. That woman needs to be put in her place and this show should be cancelled. Rediculous.

  4. If the mothers do not like Abby, they need to remove them from the studio. Obviously they condone this behavior because they are still there. They are living their dreams through their daughters. Sad for them!

  5. This is not real people! This is no diffrent from casting children in a horror movie they know its not real but its still scary! Did they not say stage moms, and did they not also say that Bela Karolyi is the true dance master of the studio? Ugh, you all are so quick to judge is is interesting and very fun to watch this is no worse than letting your kids watch sexual explicit videos, hot and sexy commercials, or the other mess in movies and television. It entertainment television with a real life, reality emphasis get with it please! I Love it!

  6. I think that abby lee treats those girls horrible and should be ashamed of herself for doing so. Those girls do have talent and don’t need to be treated like dirt. I would never take a daughter or son to her studio and I don’t understand how any other mother lets her treat they’re child like that.

  7. I’m 10 years old and I love this show. The girls have said themselves in interviews that Abby isn’t like that all the tine. People forget this is a 45 minute show and some footage is not shown. Their mothers are like a real family and so are the girls. While you may not get the greatest role models on this show it does show people things don’t just get handed to you on a silver platter. Working hard is important and Abby does teach these girls good like lessons. She prides herself on not only her choreography but also her constant reminder to have manners and good posture. These girls are going to be well-mannered and behave like a classy woman because of Abby’s influences. She may not be a very good role model for those manners as the mothers point out but at the end of the day it’s up to the girls whether they are going to model the behavior Abby wants for them or not. This may be horrible to watch now but those girls will owe their success and manners to Abby in the future. They have so much talent and Abby wants them to use it wisely. When Abby says she made those girls she really did. She taught them manners,strength and life lessons they are going to need to use throughout their entire life. She may not hug or comfort a child like a mother does but she teaches them life lessons which is even more important. Abby is making these girls into women who are respected in society. Their mothers trash talk each other and go overboard with their arguing but they don’t show the complete fight. This show is not about child abuse. Those girls cry and get upset but they also laugh and really enjoy themselves there. Abby also teaches those girls that they all have talent and they cannot throw it all away. Everyone is replaceable but she cares about those girls and she treats them like a professional dancer would be treated. It’s tough but they have talent and they would throw it away if it wasn’t for Abby. A professional dancer will be treated as a professional. People say that they’re just kids but they will become professional dancers someday. The definition of professional is that you’re willing to show up,work all of those hours and be a classy professional. Those mothers aren’t “the big picture” as Abby points out to the girls. They’re not working to impress their mothers. They’re working to achieve what they want to achieve. She may embarrass the girls by telling them they should be humiliated of their mothers who use language like a truck driver does. But she’s right and you know that. When those girls are famous I really hope they’re not disrespectful like their mothers and thank Abby who gives up her life to help these girls who may roll their eyes and the mothers who are rude to her. But those girl’s success is because of Abby and they know that.

    • I agree!! I absolutely love this show and im 12 years ols! this show isn’t that bad compared to jersey shore, toddlers and tiraras, or honeybooboo. its a scripted reality tv show and they DO NOT get paid. I know the girls pretty well and they DO NOT get paid.. The mothers are only stressed about the competitions and their daughters forgetting their solos on stage. These girs WANT to do this. they WANT to be on the show. their parents don’t force them. Maybe if you people watch Season3, Episode Revenge of the Imposter Mom.. That proves the mothers don’t want to be on there. The girls are the ones that want to be there on the show, at the ALDC. Abby is not that mean in real life, it a SCRIPTED TELIVISION SHOW PEOPLE!!!

  8. Lana Straten says:

    I lwatched my last episode of Dance Moms. It is one thing to say what you want to an adult, but it is another to break the spirits of young kids as Abby does. First of all if she lost about 100 plus pounds maybe she could show these girls exactly how she wants them to do things…lead by example. I am usually a very kind, peaceful person, but there is no way in the world I would let my child dance for Abby. She deflates their spirits every chance she gets. She is so immature that she has to take her anger at the Moms out on the children. It is a good thing that she does not have children..cause she does not deserve them. i don’t feel sorry for the Moms as they are old enough to take up for themselves. But i hate what Abby does to these children. Since she has no children of her own, she does not realize how she mistreats them is going to stay with them the rest of lives..never thinking they are good enough for anything. Abby needs to grow up…she is more immature than any of her students including McKenzie. I am going to sign a petition that is going around to have this show removed. It is not only detrimental to the kids on the show, but all the little dancers around the nation whose hopes are being shattered. I know many dance Moms who could not wait for a show like this to bring dancing back as a form of art and expression to their communities. But that is not we are getting with Abby. I would put our local dance teacher up against her anyday. She is middle aged too but she can still physically show her dancers what they are doing wrong and she never disrepects the children or breaks their spirits.

  9. Hello my name is Alexis Peterson and I have been dancing since 2 years old im now 11 I wish I could join dance moms but I can’t dance like the dancers on dance moms but I wish I could but I know I couldn’t ever dance like that.

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