- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 27 January 2016
- Written by MARIE SOLDO | STAFF WRITER
“You save those tears for your pillow,” is one of the many famous quotes of dance instructor and choreographer Abby Lee Miller, who has run the Abby Lee Dance Company, or ALDC, since she was fourteen-years-old. Her dance studio in Pittsburgh, PA, has been featured on the Lifetime series Dance Moms since July 13, 2011, when the first episode premiered. The show, which has a rating of 4.6/10 on IMDB and 6.8/10 on TV.com, is currently on its sixth season. The show is full of drama between Abby’s harsh and demanding teaching skills and the over-the-top, preposterous dance moms.
The show follows Abby’s junior elite team through the highs and lows, wins and losses, of the different competition seasons leading up to nationals. Throughout the competition seasons, the dance moms will do anything and everything to get their child ahead. However, in Abby’s eyes, one of the children is already ahead: Maddie Ziegler has been Abby’s star pupil since she was three-years-old. It is obvious that Maddie is the star dancer, as it truly is her passion and she works harder than her teammates; losing is not an option for her. She even insisted on being homeschooled so that she could have more time for dance. Her hard work and determination has paid off, and she has since starred with Shia LaBeouf in two of Sia’s music videos, “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart,” which have had more than 1.6 billion views on YouTube.
When the show first premiered, Abby’s elite team members were Maddie and her sister Mackenzie; Chloe Lukasiak; Brooke Hyland and her sister Paige; Kendall Vertes; and Nia Sioux. Amidst the first few seasons, Brooke and Paige’s mom, Kelly, who had also been a student of Abby’s, always felt that Abby was out to get her children and believed they were treated unfairly; Kelly had sued Abby for abusing and causing emotional stress on her youngest daughter, who claimed to repeatedly have anxiety and panic attacks. As if that wasn’t enough, Kelly and Abby had a physical altercation that resulted in Abby pressing charges of misdemeanor assault. Ever since their altercation, Kelly and her two daughters have not returned to the show and have not contacted the other dance moms, Melissa, Jill, Christi and Holly.
Once all that drama died down, Abby decided that she wanted to expand and open a dance studio in Los Angeles, CA, called the ALDCLA, which is where the girls rehearse, practice and compete in the current sixth season. One of the main reasons that Abby wanted to have a dance studio in LA was so that her dancers could have other opportunities, such as singing, modeling and acting.
Personally, I believe that ALDCLA was a bad idea. Two of the girls, Kendall and Nia, wrote songs and had music videos done professionally. Their mothers, Jill and Holly, were always arguing and bickering about who would have the better music video, who would have the better makeup, who would get more views and so on. There has always been drama between the dance moms, but ALDCLA brought on more drama and fights which resulted in the mothers going against each other rather than being the cohesive group of moms they once were. It is understandable that each of the mothers want what is best for their child; however, they don’t care if they have to take down one another to get their child ahead.
Before Kelly and her daughters left the ALDC, she was always the one who caused drama. Now, Kendall’s mom, Jill, is the one who is always wreaking havoc. There have been three new episodes so far this season, and in each episode, Jill has something to complain about. In Jan. 19’s episode, for example, Jill screamed at newcomer Brynn for dancing next to her daughter rather than behind her.
Abby has been dealing with some drama of her own which has been widely publicized on this season as well. Abby has been charged with 20 counts of fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations. She could face up to five years in prison or she would owe $250,000 for each indictment count, which would be a total of $5 million. I am scared for Abby so I can’t imagine how she feels, even though she tries to ignore the whole situation. When she was confronted by the moms about the news, she dodged the question and made a joke out of it. If I were in Abby’s shoes, I don’t think I could push something like that to the side. I would probably have a panic attack if I knew I could possibly be in jail for five years. However, Abby is a tough and independent woman who is probably taking things as they come, trying to stay strong and saving her tears for the pillow.
If you want to keep up with the dance mom drama, follow Abby’s lawsuit and see some incredible dances, be sure to catch Dance Moms every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime!
IMAGE TAKEN from lifetimetv.com