Dumpster Dive: Dance Moms Will Leave You Neck-Deep in Horror and Regret

Welcome to “Dumpster Dive,” a new recurring feature in which our intrepid reality-TV junkie will put on his rubber gloves and face mask and wade into the murky depths of the genre’s nastiest-looking offerings.

Lifetime’s Dance Moms raises an important societal question: Is it ever too late for a woman to drop her child off in front of the fire station with a note that says, “I’m sorry: I’m just not cut out for motherhood”? Based on this Wednesday’s episode — which featured one 8-year-old pondering suicide as the only possible alternative to dancing, and a raspy-voiced she-beast forcing a 13-year-old into a creepy dating situation — I’m going to go out on a limb and respond with a resounding, “Hell, no!”

Under the heading of “I watched it so you don’t have to,” let’s recount some of the “highlights” of shrieking harpy Abby Lee Miller dragging her emotionally tormented dance troupe and their mothers/jailers to Orlando, Fla., to compete in a “Star Power” competition.

• While choreographing a group number which envisioned the tiny dancers as sexy swimsuit models, Abby decides she needs a male presence to heighten the drama. Enter her prize pupil Brandon — Abby prides herself on all of “her boys” being masculine, naturally — to play a leering photographer and engage in some “partner work” with 13-year-old Brooke. “You’re getting older. You need to step up to the plate!” she screeches at the kids, lamenting that witnessing their “chemistry” is like “waiting for paste to get sticky.” (Eww.)

• Abby decides the only way to remedy the lack of sexual tension is to send Brooke and Brandon on a date. But wait, Brooke and Brandon have history (or, rather, they had crushes on each other back in grade school). “It never really went anywhere,” Brooke explains. [Insert the sound of me screaming “I SHOULD HOPE NOT!”] Next thing you know, the kids are riding bumper cars and staring awkwardly at a Ferris wheel at a place called Fun Spot USA. “I can drive you around when I get my license,” says Brandon, hopefully. But Brooke isn’t having it. “If Brandon thinks anything’s going to happen between us on this date, he’s crazy,” she says, becoming the first person to say anything reasonable in the entire episode. Then, proving she’s been raised on a steady diet of navel-gazing reality-TV ridiculata, Brooke adds: “I’m really not the same person I was when I was nine years old.”

• When the “Snapshot” dance finally occurs, our pre-teen troupe busts out onto the stage in bikinis, sunhats, and 11 lbs of troweled-on makeup and false eyelashes. My husband looks up from his comic book, aghast: “They shouldn’t look like women, for f–k’s sake!” Yep, that about sums things up. Thankfully, the team is not rewarded with a trophy for a routine that flirts with the outer edges of child pornography. Abby, however, is disgusted with the outcome.

• Luckily, Abby’s unbeaten champion, 8-year-old Maddie, takes home the crown in the pageant portion of the competition. Maddie says she’s a perfectionist… or that’s what her mom always tells her. “I would kill myself if I didn’t dance,” she offers cheerily, as I try to Google the contact info for National Child Protective Services.

• Our final bit of drama comes when Holly — who last week expressed concern that her African-American daughter Nia’s “ethnic” dance involved an afro wig, a tight leopard pantsuit, and a song called “My Name Is Laqueefa” (possibly by RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Shangela) — has another run-in with Abby over the demoralizing language she uses during training for a Bollywood solo. Holly, who I am pretty sure identifies herself as a school principal (hopefully a school for dolls or other inanimate objects), keeps pointing out the “vicious,” “really mean” treatment that Nia silently accepts, but at no point considers removing her daughter from Abby’s talons or the glare of Lifetime’s cameras. Finally, realizing she’s subjected her daughter to a horrific situation, Holly breaks down in tears. “What’s wrong?” Nia asks, comforting her mother, not the other way around. But fret not, there’s a happy ending. No, Holly doesn’t withdraw Nia from the competition and from Dance Moms altogether. Rather, Nia takes home a first-place trophy for her age group, so it was all worth it!

Buckle your seatbelts, girls, in the next few weeks, you’re headed to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Tahoe!

Have you watched Dance Moms? How do you feel about it? Is it valid entertainment, or too awful to exist? And most importantly: What show should I watch for the next installment of “Dumpster Dive”? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Julie Taylor says:

    This is one of those shows that I know I shouldn’t watch, am horrified the entire time I watch, yet I just. can’t. look. away.

    • Gtjoni says:

      My thoughts exactly! A friend told me about the show and apologized at the same time. Think it somehow validates that while I may not be the best mother in the world, I rise above so many others.

    • Lin says:

      I agree. I would love to see Abby and the moms on Dr. Phil! These girls are so very talented, its sad that Abby’s yelling and mean comments is so demeaning. The kids are going to end up hating dance.

      • sophie says:

        All the i have to say is that it is part of the dance world! Every dance teacher is tough! and they just do it to make you better because they want you to succeed.

        • NO — Every dance teacher maybe tough, but Abbey Lee Miller is abusive and that is a whole different category. I danced through high school and my daughter danced until she was 17. At no point did I feel demeaned by my instructor. And I would certainly never have allowed my daughter to stay in a studio like the ALDC. My question is: where are the fathers? If the mothers are too stupid to leave the studio then why haven’t the fathers called Child Protective Services? Or sued Abbey? Or just acted like men and refused to allow their daughters to stay in a place where they are abused. I stopped watching a year ago but turned the show on recently and saw that there is no change except for a deep, deep hurt in the eyes of Chloe and the little one (Maddie’s younger sister). And in this episode I just saw one of the mothers said “I am not white trash.” No my dear, you are worse, much much worse.

      • Tam says:

        My daughter discovered this show, so I’ve watched it with her a few times. Abby is out of line for pitting daughters against their mothers, obvious favoritism, arguing with mothers in the presence of their children, not having music/costumes prepared in advance for certain students, etc. When is she going to admit to being WRONG and apologize to someone? Is she ever wrong about anything? What about when the parents confronted her in private about having the girls dance and look like hookers? She defended herself then too. ARE YOU EVER WRONG ABBY? EVER???!!!! Sometimes (most of the time) the moms are simply in the right. This is a verbally abusive woman who obviously wants a daughter of her own.

    • Kasey says:

      I’ve watched it and realized dance moms and gymnastics moms are just alike. Bitches all. It’s why I pulled my child from her gymnastics team. Not only are the mothers not nice to their kids or the other moms, the girls are nice to each other. My daughter told me she wasn’t happy there, and we were gone. I wouldn’t force her to do anything that made her upset, and those mothers and the hateful little girls they are raising were enough for both of us.

    • Erin says:

      I want to take a long shower and scrub myself clean every time I watch this. Yet, I’m so horrified, I can’t turn away. How in the world has Abby not been reported to CPS or something?

    • Lauren says:

      I have to admit, I started watching this show only because of the horrified comments that I had heard about it. I started dancing at age three and competing at 7. I danced all the way until high school when we moved to a town without a studio. I didn’t really want to watch a reality show about it because it’s always so skewed to what they think will get ratings. However, I did start watching and I have to say that I’m having difficulty understanding everyone’s excessive outrage. Abby is completely tactless and she speaks before she thinks but I haven’t seen her say anything that wasn’t correct. (I’ve watched the final 3 episodes of the season) That is the competitive world of dance and this is the rest of these girls lives that she is shaping. A dancer can really only be professional until maybe age 25 if they’re lucky. It’s a very, VERY short career. The reason those awful selfish stupid mothers don’t pull their girls has nothing to do with the cameras, girls FIGHT to be in the best studios because it gives them an edge when it comes to competition. Winning competitions gets you noticed, which helps you get jobs. Abby works the girls because if she has a winning studio then she gets the best talent auditioning for her which builds her studio. Abby Lee has many many successful professional dancers to her credit so she may not be handing out the feel goods but she isn’t paid to. She’s paid to make winners. I’m guessing that most people have no idea what it takes to be the best and to compete to be the best and that’s why they hate this show. Granted, the mom’s are heinous but I’ve known worse. If you don’t believe me then I suggest you try the show Make It or Break It. On ABC. It’s scripted but it’s another look into the vicious competitiveness that young female athletes have to face to be the best in the world. This is not about a recreational hobby. It’s about training young girls to be the best they can be so that they can compete in a dog eat dog industry that accepts no excuses and takes no prisoners.

      • Lynde says:

        I agree with you in full! I have been dancing for almost 18 years and I have had ALOT worse dance teachers than Abby! and given the chance I would dance for her! she does amazing things with dancers and im sure that the girls will understand once their older. The moms keep them in her classes because they know that she will make them into the stars that EVERY SINGLE one of them said that they wanted to be! Professional dance is 9x as hard as what Abby is doing! ultimitly I think it should be the kids that decide wheather or not they want to stay at the studio,not the parents. Honestly, I see the kids being twice as strong mentaly and physicaly then the parents cause they are the ones who have to learn and respect everything that comes with bing a dance. If they are willing to do that, then let them! it shows that they have an amazing work ethic and are willing to go the extra mile to do what they want to do!

  2. rac76 says:

    I watched one episode, and that was enough for me. Couldn’t stand any of the parents or for the matter, the kids. The whole show is a waste of time, and just don’t understand why it’s on. Yet, I did read this article just to see what you all had to say about it. So I’m happy that you agree with me that the show should just disappear. I do have to say that I am happy that scripted television is making a come back (looking forward to a few new shows)!! :-)

  3. Nancy says:

    As I lower my head, I admit to watching this hot mess. I equate it with a train wreck. You know it’s bad, but you just can’t look away. It truly amazes me that ANY mother would let their child be taught by someone with such utter disdain for children. It makes me glad I have three boys! That being said, check out Basketball Wives LA. Most still aren’t wives, but Ron Artest’s wife is a hoot! Happy watching!

  4. Mo says:

    As a mom of 2 girls (ages 4 and 5), I have a few things to say: 1. Thank you for watching this garbage so I don’t ever EVER have to. Number 2. Pat your husband on the back for me and give him a HUUUUUGE hug because he’s absolutely right: little girls are supposed to look like little girls and not women. Girls have enough problems with body image with she-devils of moms and crazy dance teachers trying to make them into something they’re not only making the self image problem worse. ICKY ICKY IIICCCKKKY!!!!

  5. dee says:

    I stumbled upon this show once, when the girls were dressed like hookers–black, midriff-baring outfits with thigh-high fishnet stockings–and doing a COMPLETELY inappropriately suggestive dance. I was horrified–not only by their outfits and choreography, but by the MOTHERS, who complained to each other about the inappropriateness of it all, but NOT ONE OF THEM pulled their child out. Not one.

    Now I avoid Lifetime like the plague, for fear of hearing Abby Lee Miller screeching at me.

    • daisyj says:

      I have to wonder if the sexualization isn’t some kind of weird subliminal projection thing for the mothers/coaches. Like, not only are they using their little children to live out their dreams of success, but also their ideas of what it would be like for them to be up there dancing, and the kind of attention they want.

      Which is creepy, but not as creepy as the alternate theory, which is that all the judges are pedophiles and you can only win by giving them what they want.

    • brandy says:

      I wonder how many would have pulled their daughters out if the cameras weren’t rolling. Wouldn’t want your girl cut from the show – although, maybe being the one to leave the troupe would get you more screen time!

    • Patricia says:

      They all have signed contracts. Not allowed to pull out.

      • Guest says:

        That’s actually not true. They could pull out but they would be fined 15,000 which they could all afford cuz a year at Abby’s costs more. Vivi left so they can all leave as well.

        • Marla says:

          Vivi did not leave. The show created a fake Candy Apples team to compete on the show so Cathy & Vivi could fulfill their contract.

    • jamie blake says:

      EVERYONE that has anything to do with this show should be drug out of there homes and shot in the face!! How dare people allow their children to dress and behave like this, ESPECIALLY THE MOTHERS!!!! Its no wonder children are kidnapped, raped then murdered everywhere. These children are in full make-up and scantily clad clothes “dancing” like strippers!!!! You might as well advertise these girls naked on billboards for the sicko’s. I cant believe child services hasnt stepped in and taken these kids away from these stupid woman who call themselves “mothers”. Who is in charge of this show?!?! Why is this smut on tv? I cant believe this show hasnt been canceled!! I refuse to watch this station as long as this material is playing.

  6. E says:

    I “watched” this one day while working on a project at my computer, tv in the background. At some point I realized that what I was hearing was horrific. This show makes Toddlers and Tiaras seem tame. But I can’t get over how badly they try to pull of the “reality” part. The little set of dancers they feature (and pay) have those ridiculous makeup tables that are always set up in some room or area created specifically for them. Way, way, way too contrived…but even apart from that – those people are awful. Dumpster diving indeed.

  7. Allie says:

    How about “Russian Dolls” for your next installment?
    This show is I think the most horrible reality show on TV right now.
    But I hate to admit it I’m still watching to see if each episode is a new low, or would it be even worse than the previous one.

  8. Renee says:

    Truly you earn every penny for watching this show. I watched it once, that was enough. Holly’s a principal? Yikes.

    Sadly, the sexualization of girls in dance is pretty common, way too early.

  9. Daya Ryelle says:

    Having been a dancer myself, I’m curious to see what “Dance Moms” is like. But I’d probably be equally as horrified.

    (I had a band mom, instead…if I could’ve gotten out of band, I would’ve. YUCK!)

    • Daya Ryelle says:

      As a side note, I didn’t go to a studio where we were sexualized, but both studios I attended during my thirteen years insisted we wear twenty pounds of makeup, so we wouldn’t look like ghosts under the stage lights. I still refer to stage makeup as “whore makeup”.

  10. George says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the growing number of “options” that the always expanding number of cable channels gives us is a good thing or a bad thing…

  11. Jess says:

    Michael, you glossed over the nuttiest one in the bunch – Cathy and her daughter Vivi!

    • Elina says:

      Yes!! Cathy is absolutely crazy and admittedly, my favorite groan-inducing mom. I feel bad for Vivi, because it’s obvious that she doesn’t want to dance! Highlights:
      – making the mom group dance her solo (for the Broadway casting agent)
      – saying “we don’t dress like the help” when asked to wear black and white to a formal event
      – allowing Brooke to wear Vivi’s costume then changing her mind at the last minute

      • kasey says:

        You must know that there is no such thing as reality t.v. Every conflict, every practice, is carefully written by a scriptwriter. They may allow a certain amount of adlib, but those little trips to the restaurant and the conversations there are all pre-planned.

        • Gena Love says:

          what is your point? It maybe scripted but this is CHILD ABUSE of the worse case being on TV. One station I thought had show great movie’s & show’s, especially those rerun’s. To PAY this so called best Dance Teacher scream week after week & put them in no clothes & awful makeup. This should be everyone’s concern that this is allowed. And the Mom’s are all sick so called parent’s.

  12. Sunny says:

    I do watch this show, because it’s like a train wreck you cannot look away from!! This is NOT the way the majority of studios operate out there, but I am sure that there are a few others that do. Just go to any dance competition and watch the moms…hot mess, indeed!!

    I am praying that Abby and her band of morons stays away from the Star Power competitions next year as my daughter’s totally normal dance company will be there, too! I’ll have to blindfold her and make her wear earphones as to avoid those dumbbells!

  13. daisyj says:

    There needs to be some kind of companion show where a team of people who actually care about children descend on these parents and force them to see the error of their ways. Using tasers, if necessary. Kind of like What Not To Wear, but for child-rearing. (How Not To Parent?) I’d watch that.

  14. Anne says:

    I work at a hotel and we have 3-4 dance/cheer leading competitions and at least one pageant come through a year. And let me tell you, these people are just as horrifying to deal with in person.

    God forbid their precious angel not be in the nicest room in the place.

    I applaud you for watching this train wreck.

  15. whowatchesthisgarbage says:

    for the next installment, you should watch the show about male gigolos in Las Vegas…

  16. Annie says:

    This show is incredible. I caught it by accident a while back, and I can’t believe that these women make the mothers from toddlers and tiaras look like “mothers of the year” candidates. My sanity has been restored on the two occasions where the girls did risque dances, but were not rewarded for their efforts.

    I do find it amazing that the women and their daughters seem to freely admit that this is the mothers’ dream and not the daughters.

    • Lauren says:

      Yes! I, too, felt validated when Abby choreographed overtly sexy dances for these poor kids and they lost! I feel bad for the girls, but I keep hoping Abby will get the message and stop producing child porn!

  17. O'Brien says:

    This show is crack. I agree – Toddlers and Tiaras looks perfectly reasonable by comparison. The one that kills me the most is Kathy and her child Vivi. Vivi basically looks completely uninterested in everything, and keeps asking her mother not to make her do this anymore, but Kathy cannot hear it, over the sound of her own constant shreiking for attention (perhaps caused by the chemicals used to make her hair look that way – I cannot believe a person would do that to themselves by choice).

    • kasey says:

      I assume Vivi is adopted, and Kathy (who appears to be unmarried since she never talks about a husband) is using the child, like many parents, to fulfill something she wished she’d been able to do. She’s never going to be willing to let the child leave, and it’s obvious Vivi is afraid to say anything to her because she knows Kathy won’t have anything to do with her if she fails. Insane mother. Wish the whole fight with Abby had been covered here. I didn’t get to see the episode and Hulu isn’t showing it this time.

  18. XrayChick says:

    I just wonder who in their right mind would let this beast teach their children anything! She admits she never wanted children yet she thinks each and every one of these mothers has no clue how to raise a child. And, unfortunately, since they allow this monster to belittle and insult their children on a regular basis (and PAY for this privilege), she’s right. I would never, ever allow a child of mine to be treated this way.

  19. Wade says:

    I didn’t mean to start watching this show, but now I’m hooked. Like the previous commenter said, this show is crack. And every week I watch and ask myself whether this will be my last one … and then I see the previews for the next episode. Obviously it’s heavily edited for dramatic effect, but even given that I don’t find these moms as obnoxious as the “Real Housewives,” nor are the storylines as pointless because obviously these girls and their moms have aspirations for success in a very competitive field. And on that note it would seem that Abby is correct in many of her perceptions and actions, even if the delivery can be a little harsh.

    • Tam says:

      Did you say Abby is correct? Abby is WRONG most of the time! Abby is out of line for pitting daughters against their mothers, obvious favoritism, arguing with mothers in the presence of their children, not having music/costumes prepared in advance for certain students, etc. When is she going to admit to being WRONG and apologize to someone? Is she ever wrong about anything? What about when the parents confronted her in private about having the girls dance and look like hookers? She defended herself then too. ARE YOU EVER WRONG ABBY? EVER???!!!! Sometimes (most of the time) the moms are simply in the right. This is a verbally abusive woman who obviously wants a daughter of her own.

      • Guest says:

        You all think Abby is a shrieking monster. I see her as a dance teacher who wants her dancers to reach their full potential. The thing is while her deliver may be a bit to harsh as a dancer for 9 years and stil dancing I will tell you that she is an amazing teacher and produces stars. This show is heavily edited and the girls themselves say that Abby is an amazing dance teacher. As for the mothers Holly, and Kelly are fine. Christi, and Mellisa are tolerable, and luckily Cathy, and Jill are gone. Even though now there’ s Leslie, who I happen to think is the worst. Other than Cathy they all do seem to want the best for their kids, and would love for them to leave, it is the children who persist on staying because I mentioned before this women create Rockettes, Brodway stars, and much more. I would love to dance for Abby.

  20. Audrey Austin says:

    I really love Dance Moms. I have a sister that reminds me so much of Abbey. I enjoy watching Abbey get hyped. Now, we have to give credit where credit is due, she is a good instructor and don’t mind telling those mothers off. I don’t understand why people is so jealous of Maddie, she is only a child. A child that will destroy her own career. Everyone to them should be a team player and support each others children. As for Holly, she needs to Shut Up and let Abbey teach Nia. Lil Nia is holding a full deck. So, Dr Holly, just sit back and let Abbey do her job. I wonder if the mothers would feel better if a stranger in the street BARKS at their children.

    • MsGAPeach says:

      True. After watching it last night I realized why Abbey ends up yelling. The kids don’t listen, like with Nia, Abbey has to keep repeating week after week to Nia the same mistakes being made repeatedly. By now she should have it but still doesn’t. And poor Vivi who doesn’t even want to dance is not too good (because she doesn’t care). Last night Brook didn’t seem to care because she was partnered with a boy she didn’t care for anymore. She needs to get over that because you will always have partners you don’t like but still have to dance with and look great. It’s called acting (like she said in the movie ‘Center Stage’).

      • j says:

        There is no need to scream at these kids. My daughter has been attending dance classes since she was 5 and no instructor has ever acted like this. Quite frankly, most of these kids will not go on to be dancers so abby is fooling herself. Her real job is to provide a love of dance to these kids so that they can continue to appreciate it into adulthood. Instead they will hate dance and have bad memories of their experiences in it.

    • Virginia Brizzi says:

      Dear, Dear Audrey…am I correct…You watch Dance Mom’s..and…enjoy it…! Have a sister that reminds you of Abbey…! Abbey is a …GOOD…Instructor…! Have you had a frontal Labotomy?

      In a genuine studio Abbey could not keep up with the barre work! Have you really looked at the hyper- extended backs on the girls…the lack of a centered core….not much strength in those under toned bodies. These issues are what….GOOD Teachers…..fight against each time another…”I used to Dance..person hangs out their shingle and show cute costumes in their front window. You owe it to yourself to visit a top-notch dance studio and sit in on a real class…….

  21. Michael Ludgood says:

    This show and Toddlers and Tiaras needs to be taken off and these women should be investigated by child protective service. These women are living thru their children because they weere never able to do it. Very sad society we live in. I wish they wouldn’t have canceled Roseanne’s nuts. Now that show is hilarous. This show is sad.

  22. Former Dance Mom says:

    I’m ashamed to say my daughter danced on a competition team with a dance studio about five years ago. The events depicted on Dance Moms are faithful to real-life dance competitions. The only thing missing is the back-stabbing moms who would viciously critique other mother’s children and each other.

    • kasey says:

      Those back-stabbing moms are right there. They do it to each other and the kids all the time, and then act all happy the next episode.

  23. Meghan says:

    I’ve never seen the show, but as someone who danced from age 7 to 15 I can confirm that this stuff happens all the time, especially at competitions. Even with the terrible parenting, the kids are just as bad. Just imagine a group of 10 pre-teens and teens who spend a good 10-20 hours a week with each other, who are all overly-dramatic divas, and are best friends while all competing for the same parts (and yes I unfortunately include myself in that description). I’ve always said that the behind the scenes of a dance studio would make a great scripted show.

  24. Chel says:

    As an aside, “call me laquifa” is indeed by shangela. She’ll also be making a guest appearance on the show in a couple of weeks.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Slezak, please tell me you got hazard pay for this.

  26. Julie Taylor says:

    Yes, Cathy is the WORST! She can’t honestly actually have that personality and not have been slapped by someone in her life. But her Bunko friends call her the purse whore, so it must just be ok. Poor Vivi is just completely over it. Poor thing. Maddie and her Mom are both just so far up their own asses that I’m sure Maddie will have no friends in high school, if she ever leaves the dance studio. The rest aren’t THAT bad. I admit to liking Chloe and her Mom.

    • tam says:

      Cathy is NOT the worst. She may be a character, but she’s the only one that gets under Abby’s skin and she’s the only one that pulled her daughter from Abby’s abusiveness. GOOOOO Cathy!

      • Kgirl says:

        Are u serious Cathy is a weirdo and is in need of some serious help. She is like a whacked out step ford mom on crack. I can’t stand her at all she is a freak in a bag she is forcing her daughter to dance and model and she doesn’t want that. Why doesn’t she stop trying to live her failed dance career and studio through her daughter and get a life. Obviously if her candy apple studio was so good then why would she have to go to Abby to get lessons.

  27. jnine says:

    Abby Lee is not the only studio in the Pittsburgh area that allows the children to dress that way. Studio 19 in Cranberry had these tops on 5 -7 year olds that had seashells that covered their bossums. Talk about looking like tassies. It is not Abby or the children who are at fault her it is there crazy parents who allow this to go on and allow Abby to portray their daughter like this. they do not need Abby Lee to become national winners they dance beautifully. She does not even choreograph the numbers other people at her studio do. And in my opinion every dance Maddie does looks the same but with different music. Abby claims she is the best how about incorporating different dance moves. But I have to admit I love the show. Those mothers are horrible except for Holly, I adore her and hope she comes to her senses and looks elsewhere. Another nut case is Kathy. She claims she owns a dance studio but my 5 year old who only been in dance for 2 months knows more than her daughter what kind of teacher is she.

    • Marla says:

      Gotta agree with this because tho I love Studio 19, I hate their costumes. Especially on the little girls — WAY too much skin showing. And on the big girls…. let’s just say that sometimes it looks like they are being trained for a pole. Not the choreography, but the costumes.

  28. daisyj says:

    Oh, and for your next round you should watch “Ice Loves Coco.” After this, it will be a charming, life-affirming delight.

  29. Danielle H. says:

    I get that it’s mindless entertainment that it seems like everyone watches just to see how low it can go, but, guys, if people keep tuning in the terrible reality TV craze will never die down. It has started too some.. let’s keep it going til it’s gone.

  30. Callie says:

    I agree. I think Chloe and her mom seem sane in this show. Although Christis breakdown seemed unnecessary, I felt it was deserved. I don’t know why Abbey whines abOut the moms all the time – she causes her own problems! Also, I feel the producers are intentionally putting the drama in too add interest. I wouldn’t be surprised if the moms are getting paid to get mad.

  31. bill smith says:

    UGH… Just stumbled across this show tonight. I really can’t believe the crap lifetime and tlc is putting out these days. I mean seriuosly if this show isn’t gross enough am I the only one that notices Abby is a big fat POS? I’d really like to see her dance moves? or what her qualifications are? besides being mean to these kids, which most anyone could do. How many dance competitions has she won?I really hope they’re not just raising the next crop of strippers cause thats just despicable.

  32. lipsticksocialism says:

    i think these dumpster diving recaps might jsut be my next guilty pleasure <3

  33. karenb says:

    Everyone on that show is a nutcase. But, Slezak- you are freakin’ hilarious! I just love reading your recaps!

  34. Lyndsey says:

    I know!!! It’s so horrible but I can’t stop watching it because every week it just gets even more outrageous!! I can’t say too much about Abby after I looked her up & her kids actually do win as much as she claims. Sadly, I have known many dance teachers who act just like her & usually they’re the ones who get the best results performance wise…scary but true. But if you want to talk child pornography, I still can’t get over those blue & black costumes that were basically bikinis with a butt ruffle & thigh highs!! I’ve seen a lot of teachers do age inappropriate numbers but never anything that bad!!

    My biggest objection is to the moms! Do they really have nothing better to do during rehearsal times than to sharpen their claws on each other’s backs while overanalyzing every word or movement??! I completely believed Abby when she said they had driven away other moms. These women are absolutely horrible people & mothers. I still can’t get over the two moms who go get their drink on at every competition…then one of them burned her kid with a curling iron, huge surprise right? I just don’t understand why they pay a dance teacher obviously obscene amounts of money then try to tell her how to do her job. If you don’t like how she treats your child then why are you still going to her? I’d find someone else!

    • tam says:

      Think about it…the moms are at rehearsal because they don’t trust Abby alone with their girls. Abby is out of line for pitting daughters against their mothers, obvious favoritism, arguing with mothers in the presence of their children, not having music/costumes prepared in advance for certain students, etc. When is she going to admit to being WRONG and apologize to someone? Is she ever wrong about anything? What about when the parents confronted her in private about having the girls dance and look like hookers? She defended herself then too. ARE YOU EVER WRONG ABBY? EVER???!!!! Sometimes (most of the time) the moms are simply in the right. This is a verbally abusive woman who obviously wants a daughter of her own.

  35. Orliz says:

    Ryan Murphy said that Hannah was someone you would root for, but she was eliminated for her singing ability, yet they kept Damian over Alex and Lindsay because he is someone you would root for. What does Damian have over Hannah? Why can the same reasoning be used to explain Damian’s win and Hannah’s loss, especially after Nikki told Damian outright that he is not the most talented singer, dancer, or actor?

  36. bd says:

    Please don’t cover this show anymore. Ick ick ICK!

  37. Sabrina says:

    My daughter danced briefly years ago when she was about 9. She loved dancing but HATED competition. We asked repeatedly if they offered just dance classes, ones that just taught dancing no competition routines no “recital”. Nope not offered. Went to another school their answer was to have her “sit out” while the other kids rehearsed, ummm still not an appropriate answer. So I pulled her out of dance, she was not actually learning dancing skills just bizarre routines for recitals that cost family members about $15 to attend. My niece was in a dance school last year and they wanted $23 a person to attend a recital where the kid was going to wander around the stage aimlessly and probably wave to me at some point. That was ridiculous. Yes parents are responsible for these problems because they are so sure little Suzy is the best dancer in the world they will put up with this crap.

  38. Neith says:


    Where did Cathy get Vivvy anyway? It seems so odd… she doesn’t seem to be her mother, or even care about her as a teacher, it’s like Viv is just another accessory…


  39. meka says:

    Perhaps if you’d post in a more timely manner the shows you already are slated to recap, a journey of dumpster diving might be all right!!! Now, while thoroughly enjoying your recaps, I have to go to website several times the following day after broadcast to read your takes!!! Not really convenient!

  40. lkajsdalf says:

    she says she would kill herself because she loves dance so much she cant imagine living without it. admirable… not so ridiculous

    • MrsGlikesTV says:

      Any time an 8-year-old speaks of killing herself for ANY reason it is a cause for concern IMHO. When a small child expresses herself in that manner, one can’t help but question what her parents are (or aren’t) doing to set the proper priorities and expectations in life. People can truly love dance without questioning their reason for living in the absence of it. She may have been just being “dramatic” but I’m just sayin…

  41. Doris says:

    My three daughters took ballet lessons from a studio that did not take part in competitions. Instead, they put on full-length ballets of children’s stories each year. Everyone, from the youngest dancers to the high school girls, took part. Costumes were age-appropriate and partially made by some of the more talented mothers. Two of my daughters were the Wicked Witch, and daughter #2 was daughter #1’s flying monkey! They were flowers & bluebirds & all sorts of fun things. Oldest daughter danced until she graduated from high school; the others quit earlier because of other interests. They loved it, and so did I. So did the audiences.

  42. Audrey says:

    This is the real world in some places – unfortunately :( My daughter was a gymnast and from the age of 7 I objected to the choreography and costumes for the age. I ultimately pulled her from the competitive track which even now at 18, she regrets I did. She stayed at the gymo n a recreational track that didn’t involve private sessions, and choreography. Common sense told me that competitve gymnastics was not going to be good for our family (and it is a family situation as you can see from this show). The coaches were Russian and claimed to have trained Olympians. Fine, you can coach olympians and dress them up, but not my girl – sorry! My daughter still made captain of the HS varsity team because of her ability to work with a range of personalities and keep the team spirit — you don’t have to be the most physical for leadership and it’s a better skill to have in the back pocket.

  43. April says:

    Omg 1st of all cathy ur a wack job!!! Ok chrissy and clhoe u r totaly RIGHT all abbie care about is maddie and thats not right!! Im from Pittsburgh and abbie u r a cold hearted bitch u have no right to b around children u r embarracing 2 pittsburgh and if i was one of those moms id punched u in the face!! 2 all the moms and other kids in dance u r all great not just maddie and her bitch of a mom!!!

  44. I hate u abbie u r a cold hearted person u dont deserve 2 b around kids!! And Maddie is not the only kids there chrissy and clhoe u r totaly right!! Im so sick of all the kids not being treated fairly!! And cathy u r a wack job wtf who died and left u queen of the world??? So good luck 2 all the girls and the moms (not maddie her bitch mom or cathy)

  45. Ryogathelost says:

    ‎”Dance Moms” is a show where a 90,000 lb woman who looks like she could barely move tries to “teach” a bunch of eight year-old girls in outfits that actual prostitutes would be ashamed to wear how to dance in as slutty a way humanly possible. I’m pretty sure the instructor is actually eight or nine or ten pedophiles in a fat-woman suit getting their rocks off on the Lifetime channel’s dime.

  46. Andie says:

    I had never seen this show, but caught the marathon on Labor Day. I was shocked. The mothers need to get their own lives and stop trying to live out their dreams through their daughters. To keep their daughters in that dance studio with that awful woman is truly sad. And they pay her (big money no doubt) for that abuse. Where are the Dad’s in all this?? Clearly the Mom’s have lost a sense of reality….to allow their young daughters to dress in inappropriate costumes and engage in dances better suited for burlesque..and the fighting in front of the girls which sometimes include personal attacks on the girls…just shameful. To be honest, it is hard to understand why half the girls on that “dream team” are there….they just don’t seem to have the dance talent the other half has…guess its all about the money…these parents are the only ones that can afford the huge fees/expenses. Yet, all the Mom’s have that sense of entitlement-their daughter needs their chance to shine, to be a winner, etc (apparently regardless of talent or merit).

  47. Aprilcot26 says:

    I must admit, that I do watch this show. As a former competitive dancer and current dance teacher, please understand that not ALL competitive dancing is like this. Just like with any activity, there can be crazy parents and crazy teachers. No one at my studio dances or wears costumes like those at Abby’s studio, and we most *certainly* do not treat our students like she does!

  48. I’ve created a facebook page calling for the cancellation of this show and a boycott of Lifetime TV. I’m the proud mother of a dancer from Miami, Florida. My 12 year old has been dancing since she was three and our home is full of trophies, plaques and ribbons that she’s won through the years. Our hearts are full of very fond and very positive memories from these same events. Thanks to organizations like yours, my daughter has made new friends from all over the country and she’s been able to take master classes from very gifted teachers.

    The show is a very cynical and sick depiction of what happens in the dance world. Studio’s don’t learn new routines every month, nor would they ever place a child on stage to perform a routine without knowing the music. So much of this show is based on a script and it’s not real. This just isn’t what happens in the true dance world. This show is an insult to every dance professional, dance student and dance instructor. It’s wrong TV and I want this show cancelled. Dancer’s work so hard and this show doesn’t send a positive message.

    Please join my facebook page so we can get this show off the air.

  49. Gena Love says:

    To Lifetime & these SICK Mom’s (your poor Little 8&9yr old’s don’t have a say at this ABUSE YOU ALLOW all to see & for the $$$ you are being paid & LETTING THIS FAT PIG “scream” & bring abuse to now another TRASH TV SHOW! “What’s wrong “Lifetime” you have to join the rest of trash TV & go with the flow Show that you do not have to spend money to make your NEW TRASH LIFETIME. IT has DANCE MOM/Screaming pig, I do not see any MOM out there acting like what we call W@#$E’S! No they’re sending very little girl’s(saw 1 that was beside her older sis, she’s about 6 yrs old in front of a camera with a screaming wack job so OLD MEN can “watch” & tape they from they’re closed up living space/jail!!!(hope you all have time to check they’re FB page I’m sure they have because they are already doing the nasty little poise in they’re bedrooms. Let’s see these women that are cashing the check you give them WORK 12 hour’s or more a day train, flip, stand on they’re shoulder’s, in a trashy tight outfit & get screamed at by a big fat screaming women in drag & if you are can make it a even 1 day with all that trash makeup on perfecttttttttttt!!!All the while knowing some MAN is watching you. Oh BTW, where’s your STUPID husband’s have them watch also. Are ya’ll the ones wearing the pant’s & he has on a dress????????????? Sending a little girl on a DATE with a boy when you are 11 or 12! SHAME ON YOU LIFETIME, WE ARE A SHAMED at YOU & YOU are losing your viewer’s by what you are doing. This is as bad as Teen Mom & Bravo HW! I at least can call & cancel your pay Lifetime channel as I hope every one else does.

  50. dale ellen says:

    I only saw part of an episode where the girls were on a bus going somewhere. After I listened to the ranting and raving of Abby, I concluded that she probably had an upset stomach from eating the bus driver. My advice–a little less sitting on the bus and little more jogging.