‘Dancing’ into America’s Hearts
We all have our guilty pleasure TV shows that we know are terrible and make people question our judgment and intelligence, but keep drawing us in just so we can watch the latest installment of the train wreck each week. For me, this silly joy is “Dance Moms,” the “reality” show on Lifetime that follows the trials and tribulations of young dancers and their mothers in the Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Come every Tuesday night at 9 p.m., I find myself settling in on the couch with a blanket and carton of ice cream, ready to see what kind of catfights, petty arguments and crying children are in store for this week.
And so far, this newest season has yet to fail in serving up the perfect dose of drama and entertainment.
The past two seasons of “Dance Moms” introduced viewers to the core members of the dance company, which is comprised of young girls named Maddie, Mackenzie, Chloe, Nia, Paige, Brooke and Kendall.
Although the actual dancers do serve an important role in the show, the main focus is centered on the drama between the girls’ mothers. Throughout the seasons, there have been perpetual arguments between Melissa (Maddie and Mackenzie’s mother) and Christi (Chloe’s mother) regarding company director Abby Lee Miller’s perceived favoritism toward Maddie.
This season opened up with Abby Lee enraged at the girls and their mothers because the majority of them did not attend dance classes during their vacations. To combat this behavior and to replace siblings Brooke and Paige (whose mother, Kelly, pulled them off the team last season), Abby holds open auditions and follows through on her catchphrase of “Everyone’s replaceable!”
This results in the addition of a new dancer, Ally, and her mother, Shelly, neither of whom the team particularly likes. The team puts up with the replacement for a little while until the original mothers and their daughters stage a protest and walk out of the studio in the second episode.
The “strike” felt too staged and dramatic, and I had a hard time believing that the mothers actually spent 12 hours in the parking lot protesting the replacements and Kelly’s absence. However, this protest added a little variety to the past two seasons, and showed the mothers being proactive about a situation, rather than just complaining and doing nothing about it like they usually do.
Despite the sad reality of the show (mothers living vicariously through their daughters) and what seem to be staged, dramatic moments, “Dance Moms” is light-hearted fun. And apart from the trivial fights, the young dancers are pretty talented, and it’s always nice to see what kind of group number or solo they will perform each week. Once these girls take the stage at their competitions, it is evident how much passion and love they hold for the craft, which helps viewers root and support for them even more once they see what kind of drama they go through with their mothers.
Even though this season has been a little choppy because it keeps switching back and forth between the first team and the new, the original charm still remains.
All in all, if you are looking for cheap entertainment, or if you are/were a dancer and just want to relive your childhood (because these mothers and daughters are scarily reflective of most dance studios I have observed), I suggest tuning in for this quality program.
Recommended: You’re willing to indulge in yet another guilty pleasure show.