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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime


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As I've said many times, I think this show should be off the air because of the damage it is doing, whether staged or real, to the young dancers.

 

That being said, another thing that is so strangely fake about this show is the emphasis of being "first." Why?

 

You really don't get that much money coming in first, sometimes, $50 or $100. You can get way more than that doing pageants.

 

If they want to get a part on Broadway right away instead of when they are older, a Broadway show auditioner could care less if you "placed" at a competition. They want to see flawless technique and personality.

 

Even the goal of being a dancer is more of a desire to dance, not money or fame. There are no famous dancers akin to singer Beyonce or actress Reese Witherspoon. If you are not involved in dance, you will probably have trouble naming more than 5 dancers.

 

My dd competed because it was a fun activity to do with her friends, wear fun costumes and perform on stage instead of just waiting for the end of year recital. She also received many constructive comments from judges, could see DVDs of herself performing to really believe that "yes, your knee is not straight" and also see some other really good dancers perform.

 

She wanted to score well, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that in the end, the trophies are just a piece of plastic that look nice on your dresser. What is important, as always, is the journey.

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learningdance

This woman is entering competitions late after the schedule has been established so she knows if her kids have a chance.

 

She is well connected in the dance world and is using all the influence that she has to play all kinds of dirty little tricks.

 

Listen closely to her language and note how many times she says "I, me, my." It's completely about her and she, herself probably is vicariously living through these dancers. She does not care about them as people. They are simply vehicles for her and when they no longer serve her she disposes of them or demotes them. This IS all that she has and she is a sad person and it's not an accident that she does not have a significant other.

 

She thinks that this is "training a dancer." This is training a competition dancer and I think that there is a difference.

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This woman is entering competitions late after the schedule has been established so she knows if her kids have a chance.

I can understand why the SO places so much emphasis on winning.

 

But why do the moms? Why is it so important to them if they know their dds are really good dancers and enjoy performing? Why does a plastic trophy that says 1st rather than 2nd mean so much to them? That's what I don't get.

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I consider this show a sitcom! Say what you will, it is entertaining on some level. I believe most of this is staged. Abby herself revealed in a TV interview that she has plans for more shows: Dance Teens and Dance Dads. It is laughable that they seem to take no technique classes, but those would be boring and damaless so why show it? As far as it being "abusive", perhaps however the parents seem to be allowing it. I imagine they are all getting some kind of financial benefit from this show so if they are willing to look ridiculous, I am willing to watch and get a good laugh, knowing this is NOT how true, successful dancers are trained.

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I think the Moms are living vicariously through their daughters same way as Abby Lee. Didn't the one with 2 daughters take from that studio when younger and quit around age 13 or so for cheerleading? She expressed regret over it and used that reason to guilt her older daughter into staying with it, pushing through, etc. In addition, I'm sure the Moms are looking for outside validation from the judges and are hoping that at one point, their daughter will score better or place higher than the dancer on Abby Lee's pyramid top.

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As far as it being "abusive", perhaps however the parents seem to be allowing it.

 

How does the parents "seem to be allowing it", make it "perhaps" not abusive? That sentence doesn't make sense.

 

If a child is being abused, the parent's consent doesn't it make it not abuse. It may make the parent an accessory, but abuse is abuse.

 

Here a parent is allowing a child to be videotaped crying over and over again, being in the presence of yelling, swearing, apparently drunk people. They are being set up to fail and then videotaped for fun and profit. This is abuse and if it does not fall clearly under a criminal law at the moment, that can be changed.

 

How is it we are not allowed to hear adult actors swearing when acting out some horrible, historical event, or not allowed to see a single nipple or buttock because of the trauma to the children, but we can allow children to go through this and be okay with it. They are not paid actors. Maybe some of it is staged, but that is not how it is portrayed and I don't believe these kids are acting. These kids need to be protected.

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I think the Moms are living vicariously through their daughters same way as Abby Lee. Didn't the one with 2 daughters take from that studio when younger and quit around age 13 or so for cheerleading? She expressed regret over it and used that reason to guilt her older daughter into staying with it, pushing through, etc.

But what does she think would have happened if she had stuck with it? What does she think that life would have been like? It is a life of economic and physical hardship without fame or fortune. The only real and true benefit is the joy of dancing. You can't force someone into that, they either have that joy or not.

 

If you wish your daughter joy and she is not joyful dancing, then again, I am confused.

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In addition, I'm sure the Moms are looking for outside validation from the judges and are hoping that at one point, their daughter will score better or place higher than the dancer on Abby Lee's pyramid top.

 

I suppose, but that seems like a lot screaming and drinking for validation that is completely meaningless. It like watching someone rear end a parked car. I have to ask, what? Why? And huh?

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Curandera, IMO you are taking this a bit too seriously. The parents are allowing this training for their children. Right or wrong is it any worse than the abuse school athletes are enduring? Kids are dying on football fields in Texas....that is not causing half the furor this show is. Toddlers and Tiarras has been on for years with the same crying, swearing, screaming etc. If it was deemed "abusive" in the eyes of the law it would be off the air. These are real stage moms and want fame for their kids. There is obviously nothing they won't do to achieve it.

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This show makes me sad. I know that it is mostly staged and edited to piecemeal together the "best" parts, but unless Abby/the moms are acting and speaking pre-written lines, at least some of it is real. Did anyone else catch that Mia's mom is a school principal? Does she have an inkling of how participating in this show makes her look? Talk about career suicide. What a mess, and I hope that when they watch the show, Abby and the moms feel deep shame for allowing themselves and those poor kids to be exploited.

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Curandera, IMO you are taking this a bit too seriously. The parents are allowing this training for their children. Right or wrong is it any worse than the abuse school athletes are enduring? Kids are dying on football fields in Texas....that is not causing half the furor this show is.

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I don't think it's an overreaction to say this would never be tolerated on a Little League ball field. If a father was drunk and swearing at coaches and cussing out other parents in front of the children, 911 would be called. It wouldn't be OK for little league kids to witness that, and it's not OK for 6 year old little girls to be subjected to this. Those children are pawns. They are being used. Not just by their parents, but by the producers of that show. Forcing/ecouraging/ setting up situations for kids to be emotionally harmed for entertainment purposes should not be OK. Even if there are currently no 'rules' against this, it is crossing a decency line. Child labor laws can be changed. Those kids are being exploited and someone should care about that.

 

And I can care about this exploitation, dead teenage football players, and Indian kids chained to carpet looms. Just because some kids have it 'worse' doesn't mean nobody should want to protect those little girls from reality TV shows like this. I was shocked by the sobbing children during the ranting/swearing scene...to what end? Why? To make us watch TV so toilet paper can be sold? I had no idea it was going to be so awful.I never though T & T would seem tame in comparrison. If it's not a set up, and the drinking is an issue for these moms, is it right to exploit that? If it's not an act, is it this really perfectly OK? Did these families understand fully what was going to happen to them, were the creators/producers 100% honest about what they wanted to show/exploit?

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Curandera, IMO you are taking this a bit too seriously. The parents are allowing this training for their children. Right or wrong is it any worse than the abuse school athletes are enduring? Kids are dying on football fields in Texas....that is not causing half the furor this show is. Toddlers and Tiarras has been on for years with the same crying, swearing, screaming etc. If it was deemed "abusive" in the eyes of the law it would be off the air. These are real stage moms and want fame for their kids. There is obviously nothing they won't do to achieve it.

As horrible as I believe this moms are acting, I am not talking about their actions as abuse rising to the level of legislating against it. You are right, there are a lot worse things that happen to children everyday and do not receive nearly as much attention as needed.

 

But that's not saying there should be a law against stage moms. I am saying that putting the kid's private torments on television for fun and profit is what should be illegal. That is something relatively simple and frankly a no brainer. There are hundreds of things we don't allow on public television. Yes, the bar has drfited downward with the advent of reality television. But is it really that hard to imagine a world that said, "no, we won't go this far"?

 

Again, just because something is not against the law now, does not mean a law can't be passed. "Sexting," "cyber bullying" are brand, spanking new laws. I am not sure I agree with all these new laws, but I honestly can see no harm at all and a great benefit to those who cannot protect themselves - these young dancers - from being exploited by their parents on public television. Yes, parents can really yell and humiliate their kids in public without anybody doing anything about it. At the same time, we can put up a quick regulation that says they can't broadcast it for an entertainment show. If a parent or adult wants to go make a fool of themselves to millions, that's their right. They should not be able to that to children.

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gavotteindmajor

OK, a curling iron burn does NOT make such an audible sound, regardless of whether it's a sober mom or a drunk mom wielding it. If she was "rolling up the cord" as she claimed, then the iron was not still hot enough to even sting you a little bit.

 

Making such a big deal out of third place is pretty ridiculous.

 

So, besides the crying, this show is almost as hilarious as the "Razzle Dazzle" trailer.

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learningdance

This show has been eye opening to me because it has hit so close to home. This is NOT good for kids this young.

 

Yes, mental toughness, strong critique, and a tough skin are indeed necessary for professional dance k but I think that the age to develop these psychological skills is 13-17 not 6-10. These kids will be ruined before they get there.

 

It really makes me believe that minors should not be permitted to participate in reality tv . . .just too much fall out, too much blurring of child labor laws, too little regulation, and too many misguided adults starry-eyed by being broadcast on tv.

 

Since when did being broadcast on tv become the pinnacle of achievement?

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