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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime

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I didn't watch all of the Telsey episode - I just caught it after about the first 15 minutes once the judge was there. So it's interesting that the posts here seem to be about getting cast in Annie. Watching it from the point I came in, I just thought that there was a talent scout coming and he was just there looking in general. I think it changed my view of the episode because number one, he didn't seem particularly interested in the way anyone danced, and two, he was very nice and thoughtful to the girls. So when he called Maddie over near the end, it just seemed to me that he wanted to sign her in general because he thought she was talented and it had nothing to do with having her star or be cast in a specific show. All just generic talent scout stuff that happens when scouts travel to cities. Did I read that wrong? Even if I did, I think it speaks to the fact that anything on that show can be taken out of context. :(


And I also saw the 'Starpower' episode. I know some here have said they can edit things together to give almost any impression. However I want to say IMO, there are some things that just cannot be faked. The yelling between the parents. The children's reaction to it. I think that the parents, the director, and kids get so used to the cameras being around 24/7 that they actually forget they are there. There is quite a bit of reality going on and I think they just don't care. I even believe that's why the principal is absent so much - perhaps she decided mid-way through that it wasn't a such a good idea, but couldn't get out of the contract. Just to note, the programs themselves do not start airing until sometimes a long time after taping is finished. None of the participants see the finished product until it's way too late to do anything about it. But again, it's just my feeling that the majority of it is not acted - but it could be that the participants are feeding off the drama because the cameras are there. As far as Abby Lee and her actual career, I see nothing that indicates to me that she has actual performing experience or training. I did notice on the web site that there is an older woman with the same last name. I wonder if that's her mom and she just took over the studio from her. She makes a statement that a teacher's success is based solely on the success of her students. To me that's just a way of getting out of listing your credentials. Maybe she has some, maybe not. At any rate, she is very skilled at convincing others she is the best! :green:

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Yup--these comps are real all right. Here are the results from this episode in RI. I don't understand the judging either.





Are the judges dancers?


And according to the above link, Stephanie Kemp's studio is blowing Abby's out of the water.

Edited by Elsee
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I was also surprised by the lack of preparation for the agent. Usually, the agent makes the sides (parts of the script) available in advance to potential auditioners. Even if the audition is a cold reading, the kids still need to be coached on how to introduce themselves to the agent, how to answer the agent's questions, and how to read through scenes. It did look like an unorganized mess for the other students, which is why I believe the agent was there to consider only one student, Maddie.


Speaking of lack of preparation, when do these kids actually take classes and receive dance instruction? I have seen lots of rehearsals for competition routines, but other than the tap class, I have not seen any other classes. Where do they learn their leaps, pirouettes, flips, er-uh, technique? Maybe the classes are not as exciting to film for the show?


You're right. No one wants to see boring tendue exercises. They don't show it for the same reason they don't show the older girls or the less...excitable mothers

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So this is classic Dinkle? Do these girls have good technique?

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I looked up the Candy Apple Dance Studio on youtube today (Cathy's studio) and she had some really nasty mean comments on her videos from people who do not like her on the Dance Moms show.

The show certainly cannot be good for her business :(

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Not really sure how the "Where have all the children." dance beat anything. It's really a bit of a mess. Not really together, some technique issues, bent knees, people falling out of turns.


Honestly, Abby Lee is well known . . .a bet some of this stuff is rigged by the competitions.

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If anyone has the show on DVR, watch it again with this in mind. If you look at when the studio was performing, there was absolutely no one else in the theatre. There is absolutely not a time at any competition we've ever been to where there is no one in the theatre. Then you see one of the students, Chloe (?) stand up to take the team award before the team award is even announced with a quick camera switch to a full group on stage. I've also seen some times when Candy can be seen chuckling after making the absurd comments she makes towards others with a quick cut (but not quick enough) to another scene. Looks like the production crew is greatly missing their editing and while I do believe some of the parent interactions might be real, believe others are created or re-created for screen time. I've caught too many camera mistakes already. Even those when Abby is dressed in one thing with crinkly hair and then the next scene when talking about something that just occured (supposedly at the same competition on the same day) is wearing something different with different hair.


After hearing Candy rant and rave over the comments about the dancers at the studio ("sickle, sickle, sickle"), I would venture to guess that she was either auditioned for the show or is a friend of Abby's through the competition circuit but thinks she has more to gain than lose in becoming part of a TV show. Because if she knew so much and felt the dancers at her home studio were better, she would not put her own child there. (what dance teacher would for less training?, more maybe) With that said though, some of it has to be real. I'm just not sure how much.


I'll also add that competitions have rules about age groups. And the vast majority of them would not allow you to shuffle your dancers in the manner they did with Maddie (and why would they). Another, added for drama moment.


Me thinks, they protest too much!

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So this is classic Dinkle? Do these girls have good technique?


In general, the girls seem to have pretty good technique (for their age and skill level). It does vary, though - in the clips from rehearsal and competition, some girls are more polished (e.g. Maddie, Chloe) while others seem like they could work on fundamentals a little more.


On a different note, a lot of comments (on other boards) have noted that Abby Lee is overweight, how could she possibly teach dance. Though I agree it is important for a teacher to be able to show proper technique, I don't know how much teaching Abby Lee does. As the studio owner and director, I assume she's more into the choreography and the competitions. So I guess there are other teachers there who actually teach technique?


I've had teachers who never danced professionally (or if they did, they were with very tiny pro companies). It reminds me of a swim coach (I can't remember where - USC? - but he does train Olympians) who doesn't know how to swim!

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Momof3, I agree with the editing issues. I caught the clock in the lobby when Abby was talking to Nia's Mom. At first it read 7:30pm, then 7:26pm and finally 7:31pm all in the span of the same supposedly continuous conversation. So it seems that not only can Abby Lee produce competition winners, she can travel through time. :clapping:

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And what's Maddie's mom doing holding Chloe's toddler sister in her arms as she drifts off to sleep, gently rubbing her back all the while? In one clip, Chloe's mom is holding her own baby and she is wide awake, and in the next clip (seconds later in the conversation?) the baby is asleep in Maddie's mom's lap.


I don't think the baby knows that the mothers supposedly hate each other. I have to go cold turkey on this show. lol I hate being manipulated.


I don't have cable so I watched the shows after the fact on the ABC website. I think the above scene is in #4? When the moms are telling Abby how the other dance owner isn't a team player.

Edited by Elsee
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Hokey would be fine. They are using those kids. My guilt is that I am watching something that is manipulating and emotionally damaging children. I also am freaked out by dance numbers that are sexual or othwerwise totally inappropriate, yet... win? There is something quite amiss in the dance world.

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They are and I agree and some of what they are doing is really on the fringe of the law.

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I recently caught up on old episodes and a couple things caught my eye.

First, how all the girls really seem to be good friends-like chloe and maddy were hugging before going on stage. I feel like if the girls don't hate each other the moms should try to get along with the other kids too.

Second, what Cathy did was totally despicable at the dance show. If she was such a great dancer she should know that even if your better than anyone else in the group the whole point of dancing as a GROUP is that you don't upstage anybody else. And what she said about the other moms expecting it, well, nobody expects that kind of thing in real life. I feel like if that happened at most other studios she would be kicked out. Actually, most of what Cathy does bothers me-telling the other moms to get botox, changing her daughters solo without telling Abby and not letting Brooke borrow her daughters costume. I realize a lot of this is because of Abby not being the best teacher (in fact, one of the worst), but still, when you go to another studio, you listen to the head of your studio!

I feel like if this wasn't televised most of the moms would have left the studio but they want to stay and be on TV. What abby is doing really isn't acceptable and I feel so bad for the kids!

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