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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime


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I thought it was very odd that we never saw Abby's reaction to Cathy taking the costume away from Brooke or her reaction to seeing Brooke dancing on stage in the wrong outfit. Had it been any of the other moms taking a costume away from a dancer we would have seen an Abby Lee reaction shot and tirade.

 

All of that said I think Cathy has been around Dance Mom's long enough to know their type and is enjoying playing these women like a violin. I would not be surprised if she and Abby are in cahoots on this. It is probably a competition dance teacher's dream to poke at the type of dance moms who drive her crazy in her own studio. This way Cathy gets her jollies without losing any customers. Kind of sick but in a way it is irony at its best. These women all want to manipulate Abby and each other to try to get their kids to the top of the pyramid and Cathy is just having fun playing with them like little wind up dolls for her own entertainment. After all, they like Cathy...they don't like Cathy...they are offended she would suggest Botox but they all follow along (except Holly) and get loaded up with injections. Let's not forget that most of them were not willing to even give her a chance as soon as she walked in the door and resent the fact that Abby views her as a colleague and therefore holds her a little above them and that stings. Also that Vivi even dances with their daughters at all is a problem for them.

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Momof3darlings

Here's an article from Production or Lifetime. I'm still not buying the "real" of it, but here's their take anyway:

 

Is it real? Dance Moms

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The moment when I gave up on it being "real" was when Abby grabbed the bottle of wine in the dressing room. When our dancers are in costume for Nutcracker, recital, whatever the only liquid that comes within 100 feet of the dancers is water - and then they are supposed to take their costumes off to drink that. No dance teacher is going to allow a bottle of anything near the costumes.

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Every studio has different rules and Abby has spoken to the mothers before about drinking backstage and during comps. Abby seems to me to be the type to put the responsibility of maintaining the costumes on the soley parents. In all of the years my DD competed we owned her costumes and never had a set of rules as to what she could or could not drink while in her costume because we owned it (unless it was recital when the studio was renting the facility and had to pay for cleanup). While with the ballet company and in company owned costumes it was a different story, in that case yes, only water was allowed.

 

I don't think Abby was condoning the situation with the backstage drinking at all or probably even backstage when it was going on. These mothers seem to have no regard at all for certain rules and think they are above reproach on most things (I mean who just barges into the studio during class time with whatever comes to mind?). When Abby was talking to Christi about her behavior and asking her to sign the contract about what she could and cound not do I was wondering when she was going to specifically tell her that drinking at comps was completely forbidden from that point on.

 

I am not so sure that all of this behavior is contrived as much as the trophies and being cast on this show have gone to the mothers' heads. I think the casting agents knew exactly the right people to choose and exactly which parents would be most hungry for their little girls to get the spotlight. They probably threw Hollie and Nia in to balance things out with a slight bit of normalcy (or at least as much as they could find out of those who actually wanted to audition).

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learningdance

I read the piece with the Lifetime exec. . ha! ha! This is the result of a nationwide search for the best comp studio? That's a huge joke! There are so many others that do so much better and at the most elite competitions.

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MyDancinGirl

I agree that Abby and Cathy are probably in cahoots. And I would bet that there is a spin-off show starring who else??? Cathy and her Candy Apple's Studio!!!

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learningdance

And I know I am being catty, so mods edit me if you must, but if Candy Apple's Dance Studio is not the Dinklish sounding name then I don't know what is.

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"They probably threw Hollie and Nia in to balance things out with a slight bit of normalcy (or at least as much as they could find out of those who actually wanted to audition)."

 

I respectfully disagree after last night's episode. Hollie conveys "normalcy" because she tends to avoid confrontation with the other mothers and she is not screaming, shouting, and crying hysterically like the other moms. However, she is just as wrapped up in being on the show and stardom for her child as the others. Why else would she allow Nia to don an Afro wig and animal print costume (she went out and purchased the wig), then feign righteous indignation over the negative sterotypes dance number? Why do all these moms pretend to be outraged over Abby's choices, but they don't vent this outrage until after the fact? Because they have signed up for a reality show and they are willing to accept humiliation and embarrassment for themselves and their children, with the promise that short term fame and notoriety will pay off in the end. Hollie is just as nutty as the rest of the bunch.

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Absolutely Julisha. Holly is NOT admirable. She, herself, went out and bought that hideous, offensive wig. She saw that incredibly ridiculous costume way before competition. Yes, even if your daughter wants to go on stage and dance to an offensive dance to an offensive song in an offensive costume, you do say no. That's her job.

 

"Standing up" to Abby and not leaving is simply not sane. There are hundreds of dance studios in that area. Abby Lee's is not the only, nor is it the best, especially for Nia.

 

You don't have to hate black people to be a racist. If you treat someone in a racist manner, you are a racist even if you "love" black people. Abby Lee is not going to change her attitude for Holly. Holly is just as crazy as the rest of the moms and more so to allow her daughter to be used this way when there are plenty of other options.

 

By the way, my son has an amazing afro that everyone comments on. He has dark skin. Both are natural. If people can't understand the difference between the beauty of a natural afro, or even natural-looking afro wig and that hideous, mockery of an afro, wig Nia wore, I'm sorry, I can't help you.

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Momof3darlings

I didn't watch last night but did go find it after seeing this conversation. I think it's TV Shock value at it's best. It should be noted that when the show is being discussed some other places, it has been noted that the songs used on TV are not always those used when the students actually compete. This might be why we see the empty convention centers when the girls dance versus what really happens at the competition because they re-film to the different song for TV.

 

I do not know this to be the case with Hollie's daughter but do know that for Maddie and Chloe, you can see them on youtube performing the same choreography at competitions to a different song than was on TV. All we see when we look at the competition listings is the name the piece was entered so we have no idea if it was that actual performance that was judged. Again, could explain those empty theatres and then clips to them being on stage with all the other contestants. One piece named "Mother" performed to two different pieces of music for TV. Some of that could be music rights and the inability to get them for TV. But donning the animal print was one thing, the horrible afro a whole other ball of wax, but having both to THAT song, would not have happened to any of the dancing African American parents I know especially when coupled with the other two. Standing alone in a jungle type costume...ok. Standing alone in a 70s number in an afro....ok. But put all 3 of those together and ick. But if I heard her say whatever that was about "ethnic dance" one more time I was going to scream. Yes, if she can do African dance and ballet it will open up parts for her. Even if she can do hiphop and ballet it will open up parts for her but it will open up parts for a blond haired, blue eyed child as well to be a versatile dancer.

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If they filmed a reality show at my DD's ballet school it would be SO BORING what with all the friendship and encouragement between dancers, fair casting/costuming without regard to race, and helpful supportive parents that speak respectfully to teachers and each other and then go grocery shopping or power-walking during their kids classes. Nobody would ever watch it.

 

My DD is biracial so we were paying attention to the whole afro wig/ethnic discussion. Choose your words carefully Abby Lee... OF COURSE some casting decisions are going to be ethnicity-based, but that doesn't mean poor Nia should always have to perform sporting jungle-print or other ethnic-inspired costumes. That was just an awful routine set to awful music with an even worse costume and the worst afro wig I have ever seen. I felt sorry for Nia and angry at Hollie for going along and not saying anything until after.

 

This show is turning me into a ballet "purist" if I wasn't before. Couldn't they all do a cute hip-hop routine or something? Too much of the same acro moves, falling out of every turn, and that weird little walk Maddie does to walk onstage drives me NUTS.

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Momof3darlings

I do wish some ballet school would snap Maddie up. She does have potential. While she was falling out of things, we need to remember her age relative to what she was doing. I think she was 8 at the time of filming. Her arm motions and expression at the beginning and end of the piece showed alot of artistic promise that I wish could be fostered through a ballet program but obviously that was not her desire for dance.

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that doesn't mean poor Nia should always have to perform sporting jungle-print or other ethnic-inspired costumes. That was just an awful routine set to awful music with an even worse costume and the worst afro wig I have ever seen

 

I think the biggest problem is that Nia is a weak dancer compared to the rest of them. Nia's mother wants her to have the same solos as the other girls, but Nia doesn't have the skills.

 

I love how Abby was bragging about winning in Providence RI because it's close to Boston where all the "prestigious" schools are. There is not one competition dance school in Boston. Competititions are not big in New England.

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I think the biggest problem is that Nia is a weak dancer compared to the rest of them. Nia's mother wants her to have the same solos as the other girls, but Nia doesn't have the skills.

I agree but then Abby, as the alleged professional, should either not accept her on the team or require she take more technique classes. How Abby uses Nia's poor technique as a reason for putting her in Abby's warped version of "ethnic dancing" is incomprehensible. If Nia was getting real ethnic dance training, she would still have to work on developing great technique. Abby is basically saying, "oh if you're black, and do the move (I don't even know what it is called but you move your butt back and forth quickly), you will get the job even if your technique sucks. What a bunch of baloney!

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Looks like I was posting at the same time as Curandera. I agree that Nia is not as strong a dancer as the others, but she should not be pidgeon-holed to do so-called "ethnic" dances.

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