Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Clara 76

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime

Recommended Posts

Curandera
I was amused at the competition. The brief times they showed the other dancers from other studios they were in fact IMO very poor! I could not believe that it was a competition - most looked like they didn't even know what they were doing.

These competitions have various levels. There is a “Novice” level. These are dancers who dance recreationally usually no more than 5 hours of class per week and this is their first or one of their first dance competitions. I am sure that as part of the manipulation in this show, the clips of other dance teams were those girls in the novice category. They did not show the girls who placed higher than Abby’s girls and were in the "Intermediate" or "Advanced" levels.

 

The purpose of the Novice level is to open the stage to girls who cannot afford to take more classes or want to dip a toe in and see what this is all about before making a commitment to a full out dance competition team. They also have a better shot at getting a better score or trophy because then the judges are comparing apples to apples in terms of hours of dance and experience.

 

At our studio, we have this as a class called “Production Team.” The girls only have to take one class at the studio a week, be it ballet, jazz or lyrical and then a Production Team class. The girls get a less flashy team jacket, a costume and then they practice on one routine starting in September until their competition in February or March. It is still really only 2 dance classes a week so they get formation okay, but of course, technique will still be amateur. This has been very successful. Girls who want to get a little more dance love being on a real stage. Girls who are really bitten by the experience then take a lot more dance classes to improve their technique and can audition for the "Elite" dance team.

Share this post


Link to post
Mobadt

Thanks for the explanation, Curandera! :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
BelaNina

That explains a lot, Curandera. Thanks! I bet you're right that the producers decided to only show the Novice teams and via editing compare them to the main characters on the show.

Share this post


Link to post
RRmom

Thanks to this thread I ordered "Razzle Dazzle" on DVD and am looking forward to snorting my drink through my nose when it comes!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
LauraR

I had a conversation with my family member about editing reality tv shows. Her girls were recently shown on an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras. They aren't crazy enough to be stars on the show, they are the other girls you see on stage, etc. I also saw a shot of my cousin. She laughed and said, "I don't even know when they took that picture. I was looking at xyz and we all had this shocked looked on our faces. Then they edited the footage and made it look like we were watching abc and reacting to that." She said you never know which footage they are going to use and how they are going to portray anyone at any given time. So while interactive scenes do seem scripted and contrived, audience shots do not always go along with what is happening on stage. Another thing I loved was the canned screaming. It was like an auditorium of cheering coming from a much smaller room. :)

 

I thought the dancing was much better in the second show. Umm, not the electricity number, but the solos. The girls do have expression even if it is overdone in some places. It is easier to tone down than to achieve sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
RRmom

I have some empathy for the reasons the moms would do the show. Namely, $$. You have your child going in an extremely expensive direction, well, not only do I imagine they are temporarily relieved of all dance expenses but are sacking some away also, and getting to do extra expenses paid travel. Plus, the kids don't seem to be portrayed very negatively. I can see one or two of them popping up in movies or Disney Channel shows. The fact that it looks like all the kids and moms go to the hair and makeup trailer that must be tucked behind Abby's studio before every time they are recorded adds the air of unreality.

Share this post


Link to post
Sugarmama

I have to admit that I watched this show with my 10 year-old DD, in my defense we watch all the dance shows together. I guess I was kind of hoping this would make her appreciate where she was at with her classical ballet school and sweet-but-firm AD and stop asking me to let her compete, because ultimately I could not afford this type of competition studio if I wanted to.

 

After all that jazz with the skimpy outfits, bad hair and makeup and the grossly inappropriate moves, etc. she asked me where is that studio and can we drive there and by the way why don't I push her more as far as her dancing?!!?! Although she agreed the costuming/choreography was inappropriate, she was not at all intimidated by Abby Lee and thought the brutal competition within the studio, the late nights, was "a good way to get better faster". JEESH.

 

This is why they make PARENTS. Just because she would like to live in the studio and perform every weekend does not mean that she should.

Share this post


Link to post
MyDancinGirl
After all that jazz with the skimpy outfits, bad hair and makeup and the grossly inappropriate moves, etc. she asked me where is that studio and can we drive there and by the way why don't I push her more as far as her dancing?!!?! Although she agreed the costuming/choreography was inappropriate, she was not at all intimidated by Abby Lee and thought the brutal competition within the studio, the late nights, was "a good way to get better faster". JEESH.

 

This is why they make PARENTS. Just because she would like to live in the studio and perform every weekend does not mean that she should.

 

EXACTLY Sugarmama! I think nowadays too many parents are letting their kids call the shots. I run into a lot of gymnastics moms who have their 6-7 YO girls in the gym as much as 20-25 hours a week saying that "They love the gym and could eat, breathe and sleep gymnastics!" Yes--many little kids love the gym atmosphere because it is fun, and virtually an enormous indoor playground--who else wouldn't LOVE to play and do fun tricks for hours on end??? When others ask these parents "why do you allow your child to work out so many hours?" they simply say that the kid loves it and is having fun. But just because the kid is having "fun" doesn't make it right or even necessary for progression. And just because the kids aren't "complaining" about the dance hours or gym hours, a PARENT still needs to be their advocate and protect their well-being and balance of their childhood. Kids are very resiliant and have tons of energy and could probably go, go, go far longer than adults, but we as adults and their parents have to be able to say when enough is enough. With the days of "over-scheduling" kids, it is almost "normal" for kids to be so busy and have such long days, but is it really necessary or even healthy? Something to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
buzzandmoo

I just can not help myself; this topic is just too juicy! lol My DD (10) and I watch this show and the Toddlers and Tiaras show as our "guilty" pleasure. Although those moms are portrayed to be extreme, what makes it so much fun is we know some less extreme versions of those moms in our everyday dance life. And trust us, those characteristics transcend economic and education levels. As to the booty slapping and "prosit-tot" outfits, they are everywhere here in CT. All but one dance studio in our town have 6 year olds up there shaking their moneymakers and calling it dance. I guess I should be grateful, when my DD was 7 we went to one of her friends recitals and as a result she pushed me to find a "serious" dance school for her. When we watch Dance Moms suddenly the hour plus drive to dance is totally worth it! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Marseas Mom

I will admit that our whole family watches the show , along with the rest of my older DD's comp studio. My DD's have competed at that particular competition in Lancaster PA. As was previously mentioned, there are various levels represented and I will assume the show took the liberties previously discussed. that competition is part of the Federation of Dance Competitions that has tried to set up common rules for judging,scoring and the like. The website has a "Statement of Appropriateness" that discusses the consequences for inappropriate routines. It states that routines will not be eligible for high score and will be adjudicated only. competitions really are spider to be family friendly events, and my family takes the position that the general public is savvy enough to know fact from fiction.

 

Truthfully, the show maybe escalating the issues we see each day, but these are issues that i would think are commonly encountered...regardless of whether it's a comp studio or not. DD at her pre pro school has been upset over casting, and usually knows before cast lists are out, who is cast as the female or male leads. At the competition studio, It is well known who will be on the X for the new lines, and it's no surprise, which soloist places in the top 3 at a competition. We don't see headshots on pyramids because most of this is already known and accepted before anyone steps into the studio. I am not defending it, I am just stating the obvious. Naturally, that wouldn't make great TV, so we watch the show to see what new outrageous things will be aired, and we laugh at the antics.

 

The minute I saw those little girls rehearsing in competition make up and earrings, I knew it was all about the tv cameras. We weren't able to take anything seriously after that....

 

I can only wonder what outrageous things are in store for tomorrow.... :thumbsup::rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Hippy Skippy
Truthfully, the show maybe escalating the issues we see each day, but these are issues that i would think are commonly encountered...regardless of whether it's a comp studio or not. DD at her pre pro school has been upset over casting, and usually knows before cast lists are out, who is cast as the female or male leads. At the competition studio, It is well known who will be on the X for the new lines, and it's no surprise, which soloist places in the top 3 at a competition. We don't see headshots on pyramids because most of this is already known and accepted before anyone steps into the studio. I am not defending it, I am just stating the obvious.

 

Marseas Mom, I completely agree.

 

Warmly,

 

Ro

Share this post


Link to post
GretchenStar

I wonder (as with most "reality shows") how much is creative editing. Like we see reaction shots from the girls or from a dance mom, but can we know for sure that it really was the actual "reaction" of something someone else said? Or do producers just cut and paste some of those scenes?

 

I thought the show was pretty funny (probably not the intended reaction from Lifetime!). It is a bit extreme (with the pyramid, which I understand was concocted by the producers) but at the same time, there were definitely moments that I could relate to. For most of my training, I attended ballet studios (save for a brief stint at a ballet/jazz studio where we did compete in a few competitions, but it wasn't a competition studio per se). The studios would probably be considered serious ballet studios (not dolly dinkle) and yet I've seen moms sit in the parents room commenting on other children and parents. I've even heard directors/teachers commenting on parents! Parents get into "debates" with choreographers (no shouting matches, though), and parents and directors pull dancers in opposite directions.

 

From what I've seen on online forums, most people are appalled by the show (even calling the behavior exhibited child abuse), but is it really that far off from what happens in competitive sports and hobbies?

 

The one scene that stuck out for me was when Christi(?), the blonde, was going to take her daughter Chloe home because they had been at the studio all day long. You could just see Chloe struggling with whether she should obey her mom and go home, or if she should stay at the studio to work on her solo. Obviously, she knew she needed to work on her solo (especially as she understands that Maddie is her main competition, and that - as Christi probably frequently mentions - Chloe will never be able to surpass Maddie in Abby Lee's eyes), but at the same time, she can't not follow her mom out of the studio. And then Christi breaks down when they reach the car and she sends Chloe back inside. And then Abby Lee lectures her for all that hugging and crying business out in the parking lot. Lady, she came back to rehearse, didn't she? You won the battle already!

 

Parents and teachers should (ideally) never put the students in such a quandary. Of course, students should always get to rehearse their dances first and never have to hang around and wait for their turn :D

 

Anyway, I find the show entertaining and will definitely keep watching. I don't care much for other reality shows (concocted simply for tv, like shows where someone chooses a husband or wife) but these sort of reality-pseudo-documentary type shows are different (albeit still heightened for dramatic effect). (I also really like the layout of the studio - with the observation area above - but also has a downside in it allows for a situation where the moms can be catty and critical of everything).

Share this post


Link to post
learningdance

I find the entire thing terribly sad. These kids are being put in such bad situations by adults who should know better.

Share this post


Link to post
Curandera

I agree learningdance. That is the difference in this reality show from others - the children. It is bad enough with Toddlers & Tiaras. At least, they are young enough not to have to face school mates and understand exactly what is happening. These girls are old enough to know, but not old enough to protect themselves. I also find it so sad that this show has an audience.

Share this post


Link to post
balletdancer1040

" I also find it so sad that this show has an audience."

Agreed! I rank this show right up there with "My Strange Addiction" on TLC !

Proud to say I have not watched one second of either show :)

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...