Dance Moms

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Dance Moms
Dance Moms Logo.jpg
Genre Reality
Starring Abby Lee Miller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 101 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Bryan Stinson
  • Gena McCarthy
  • Jeff Collins
  • John R Corella
  • Kimberly Chessler
  • Michael Hammond
  • Robert Caplain
  • Scott Shatsky
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Collins Avenue Entertainment
Original channel Lifetime
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13) – present
Related shows
External links

Dance Moms is an American dance reality television series that debuted on Lifetime on July 13, 2011. Created by Collins Avenue Productions, it is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Abby Lee Dance Company, follows the early careers of children in dance and show business, as well as the participation of their mothers. The show shows many highlights in the children's careers but also the drama of the mothers trying to get their children on top. The mothers are often in fights with each other in mass of fighting for themselves and their daughter's careers hoping it would help better their daughter's chances in the dance world.

The fourth season of Dance Moms debuted on January 1, 2014.[1]

As of 24 June 2014, a total of 104 episodes have been produced.


Set in Pittsburgh, Dance Moms follows the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition team of young girls aged 8- to 13-years-old as they travel week-to-week to various dance competitions, winning awards and hoping for an invitation to the National competition. Much of the program depicts the doting mothers as fellow rivals not only of each other but oftentimes as a group protecting the familiarity of the team. All performances are choreographed by Miller, herself, with the exception of a few guest choreographers. Later in the program, Candy Apple's Dance Studio (located in Canton, Ohio) is introduced as a rivaling dance company.

Every week on the show, Abby uses a pyramid chart to show the moms and the dancers who she feels did the best in her eyes, and who needs to improve. Miller had never used a pyramid In her studio prior to Dance Moms, and when asked about the pyramid Miller stated in an interview, "I've never done that in my life. That has nothing to do with me. That's the show; they came up with that whole process."[2] The pyramid changes every week, and it has been reflected that the moms' behavior can often affect the girls' placement on the pyramid.


The Choreographers[edit]

  • Abby Lee Miller is the director of Reign Dance Productions (formerly Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio), which houses the Abby Lee Dance Company to which she is owner and chief choreographer.[3][4][5]
  • Gianna Martello is an instructor for RDP specializing in all genres including tap dance, en pointe, and acrobatics, and is also the assistant choreographer for the ALDC Junior Elite Competition team.[6]

The Moms[edit]

  • Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni is the mother of Maddie, a lyrical dancer who also enjoys tap, and Mackenzie,[3] an acro dancer. Ziegler was once a part-time receptionist for Miller's studio, but has since switched jobs to spend more time watching her daughters dance. Ziegler is perceived as a doting mother who encourages her daughters' blossoming careers, but is shown as defensive when the other mothers voice criticism about Miller's own doting habits. In Season 4, Ziegler begins homeschooling her daughters for more studio time.
  • Christi Lukasiak is the mother of Chloe,[3] a contemporary/lyrical dancer. Lukasiak was the owner of children's fitness franchise,[7] but has since sold her business to spend more time with her growing family. Lukasiak is perceived as an opinionated woman and protective mother, especially when she feels her daughter is belittled by Miller.
  • Holly Frazier is the mother of Nia,[3] an acro dancer who also enjoys musical theater. Frazier was a full-time educator, and was once perceived as the most rational mother of Miller's teaching technique. Frazier has since given up her office career[8] in an effort to spend time at the studio rediscovering her daughter's dance potential.
  • Jill Vertes is the mother of Kendall,[3] a jazz dancer with growing abilities in contemporary dance. Vertes was initially noted as a "studio hopper"[9] and has since found her niche at Miller's studio after her daughter's audition in Season 2. Vertes, early on, was perceived as a brown-noser, but her daughter's growing abilities are well-spoken for.
  • Leslie Ackerman is the mother of Payton, a Senior dancer often used as a swing when a dancer is unable to perform. Ackerman is perceived as head-strong and stubborn about her daughter's placement on the team despite Miller denying her membership after auditioning in Season 2, but her abilities allow her to perform on an irregular basis.

Former Moms[edit]

  • Cathy Nesbitt-Stein is the mother of Vivi-Anne.[3] Stein left the ALDC on her own accord in Season 1 to return to her own studio, Candy Apples Dance Center.[10][11]
  • Kelly Hyland is the mother of Brooke and Paige.[3] Appearing in 75 episodes and attending 60 competitions, Hyland was dis-invited from the ALDC in Season 4. [see below]
  • Kira Girard is the mother of Kalani.[12] Appearing in six episodes and attending four competitions, Girard left the ALDC on her own accord amid Season 4.
  • Kristie Ray is the mother of Asia.[13] Appearing in nine episodes and attending seven competitions, Ray left the ALDC on her own accord at the end of Season 3.
  • Jackie Lucia is the mother of Sophia.[13] Appearing in three episodes and attending two competitions, Lucia left the ALDC on her own accord amid Season 3.
  • Shelly Serigne, Gloria Hampton, and Marcia Hoffheins are the mothers of Ally, Kaeli, and Bella respectively.[13] These girls were members of the replacement team in Season 3.


Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13 July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13) October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12) August 7, 2012[14] N/A September 4, 2013[15]
2 30[a] January 10, 2012 (2012-01-10) September 25, 2012 (2012-09-25) January 8, 2013[16][17] N/A December 4, 2013[18]
March 5, 2014[19]
3 40[b] January 1, 2013 (2013-01-01) September 17, 2013 (2013-09-17) TBA TBA TBA
4 TBA January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01) TBA TBA TBA TBA
  1. ^ Season 2 included one special episode that is not acknowledged as a season episode, as well as another that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.
  2. ^ Season 3 included one episode that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2012 2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Nominated
2013 2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Nominated
Choice TV: Female Reality Star Abby Lee Miller Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Cable Award Craig Owens Won
2014 2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Pending
Choice TV: Reality Personality - Female Abby Lee Miller Pending

Controversy and criticism[edit]

Due to heavy criticism, the Season 2 episode "Topless Showgirls", which aired on March 6, 2012, has been removed from rotation. The episode features the young dancers performing a burlesque-style routine and wearing sequined, flesh toned bra tops and tights in an effort to simulate the idea they are nude. Miller defends her costume choice saying, "Everyone in the industry knows the girls are completely covered and everything's harmless." Lifetime confirms pulling the episode on March 23, 2012.[20][21] The episode is not included on the DVD.[22]

On January 29, 2014, Miller announced that Kelly Hyland and her two daughters Brooke and Paige are no longer contracted with and will no longer appear on Dance Moms as stated on an appearance with The View.[23][24] Hyland was arrested in early January on alleged assault charges after a dispute backstage at a dance competition held in New York City during filming for the show's fourth season in November 2013. Hyland appeared in court with Miller on January 21, 2014 and pleaded "not guilty" to charges of physical assault. Proceedings were to resume in March. At the hearing in March, without explanation, a Bronx County Supreme Court Judge again adjourned the hearing to May 5, 2014. Legal expert Rosemarie Arnold opined that because the episode aired on TV, Kelly Hyland's defense that the "smack down" was scripted was a viable defense.[25] The episode featuring the incident between Hyland and Miller aired on February 11, 2014.[26]


A spin-off series, Dance Moms: Miami, set in Miami, Florida at Victor Smalley and Angel Armas' dance studio, Stars Dance Studio, premiered on April 3, 2012,[27] but was cancelled in September 2012.

In mid-2012, it was announced that Miller would host a sister program entitled "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition".[28] The series follows Miller and other dance professionals judging twelve young dancers aged 6-13 years on different styles of dance hoping to find the most versatile dancer of the group. The series premiered on October 9, 2012.

In April 2014, it was announced that Miller would host another sister program entitled "Abby's Studio Rescue".[29][30] The series chronicles Abby Lee Miller as she visits dance studios across the country to assist them by improving their choreography, studio decor, staff and other aspects. It premiered on June 24, 2014.

A British version of Dance Moms entitled Dance Mums was announced. Jennifer Ellison will front the series and it will be set at her Liverpool dance school, Fame Academy.[31] Dance Mums will be produced by Shiver.

On June 24th, during the premiere episode of "Abby's Studio Rescue", a spin-off titled "Raising Asia" starring Asia Monet Ray was announced. The docuseries will follow Monet Ray and her model mom alongside record-holding bodybuilder dad and younger sister Bella Blu helping reach Asia dreams of fame in showbiz. [32]



  1. ^ "Dance Moms Season 4 premiere date announced". Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Juzwiak, Rich (July 21, 2011). "Dance Moms' Abby Lee Miller On Ranking Students and Dressing Them Sexily". TV Guide. Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Dance Moms Cast". Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003. 
  7. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c "Dance Moms New Season 3 Dancers Pictures". Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lambert, David. "Dance Moms- Season 1". Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Dance Moms - Season 1 | DVD Movies & TV Shows, Genres, TV : JB HI-FI". Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ Lambert, David. "Dance Moms- Season 2 (Part 1)". Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  17. ^ Lambert, David. "Dance Moms- Season 2 (Part 2)". Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Dance Moms - Collection 2 | DVD Movies & TV Shows, Genres, TV : JB HI-FI". Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Dance Moms - Collection 3 | DVD Movies & TV Shows, Genres, TV : JB HI-FI". Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
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  25. ^ [1]
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  27. ^ "Breaking News - Lifetime's "Dance Moms: Miami" to Turn Up the Heat on April 3". Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 15, 2014). "'Abby's Studio Rescue' Featuring Abby Lee Miller Making Over Dance Studios, to Premiere Tuesday, June 17 on Lifetime". The Futon Critic (Press release). Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. 
  32. ^

External links[edit]