|Starring||Abby Lee Miller|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||115 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Collins Avenue Entertainment|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||July 13, 2011– Present|
Dance Moms is an American 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 and follows the early careers of children in dance and show business, as well as the participation of their mothers. The show features many highlights in the children's careers but also the drama of the mothers trying to get their children on top, including conflict with each other.
As of 7 October 2014[update], 115 episodes have aired.
Set in Pittsburgh, Dance Moms follows the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition Team of young girls aged 10–13 years old as they travel week-to-week to various dance competitions, winning awards and hoping for an invitation to one of the National Competitions. Much of the program depicts the doting mothers as rivals not only of each other but as a group to protect the familiarity of the team. All performances are choreographed by Miller and her staff, 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 rival 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." The pyramid changes every week, and the moms' behavior is a factor in the girls' placement on the pyramid.
Abby Lee Dance Company
- Abby Lee Miller is the director of Reign Dance Productions (formerly Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio), which houses the Abby Lee Dance Company, of which she is owner and chief choreographer.
- Gianna Martello is an instructor for RDP specializing in all genres including lyrical, en pointe, and hip hop, and is also the assistant choreographer for the ALDC Junior Elite Competition team.
- Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni is the mother of Maddie, a lyrical dancer who also enjoys tap, and Mackenzie, 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, a jazz/lyrical dancer who is also a talented pointe and ballet dancer. Lukasiak was the owner of a children's fitness franchise, 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, an acro dancer who also enjoys musical theatre. 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 in an effort to spend time at the studio rediscovering her daughter's dance potential.
- Jill Vertes is the mother of Kendall, a jazz dancer with growing abilities in contemporary dance. Vertes was initially noted as a "studio hopper" 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 have cemented her spot on the team.
- Christy Hunt is the mother of Sarah, is a jazz/contemporary dancer selected as a competitor of Mackenzie and Tea, and is a member of the Select Ensemble. Hunt is the only member selected from the ALDC, and is perceived as overbearing, stubborn, and confident on her daughter's position on the team.
- Jodi Grey is the mother of Kamryn, a contemporary/lyrical dancer selected as a competitor of Chloe and is a member of the Select Ensemble.
- Loree Cloud is the mother of Jade, an acro/contemporary dancer selected as a competitor of Kalani and Chloe, and is a member of the Select Ensemble.
- Tami Adamson is the mother of Tea, a jazz/contemporary dancer selected as a competitor of Mackenzie and Sarah H, and is a member of the Select Ensemble.
- Tracey Reasons is the mother of Sarah, an acro/contemporary dancer selected as a competitor of Nia, and is a member of the Select Ensemble.
Candy Apples Dance Studio
- Cathy Nesbitt-Stein (The wicked witch of the west) is the director of Candy Apples Dance Center (Canton, Ohio) of which she is owner and chief choreographer.
- Bridgette Triana is the mother of Lucas, a contemporary/lyrical dancer. Prior to Dance Moms, Triana and her son first appeared on Dance Moms: Miami.
- JoAnn Morales is the mother of Gavin, a jazz/contemporary dancer, and McKenzie, a contemporary/lyrical dancer.
- Meredith Chi is the mother of Alyssa, a dancer trained in all genres including ballroom and contemporary/lyrical dance.
- Vida Gorbell is the mother of Evan, a dancer trained in all genres including ballet, contemporary/lyrical dance, and hip hop.
- Kira Girard is the mother of Kalani. Appearing in six episodes and attending four competitions, Girard left the ALDC of her own accord amid Season 4.
- Kristie Ray is the mother of Asia. Appearing in nine episodes and attending seven competitions, Ray left the ALDC of her own accord at the end of Season 3.
- Jackie Lucia is the mother of Sophia. Appearing in three episodes and attending two competitions, Lucia left the ALDC on her own accord amid Season 3.
- Cathy Nesbitt-Stein is the mother of Vivi-Anne. Appearing as a member of the Abby Lee Dance Company briefly in Season 1, leaving of her own accord.
- Shelly Serigne, Gloria Hampton, and Marcia Hoffheins are the mothers of Ally, Kaeli, and Bella respectively. These girls were members of the replacement team in Season 3.
- Jeanette Cota is the mother of Ava. Appearing in six episodes and attending four competitions, Cota was disinvited from the Select Ensemble amid Season 4.
- Kelly Hyland is the mother of Brooke and Paige. Appearing in 75 episodes and attending 60 competitions, Hyland was disinvited from the ALDC in Season 4 because of a fight with Abby Lee Miller.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||July 13, 2011||October 12, 2011|
|2||30[a]||January 10, 2012||September 25, 2012|
|3||40[b]||January 1, 2013||September 17, 2013|
|4||34||January 1, 2014||October 14, 2014|
Awards and nominations
|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||Nominated|
|Choice TV: Reality Personality — Female||Abby Lee Miller||Nominated|
Controversy and criticism
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. The episode is not included on the DVD.
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. 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. The episode featuring the incident between Hyland and Miller aired on February 11, 2014.
In mid-2012, it was announced that Miller would host a sister program entitled "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition". 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". 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. Dance Mums will be produced by Shiver.
On June 24, 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.
- "Dance Moms Season 4 premiere date announced". channelguidemagblog.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- forrest gump. "Dance Moms Season 5: Confirmed! Headed For Hollywood!". The Hollywood Gossip.
- Juzwiak, Rich (July 21, 2011). "Dance Moms' Abby Lee Miller On Ranking Students and Dressing Them Sexily". TV Guide. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- "Dance Moms Cast". mylifetime.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003.
- "Faculty - Reign Dance Productions".
- "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003.
- "Programs aim to put kids on a lifetime fitness path". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "Dr. Holly Frazier - About Dr. Holly". Dr. Holly Frazier.
- "Kendall Vertes".
- "Dance Moms Pictures". myLifetime.com.
- "Eat, Sleep, Breathe...Dance!". Eat, Sleep, Breathe...Dance!.
- "Candy Apple's Dance Center".
- "Season 4 Gallery Pictures". myLifetime.com.
- "Dance Moms New Season 3 Dancers Pictures". mylifetime.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Dance Moms Episode Guide". myLifetime.com. Lifetime. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
- Anna Chan. "Lifetime pulls 'Topless' 'Dance Moms' episode". TODAY.
- "Burlesque 'Dance Moms' episode yanked". NY Daily News.
- "iTunes - TV Shows - Dance Moms, Season 2". iTunes.
- "Abby Lee Miller: ‘Brooke And Paige Are Leaving The ALDC Team,’ Confirms ‘Dance Moms’ Star [VIDEO]". International Business Times. 29 January 2014.
- ABC News. "'Dance Moms' Star Kelly Hyland Charged With Assault on Coach Abby Lee Miller - Video - ABC News". ABC News.
- "‘Dance Mom’ Kelly Hyland Faces Assault Charge For On-Camera Incident « CBS New York".
- "Kelly Hyland Talks Abby Lee Miller Fight, Leaving ALDC: ‘She Hurts My Kids Every Day,’ Says 'Dance Moms' Star". International Business Times. 30 January 2014.
- "Breaking News - Lifetime's "Dance Moms: Miami" to Turn Up the Heat on April 3". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition". myLifetime.com.
- "Dance Moms: Abby's Studio Rescue". myLifetime.com.
- 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.
- "Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014.
- "Lifetime’s ‘Raising Asia’ Child Star Docuseries to Premiere in July". Variety.
- Official website
- Abby Lee Dance Company website
- Dance Moms at the Internet Movie Database
- Dance Moms on TVGuide.com