Dance Moms

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Dance Moms
Dance Moms logo.png
Genre Reality
Starring Abby Lee Miller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 145 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Collins Avenue Entertainment
Original channel Lifetime
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13) – Present
Related shows
External links

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 and Los Angeles, California at the Abby Lee Dance Company and follows the early careers of children in dance and show business under the tutelage of Abby Lee Miller, as well as the participation of the dancers' mothers. Filming for season 5 began on October 11, 2014, and premiered on January 6, 2015.[1]


Set in Pittsburgh, Dance Moms follows the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition Team of young girls aged 11–14 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 reputation of the team. All performances are choreographed by Miller and her staff, with the exception of a few guest choreographers. Later in the program, rival dance teams are introduced that spur the team's competitiveness. In season 5, Miller brings the team to Los Angeles to help build her repertoire.

Every week on the show, Miller uses a pyramid to present who she feels performed the best in her eyes based on behavior, previous performance and who needs to improve. Miller had never used a pyramid in her studio prior to Dance Moms, and when once asked about the it, Miller stated, "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 the moms' behavior continues to be a factor in the girls' placement on the pyramid.


Abby Lee Dance Company[edit]

Dance Moms at the Opening of Abby Lee Miller's Dance Company. From left: Holly Hatcher-Frazier, Kira Gerard, Melissa Gisoni, Jill Vertes and Jessalyn Siwa.
  • 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.[3][4][5]
  • 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.[6]
  • Melissa Gisoni is the mother of Maddie, a lyrical/tap dancer, and Mackenzie, an acro/jazz dancer.[3] Before dancing with the Junior Elite Competition Team, Gisoni's daughters studied dance under Miller's tutelage.
  • Holly Frazier is the mother of Nia,[3] a contemporary and acro/jazz dancer. Before dancing with the Junior Elite Competition Team, Frazier's daughter studied dance under Miller's tutelage through Reign Dance Productions.

Rival Studios[edit]

  • Candy Apples Dance Center (Canton, Ohio) Owned and operated by Cathy Nesbitt-Stein,[3] the mother of Vivi-Anne, who danced with the ALDC in season 1.[13][14]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13) October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12)
2 30[a] January 10, 2012 (2012-01-10) September 25, 2012 (2012-09-25)
3 40[b] January 1, 2013 (2013-01-01) September 17, 2013 (2013-09-17)
4 34[29] January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01) October 14, 2014 (2014-10-14)
5 TBA January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06) 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 Nominated
Choice TV: Reality Personality — Female Abby Lee Miller Nominated
Dancers' Choice Awards Favorite Dancer Under 17 Maddie Ziegler Won[30]
2015 2015 Kids' Choice Awards Nickelodeon: Favorite Reality Show Dance Moms Won
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Pending
Choice Dancer Maddie Ziegler 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 make them appear 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.[31][32] The episode is not included on the DVD.[33]

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.[34][35] 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.[36] The episode featuring the incident between Hyland and Miller aired on February 11, 2014.[37]


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,[38] 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".[39] 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".[40][41] 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 premiered on 20 October 2014. Jennifer Ellison hosts the series, set at her Liverpool dance school, Fame Academy.[42] Dance Mums is produced by Shiver Productions.

In January 2015, it was announced that Abby Lee Miller had committed to filming the hit show through Season 8. Two "moms" have made the same commitment but it is unclear which two moms have signed the extended contracts.

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 Asia reach dreams of fame in showbiz.[43]



  1. ^ forrest gump. "Dance Moms Season 5: Confirmed! Headed For Hollywood!". The Hollywood Gossip. 
  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 "Dance Moms Cast". Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003. 
  5. ^ "Faculty - Reign Dance Productions". 
  6. ^ "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003. 
  7. ^ "Kendall Vertes". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "'Dance Moms' Season 5, Episode 9 Spoilers: Abby Lee Miller Threatens Kalani Hilliker's Spot On ALDC Team". International Business Times. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Decisions Decisions". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Kira and Kalani". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "JoJo with a Bow Bow". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Jessalynn and JoJo". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Competition Begins". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "From Ballerinas to Showgirls". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "New Season 3 Dancers Pictures". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Beginning of the End". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Revenge of the Replacements". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "An Apple A Day Keeps Abby Away". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Out With the Old, in With the New". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Website design Visual Impressions Graphic Design. JC's Broadway Dance Academy 2007 All rights reserved. "Welcome to Broadway Dance Academy". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Junior Select Ensemble Pictures". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Presenting My New Team". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Abby Got Served". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Murrieta Dance Project - Murrieta CA - 951.698.3339". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "Blame It On The New Girl". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "Hello Hollywood, Goodbye Abby". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  29. ^ "Dance Moms Episode Guide". Lifetime. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ Anna Chan. "Lifetime pulls 'Topless' 'Dance Moms' episode". TODAY. 
  32. ^ "Burlesque 'Dance Moms' episode yanked". NY Daily News. 
  33. ^ "iTunes - TV Shows - Dance Moms, Season 2". iTunes. 
  34. ^ "Abby Lee Miller: ‘Brooke And Paige Are Leaving The ALDC Team,’ Confirms ‘Dance Moms’ Star [VIDEO]". International Business Times. 29 January 2014. 
  35. ^ ABC News. "'Dance Moms' Star Kelly Hyland Charged With Assault on Coach Abby Lee Miller - Video - ABC News". ABC News. 
  36. ^ "‘Dance Mom’ Kelly Hyland Faces Assault Charge For On-Camera Incident « CBS New York". 
  37. ^ "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. 
  38. ^ "Breaking News - Lifetime's "Dance Moms: Miami" to Turn Up the Heat on April 3". Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition". 
  40. ^ "Dance Moms: Abby's Studio Rescue". 
  41. ^ 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. 
  42. ^ "Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Lifetime’s ‘Raising Asia’ Child Star Docuseries to Premiere in July". Variety. 

External links[edit]