“Dance Moms”: Where Have All The Children (and the wrinkles) Gone?

Ok, now I can barely feel my leg for how hard this show is pulling it. (And yet, I watch. And. Yet. I. Watch.)

For one, in the first five minutes of this episode, tastefully titled “Dying To Dance,”  Abby Lee referred to her oddly-assembled little group of dancers as “the entire cast.” For two, she’s bumping 8-year-old Maddie into the age 9-11 solo competition category and no one says a thing. Except Christi. Who, if she was really that tweaked, would have tipped off the judges and put a fine, fast end to Chloe’s competition. Unless I’m not understanding this dance competition thing. Which I’m probably not.

For three, Abby says of the new group number — purportedly to the children, though the mothers are in the room, as well — “You have to be great actresses to pull this off … and they’ll be dressed like angels.” They? Wait. So who’s acting, again?

And for most of all,  she has now choreographed a cheery little routine called “Where Have All The Children Gone?,” about “the kids on the milk carton,” plus also kids who are bullied to the point of suicide.

“To be honest, I don’t really know the meaning of  ‘Where Have All The Children Gone?’” says 9-year-old Chloe.

“You’re not interpreting the story correctly. … You’re just doing the steps,” says Abby to her and the other girls as they flail about, trying to master the creep-a-doodle choreography and ignore the music (wha’, we have music more than 34 seconds before they go on stage?) that would not be out of place in a slasher flick. And is likely making Vivi-Anne and MacKenzie have night terrors, even though the sum total of their roles is for Mac to push Viv in a swing.

All of the mothers duly react like they’ve smelled something bad, then troop upstairs to The Loft of Observation to briefly discuss the horror of the routine and then take up some real issues — Kelly’s looming 40th birthday and wrinkles. More specifically, Cathy’s opinion that everyone (except herself) needs Botox. Because Cathy clearly proved her good judgement and concern last week with the Mom Dance, so allowing her to talk you into having needles jabbed into your face is a fine idea.

Oh, of course they do. Except for Melissa and the not-surprisingly-absent Holly. “A couple little pricks and off we go,” crows the victor after her two main frenemies are injected with toxins. <choke>

Then we see a festive little birthday celebration at Kelly’s massive house, during which Melissa presents the birthday girl with animal-print handcuffs and a candy-necklace-candy bikini. Wheeeeeeee!

Throughout all of this — and, I am fairly certain, in semi-explanation of the title of the ep — Christi is dealing with the  critical illness of her grandmother, whom, she says, all but raised her.  This affords the hour a couple of tear-stained moments of seriousness, a reasonably charming Christi-Chloe road trip to the military base on which Christi grew up, and Kelly advising her weeping pal that she has to tend to her own priorities.

Christi goes on the dance trip. Duh.

And thus, we are at “Star Power” in Providence, R.I., ready to find out where all the children have gone. While Cathy and Kelly battle over costumes, Holly and Christi are still talking about how inappropriate the routine is, even as their daughters don their “angel” outfits and get ready to go right out there and pretend they’re being choked, beaten and stabbed, then disappear one by one from the stage.

This time around, Abby Lee’s risk pays off and the routine is the highest scoring of the competition. So apparently dance judges do not like little girls dressed and dancing like call girls, but murdered children is winner! Got it.

Also, the newly-nined Maddie beat Chloe by — gasp — ONE HALF A POINT in the solo competition! But you knew that was going to happen, so snzzzzzz.

And best of all, Grandma lives!!!

Coming up next week: Holly wants to know the long-suffering Nia will be dancing in an animal-print disco costume and afro wig. (Hint: because you let her, Hol. Because you let her.) And Minister Dawn returns.

Watch full episodes of Dance Moms online at lifetimetv.com.


  1. Yeah the age thing can be confusing. A dancer can move up an age category (as Maddie moved from 8 and under to 9 and 11) but cannot move down, as Cathy tried to do with her dancer. You can compete against older kids, but not younger ones than you. That’s pretty standard with most dance competitions.

  2. My favorite dance is Where Have All The Children gone some people may think its creepy and sad and it is but thats why i love it so much i have never seen another dance like it.

  3. well i am thrilled that Chloe was chosen for the lead role in the music video, for once it wasn’t Maddie,i think Maddie has gotten a little to big for her britches, i think abbey is kind of mean to Chloe, she needs to lighten up on the kid and give her some praise, i think Chloe is a little sweetheart !

  4. I watched “Dance Moms” on a lark &, like everyone else, was so sucked in (with shock, awe, & horror), that I could not walk away from the xt. several episodes & have watched numerous more, to boot. My synopsis is as follows: If you were a parent, contemplating enrolling your daughter in a dance class, & you watched this show, it would definitely give you pause to re-think your program. There is so much wrong with this entire sick, toxic scenario, I scarcely know where to begin. Firstly, while Abby Lee Miller might be a reknowned dance instructor, I take issue with her “pyramid” system, wherein the girls are evidently positioned weekly on a public posterboard, supposedly according to their overall performance. What part of this negative public humiliation spells “team”? Lets face it, this is an extra curricular activity for these girls – 99% of them will never go on to dance as a career, so I question this methodology of motivating the girls. Surely there is some more “humane” way of assessing their progress. Next, I question the obvious & ongoing preferential treatment given Maddie, who is has evidently been judged Ms. Miller’s best performer. Even if Maddie is more motivated, that is no excuse for preferential treatment – they are all paying customers & the emphasis should again be on the girls having fun & enjoying what they are doing as a team. No child should be continually singled out for either preferential, nor any lesser treatment -they should all be treated equally. Next, the episode where Holly could not make a scheduled practice(?) because she was receiving a degree – & yet was criticized – I almost fell off the sofa! How sick are these people that they can’t see that the I’m sure hard earned Master’s or whatever the degree was she was receiving was obviously far more important than anything whatsoever involving this dance class! Talk about people being so mired in their own nonsense that they have lost all perspective! They all should have been at Holly’s graduation instead of practicing for the dance recital! They you have Maddie’s mother going behind Abby Miller’s & the other parents back to meet with the “Hollywood Rep.” – OMG! – talk about no scruples or morals! Whereas I recognize this opportunity fell outside of the auspices of Miller’s studio, did she not realize that she was plugged into it thru Miller’s studio & ea. child from said studio (should) have been given the same (group) opportunity to compete for the video, just as Abby set it up – i.e., one group tryout – no separate tryout for any given dancer. Then you have the other Dance Instructor bringing her daughter to Miller’s studio & stealing Chloe’s music (which caused this child trauma when she heard the music & thought she was late getting to stage). I have never seen such deplorable, back-stabbing behavior! Miller gives preferential treatment to Maddie obviously because Maddie represents good publicity for her studio because she is the “most likely to succeed” in dance, however, in the process, she has lost all concept of the fact that these are children, most of which again will never dance as a career & SHOULD just be there to learn to dance, have fun, make friends, & learn teamwork. Instead, this extra curricular activity has been turned into a life dominating obsession that no doubt precludes these children from excelling in school, (obviously there is no time for schoolwork studies), & even deprives them of the normal amt. of sleep a child requires. It also dominates the mothers time (their homes must be a mess) – I have no idea how any of them work a job, or spend any time with any of their other children. Next, Miller telling Maddie’s father not to come into the dressing area was unbelievable -she’s actually telling him he’s stressing Maddie. Does Miller not get the parameters of her instructor position? She can’t interfere in an interpersonal relationship between a parent & a child client. Inasmuch as the mothers are welcome backstage, why wouldn’t a father be (notwithstanding obvious privacy requirements girls have for changing clothes). Ms. Miller was way out of bounds on that one – it’s beyond her authority to police which adult accompanies any of these child clients to studio or any performance – does she not even know the legalities involving the business she is in? Thru this & a whole lot more of what amts. most of the time to absolute madness, the only ones in this T.V. series that do shine are the children! No matter how unfairly or cruely they are treated -they continue, like little troopers, to show up, try to do their best, & even support one another! But when Chloe, for ex., said she didn’t want to dance anymore, that should be all the mother needs to pull her out – this entire stress fest of an “extra curricular” cesspool should, at the very least, be optional on the part of the child – they should be allowed to call it quits whenever or whyever they want – just watching it on T.V. is enough to send me to the E.R. – I feel sorry for any child that has to be subjected to all the negativity caused by adults involved in this who obviously have no sane perspective of what it actually is or actually should be.

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.