“Dance Moms” Reunion Show Part 1 recap: Here’s What We’ve Learned Thus Far

Lori Acken

dance moms recap Channel Guide reunion cast

Even though Hubby Rik and I agreed that, as serious students of the Dance Momian arts since Season 1 Episode 1, we didn’t especially learn as much as we were hoping, we still learned plenty from Part 1 of last night’s Dance Moms reunion show. Here are the highlights.

1) How Badass is Abby? This Badass! — No word on whether the necklace/bracelet/ring ensemble was crafted from the skulls of lippy dance moms of yore, but my cash is on it.

2) Having A TV Show = The Best Makeover Program Ever — Also, blonder is better.






3) We Are Fam-Uh-Ly (Uh, Sort Of)

Melissa goes to Kelly’s in her jammies for chit-chat and java. Christi and Kelly fight like sisters, but they do it with love. Christi and Melissa fight like rivals, but Christi knows that she could just caaaalllll out Melissa’s name and she knows wherever she am, she’ll come ruuuuunin’. Abby’s an only child, so she doesn’t get the idea of family at all, even though Holly reminds her that, like it or not, she really is the matriarch of this dysfunctional clan.

Abby promptly says she would like a new one.

4) Abby Really Does Not Understand Raising Children

Take your pick on this one:

Calling Chloe Christi’s ticket out when Christi says she spends so much time at the studio to spend so much time with Chloe before she is grown and gone.

Saying that if Kelly were a better mother, she would push her sobbing, injured children harder, and failing to comprehend that making a run for chair stoppers at 10pm on a school night is not doable in a homework household.

Telling Holly that because she works — and sets a great example for her daughter by doing so — Abby cares more about Nia’s success than Holly does.

Mistaking Melissa supporting Maddie not wanting to display her crowns in front of the other girls as weakness and lack of pride.

       4a) Abby’s Dad Took Her To The “Mother/Daughter Talk About Getting Your Period” Because Her Mom Was Working

And in one howled sentence we have probably discovered why Abby has such trouble with working mothers. And non-working mothers.

5) Holly Actually Got Her Doctorate In Dance Moms Diplomacy

“What I really like about Abby is she can be very direct in certain aspects of students’ dancing that she finds difficult. I think the message is on target; I just think her delivery is sometimes off-base.” — On Abby’s method of speaking to the children.

“I think we all share that title at moments.” — On which Dance Mom is most extreme. (“You need to run for politics,” bellows Abby in response. I’d not object.)

“Silly … I just tell people she’s special.” — Asked to describe Cathy Nesbitt-Stein in one word, and then asked to expound.

6) Melissa Gisoni Finally Admitted That She Is Technically Still Melissa Ziegler (And Is Unapologetic For It)

So whenever this reunion was filmed, Greg Gisoni still had a not-Melissa Mrs. Gisoni. So for a really long time, Melissa was engaged to a married man — contrary to what she told the other mothers with a great deal of indignance, on more than one occasion. So yeah, it  would have been in poor taste to celebrate her engagement to someone else’s husband on national TV. And the fact that she cribbed his name, pre-wedding. Which she probably could have just said instead of sending everyone on both sides of the camera into a tizzy.

Also, Greg Gisoni probably won’t allow Dance Moms cameras at the wedding, when it does happen. Or Dance Moms.

7) The Louder Abby Yells, The More I Think She’s Fibbing — My children probably could have warned her about this one.

8) Kelly Attributes Her Good Posture To Abby — Also her fear of fat ankles and ankle-strap shoes. You win some, you lose some.

      8a) Abby Thought Kelly Was Beautiful And Talented — Well, 30 years ago. You know, when she actually had some potential.

9) The Pyramid Actually Has A Purpose (It’s Not What You Think) 

Well, maybe it’s what you think, but it’s not what Abby thinks. Despite the fact that she has in the past claimed that the producers made her do the pyramid, tonight she’s asserting that every dance instructor in the country has one — at least in their heads — and that, despite the mothers’ protests, they are helpful for the children. Big lesson in how the world works — sometimes you’re top of the heap, sometimes you’re the bottom, sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

Holly sees it a different way. Says the professor:  “It holds Abby accountable for her thinking, so she can’t just say it’s in her head — or she can deny that she favors a child. You can see it right in front of you, all the photographs, and you can hold her accountable, whether you agree or disagree.”

That bit of intel makes Abby look like this:


10) LaQueefa/ifa Will Never Die/ Abby Really  Isn’t Clear On “Ethnic”

Asked yet again about the solo that Christi calls “The Afro heard ’round the world,” Holly — who used to perform with an African dance troupe and says she has no problem with dances that celebrate a culture instead of mock it — says, “I don’t need an afro wig to show me that I’m black. … [Nia’s] identity is bigger than an afro wig. [The dance] didn’t really celebrate any heritage.”

Asked to respond, Abby protests that Nia is ethnic, so she will only be successful if her dances are, too. “If I’m doing a Swedish dance, I’m going to use Chloe and Paige,” she says, by way of helpful explanation. So do a Swedish dance, Abby. If your logic holds, it’s probably the only way Chloe or Paige will be successful. Right? No? “Whether Holly liked it or not, whether Holly respects it or not, I don’t really care,” Abby huffs. “My job is to teach Nia that these are the parts she’s going to go after — if she’s going to do this  professionally, that’s what she’s going to do.”

So if Chloe wants to do this professionally, she needs to go after Polish dances — since I’m pretty sure that’s actually what Christi once upon a time said they are? Maddie and Big Mac call their grandma the Polish word for grandma, too. What’s Kendall? Irish? (Yes, I AM going to cling to this bit of jackassery like a dog with a prized hunk of roadkill. At least until I see Paige and Chloe in an award-winning Swedish/Polish duet. Or Abby knocks off the stereotyping in the name of ethnicity.)

11) Abby Actually Made Maddie Do That Unfortunate Crown Thing Because Maddie … Gasp! … Shares

Call it the dance-competition version of the “starving children in India” dealie that your mother used to get you to eat your brussels sprouts, only these children are sitting behind you onstage. And they’re starving for crowns. So you have to show pride and ownership of your crown instead of giving it away to children who have none at all, including your friends. Yeah … there’s just no way this is going to make sense. Here’s the Lori Clause of Crown Ownership: Three cheers for Maddie and being a good sharer.

12) Sometimes We Still Forget We’re Makin’ TV

All that fussin’ at Cathy for coming to the same competitions and setting up camp outside the dressing-room door? What would we show on camera if that didn’t happen, you sillies!

13) Christi Didn’t Choke Cathy, Cathy Doused Christi.

… unless there is more “exclusive never-before-seen footage” left for next week’s Part 2.  However, the girls did follow the Apples down the side walk yelling “ALDC.” So … I guess we split the difference on the post-nationals rumor patrol?

14) Man, I Miss Dance Moms Fashion Moments!

Caveman Couture. Disembodied Turtlenecks. Sigh … those were the days.


Next week, Kaya’s back … and somebody worked at Hooters!

Part 2 of the Dance Moms Reunion Show airs next Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 9/8CT on Lifetime.

Dance Moms Recap Channel Guide Images/video: Lifetime


  1. Holly needs to get over the Afro. I’m black, too, and I’m with Abbey on this one. Why is it offensive to see your daughter wearing an afro? It’s no more of a mockery than a white kid wearing a beehive wig. Both are retro hairstyles, and I didn’t hear her complain when Nia wore that lame sixties straight wig for that lame Sixties dance Abbey gave her to do before finals. I’m offended that Dr. holly is offended by an Afro wig! I’m pretty sure she wasn’t born with straight hair.

  2. I am so addicted to dance moms and really look forward to your blog. It’s so clever! Whatever will I do in the interim??? Can you please just make up fake episodes to blog about? 🙂

  3. Well, Miss Lori, Fantastic as always! I really think Abby takes herself way too seriously and believes that she is the make it or break it for these kids! The bad part is she has the parents believing it too!
    You were right about Maddie. That she shared her crown should be celebrated not condemned. I would vote for Holly in a heartbeat. Christi and Kelly are amazing moms! Paige and Chloe just sparkle and glow with life and energy and I hope that never goes away! And I’m sorry about the fashion moments but it was a kick to see the moms wearing Belldini that I had given to them on the show!
    I am excited to see what happens next week and can not wait for the show to return so we can catch up again. Dance Moms Twitter Friends are fantastic!
    Take Care!
    Christy Xandrick

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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.