Dance Moms Season 3 episode 13 recap: Rak and Roll!

Lori Acken

I would like to begin today’s Dance Moms recap by saying this: I have an officially licensed Dance Moms Abby Lee Miller “Bobblehips Figure” and you don’t. OK, maybe you do, since they are for sale right here for a mere $24.95. But the point is, I have one and it’s my new prized possession — at least for today — so there. Which puts me in a very good mood.

Here she is making friends with Finger Zombie, who is my other prized possession.

You’d think that after last week’s run of winning performances and victories over Cathy (and former Abby’s Ultimate cast member of the week, Anthony Burrell) Abby would be in a pretty decent mood, too. And she is. Briefly.

Real briefly.

She calls the latter victory priceless, tells everyone we’re going to Dance Expressions in Grand Rapids — which I can’t find online — and then goes right into the pyramid. Now one would also think that Mackenzie not dancing a single step might default her right to the bottom of the bottom. But one would be wrong. It seems that messing up a few seconds of the dance you did do is a much bigger crime, even though said dance still took first place. And talking to Rosa Parks is the worst crime of all. Though Nia and Kelly try to defend her, Brooke is exile in danceville and will be this week’s benched dancer. She will, however, be expected to attend class, even though she’s not going on the field trip.

(Also, what’s the frequency, Jill’s skirt, which shall henceforth be known as Kenneth?)

Next is Big Mac. She has finally learned her lesson about her foot.

Then Nia. Wait, what? Rosa Parks Nia? The one who led last week’s group dance to victory over Cathy? Abby says she was outstanding and the perfect choice for the role and Rosa Parks would have been proud … aaaand that’s why she’s third from last on the pyramid? Holly is mystified, too.

Then comes Kendall. She came in second overall in the junior solo division and even Abby seems mystified about why that lands her in the bottom row. “That’s where you are,” she explains, helpfully. Well, all right.

Row two is made up of Chloe and Paige, for their winning duet. Abby says even so, it wasn’t Chloe’s best performance.

Top of the top is Maddie. Abby says she gave people the chills when she danced, which is what all of them should be doing.

Solos this week go to Kendall, who is ordered to immediately begin jogging in place to prove her stamina, and Chloe, who is so happy to have a solo again that she just starts jogging for the hell of it. Maddie will be rewarded for her top-spot finish by having to do a duet with her baby sister. Here’s how they feel about that.

Oh. Well this explains it. The name of the duet is “Run From Mother.” If that was supposed to be a dig at Melissa, though, she didn’t take it too hard. She laughs and laughs.

P.S. Apparently Mackie wants to run from Maddie, too.

The name of the group dance is Gold Digger — or maybe Gold Diggah, considering how Abby says it. Abby gives the girls the gist of what one of those is and then tells the rest of us that it features Fosse-type moves. On the subject of gold diggers, up in the Mom Loft (which is again infiltrated by other people) Melissa reveals that she did indeed get married to Greg Gisoni. On a plain old Monday night. Apparently Kelly was the only one who knew about this, since Melissa says Paige served as her Best Girl. Jill is amused. Christi is stunned. Kelly is proud of herself for keeping Mel’s secret.

Downstairs, we learned that Abby has a special treat for the girls in the form of her dear longtime friend, a real live Broadway dancer named Rachelle Rak who looks a lot like Carly Simon. Rachelle sometimes goes by the nickname Sas and is currently touring with a stage production of Flashdance. Even so, Abby isn’t sure she can choreograph up to her exacting standards. Especially when Sas starts teaching the girls to turn their toes and knees in.

Upstairs, the moms tweak Abby for pulling a Cathy and bringing in a guest choreographer to do her work. Downstairs, Sas tells Paige she wants her to stand out in the dance, so this certainly is not anything resembling Abby’s work. Then she sort of goes a little off the rails in the name of showing an imaginary choreographer what she has.

First we do a front walkover that, at first, I think ends badly, but is apparently part of the sequence.





YES! Now bite the apple. Whatever that means.

I’m not sure if I’m scared or dazzled. Either way, I’m pretty sure the girls are with me. Christi admires the “hair-o-graphy” involved. Abby says if Hairographer doesn’t get to teaching, she’s going to run out of time to finish the dance.

Next day, everyone is late and confrontational, door-slamming Kelly most of all. Maybe Kendall is late because Jill had to behead a tiger to make her shirt.

Abby wants to know how the girls liked working with Rachelle. Maddie says it was different, but fun to learn new things. Upstairs, the moms are focused on another component of Rachelle’s visit — how she looked in a leotard even though she’s close to their age. Kelly says she knows of a little something that might help the mothers achieve a more Rak-like appearance: toxin–flushing body wraps. Oh please do them, mothers. Please do. Lori wants a field trip to Kelly’s house.

Christi says she isn’t exactly certain where she would apply said wrap, unless they come in full-body incarnations. “I don’t have a problem area,” says she. “I am a problem.” Someone really should put that on a T-shirt.

Downstairs, Abby is messing with the Gold Diggah choreography, throwing Chloe off through no fault of her own. Also, Abby wants to kick Mack out of the routine altogether. The mothers find this ridiculous. Chloe cries with frustration. Christi tells her to hold her head high and not let Abby get to her.

Maddie and Mack run their duet and then Chloe’s back for solo practice. It’s called Black Heart and is a rock concert in a 90-second dance. It also features an aerial immediately after Chloe has twirled about a dozen times. Understandably she wobbles it, but Abby is unsympathetic. You do it, Abby. We can wait.

HURRAY! Wrap time at the Hylands! Everyone has a wine glass in hand, so I guess first we are going to flush a few toxins in before we flush a few toxins out. Kelly’s friend Diane is the lucky gal who gets to apply the 12 botanicals on a cloth to various parts of the ladies. and then wrap them in cellophane

Christi chooses her arm.

Melissa shows us her bra.

Jilly goes for the jelly belly, even though she insists these things never work.

Kelly and an arm-wrapped Christi head for the kitchen so Christi can wrap Kelly’s …

Holly lets this happen.

Melissa says she’s used to Kelly pulling down her pants. Then she gets her belly wrapped, too. Then she tells everyone she and the brand-new hub are planning to unwrap each other tonight, which makes Holly grab for her wine glass.

Back at the studio, Mackie gets officially kicked out the group dance. The moms say Sas isn’t even going to recognize her dance by the time Abby gets done with it. Then Melissa and Kelly get into a little scrape about who is better qualified to be part of the competition team, Mackenzie or Brooke. Because only one can do a triple turn, thank you very much.

When we get to the competition, Abby immediately orders Kendall to do a little something called “sitting the wall.” This basically entails pressing your back to the wall and sitting down like there’s a seat there, except there isn’t. It looks like pretty good exercise, but Jill acts as though it’s the dance equivalent of the rack. She wants to know why Abby is trying to exhaust Kendall before she does her energetic, roaring twenties solo. Abby says Kendall looks exhausted in the first place.

In the corner, Christi gives Chloe a little lesson in rocker chick ’tude, complete with wagging tongue and devil-horn hands. Speaking of demons, what the hell is THAT yellow-lipped thing over Jill’s shoulder?

Time for Kendall’s solo, which is called Easy As 1-2-3, if you missed it the first time like I did. There’s a little more walking around in the choreo than I was expecting, but she’s cute as a button in her fuchsia flapper costume and she dances well.

Backstage, the Ziegler sisters tell each other “I love you” and clasp hands as they prepare to Run From Mother. Or as I like to call it, the Toddler At The Grocery Store dance. Maddie tackles most of the dancing and Mackie tackles most of the tumbling, and the lyrics make no sense to me, but the dance is sweet and the girls look lovely in turquoise.

Melissa says if Maddie had done it as a solo, it would be a winner for sure. She just hopes that the judges take into account the different skill levels and zero in on how well the sisters dance together.

Chloe’s costume brings back happy memories of my leggings-and-spiral-permed ’80s teen years, and her dance is mostly shot from behind, which lends rock-and-roll edge to the routine.

And as she flounces off the stage, she raises one hand in a devil-horned salute, which sends Abby into paroxysms. Jesus, Abby, it wasn’t her middle finger. She didn’t bite the head off of a bat. Abby’s pretty sure Chloe’s no-good mother taught her to be so rude.

Then Rachelle appears, so Abby decides to break it to her that she’s, er, improved on the Gold Diggah choreography. Says it’s her name that’s at stake here, therefore she’s entitled. Rachelle may know Broadway but when it comes to Dance Expressions in Grand Rapids, you don’t know diddly, Sas. Rachelle tells her she’s being ridiculous about Mackenzie ruining the number. Abby says it’s easier to focus on 5 or 7 dancers. Overruled by Sas. Kelly loves it.

After her frenemy is safely out of the building, Abby starts sniping about her dropping the ball on seeing her dance through to the costuming and makeup. Jill decides to stir the pot a little further and point out that Abby doesn’t seem thrilled about the number and that maybe she should take control and retool it to her liking in the 34 seconds we have before the girls head for the stage. Abby looks appropriately nauseated.

The dance goes perfectly as far as I can tell, but Abby says that she stands by her decision that Mackie was an eyesore. We’ll find out because it’s awards time.

Kendall gets third in junior solos and Chloe gets first. Take that, Abby.

Mack and Maddie get first, too. So does Gold Diggah. Abby says she thrilled for Rachelle, even though Abby’s really responsible for the success of the dance because she’s trained the dancers since birth. Just like she’s trained Brooke, who went out right there last week and forgot… well, never mind. It only counts when it’s about winning.

Backstage, everyone celebrates another week of resounding victory and Chloe’s return to solo success. Then the mothers make the egregious error of giving some credit to Sas before asking Abby if she’s happy with how the day went. Abby is not happy. Abby is appalled. The hell with what happened on stage — she could see Kendall warming up backstage and running the risk of, like, kicking someone. Jill points out that everyone else was running theirs backstage, too. Doesn’t matter. Abby could only see Kendall from where she was sitting.

Then she goes after Chloe for giving everyone “the fingers.” It’s only profane if it’s The Finger, Abby. One. One specific digit. Christi points out that she was only embracing her character, which is what Abby wants them to do. No. Abby wants them to do the exit they’ve rehearsed, not some Ozzy-loving, multi-fingered kiss-off, rock and roll solo or otherwise. And besides, since Chloe wasn’t born in the ’80s, she shouldn’t know such foul, uh, fingered gestures anyway. Because in Abby’s world, everyone stopped doing that the minute it turned 1990. Christi said Chloe didn’t know the gesture and waltzes right into the faux-fault-finding trap that Abby set for her. This leaves Christi speechless. And likely sets up Chloe for a second- or third-row place in next week’s pyramid, even with two first-place finishes to show for herself.

Then Abby tries to leave on a high note, telling the girls that maybe someday they too can be a Broadway dancer who gets to come back and be insulted by a jealous dance teacher from Pittsburgh.

Next week on Dance Moms … aw geez. Oh no. It’s Asia from Abby’s Ultimate. And her schoolyard bully mother FauxLo. Who may be the only person or thing the producers could scare up to make Abby going to the taxidermist with the remains of Broadway Baby seem sane.

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Did Rachelle Rak your world? Were you pleased to get a look at Jill’s belly and Melissa’s bra? Should Mack have been left out of the dance … or Brooke left in? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Dance Moms premiere Tuesday nights at 9/8CT on Lifetime.



  1. Watching Abby freak out I thought that Chloe might have given “the shocker” which is not much better than than “the finger”. However looking at the still it appears Chloe almost gave the shorthand sign for “I love you” in ASL, which is NOT even close to “the shocker”.

  2. I don’t know about Rachelle, she reminds me of the choreographer in that movie about cheer leading and his, I think, ‘jazz fingers’!! And that ‘big’ dance move she did in the beginning was not good! She landed like a sack of potatoes thrown on the back of a truck, you could hear how hard she hit the floor!!
    I just think Abby was in a snit because she invited this “special” guest and when the girls and moms like her, there’s obviously jealousy! Abby’s top dog at this kennel!!!

    • That “sack of potatoes” move was straight out of the Flashdance movie, it was a signature move that the lead character did. I agree with you though about how Abby got her nose out of joint when someone else dared to critique her work and bond with her girls.

  3. I look more forward to your recaps than I do the show 🙂 Another slam dunk! But somebody please tell me that woman isn’t really taking that poor dog to be stuffed? OMG no.

    Chloe did a fabulous job. Abbe was just mad that she didn’t think of the “rock fingers” herself. And if Abbe finds them so offensive, why doesn’t she inform Melissa, who does them every time Maddie dances? It was really cute and fit the dance. I loved seeing Chloe run straight into her moms arms! Poor Kendall, she did all she could with crappy coreography. But what is up with Jill and those horredious clothes? A pimp hat, a sonny bono dead animal shirt/jacket, and now a lion? Abbe took Holly shopping. Jill is the one in need of fashion help. 🙂

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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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.