Dance Moms recap Season 3 episode 28: A Matter of Nationals Security

Lori Acken

Another day, another holler, Dance Moms nation. And this week’s adventures begin with a trip to Abby’s house for Melissa, who apparently is so much like family that she can just waltz right in. Catching Abby like so:

Dance Moms recap abby in towel

Abby explains that mother Maryen’s nurses are coming today and that even though she looks just fine on the outside, she’s actually in a great deal of pain on the inside. This makes Melissa sniffly over the Miller women’s collective bravery. Abby says she isn’t sure if she will make it to the studio today or not, but Melissa — who never actually made it all the way to tears — protests that Maddie needs her, too, especially after last week’s fiasco.

“What Maddie needs and what Abby needs are two different things,” admonishes Abby. “My mother needs me more than Maddie does.” Melissa is sympathetic. No, she’s not.

“Yeah, but it’s two weeks to Nationals!” she whines. Abby says Maddie can hold her own, because as long as Kelly is in the studio, Abby likely won’t be. She can’t hack the stress. While Abby talks, Melissa flaps out her frustrations in spectacular Melissa fashion.

Next, we find out that when Abby’s dad was dying, they kept him on life-support long enough to get through a recital. Abby never spoke to him again. I have no idea what to say about any of this except, “YA WHAT NOW?!” Be careful, Maryen Lorrain. Get something in writing. Nationals are coming up and I’m sure Abby wants to be there.

Meantime, Gia is still holding down the fort at the ALDC. Chloe gets a solo. Maddie doesn’t. Asia and Kenzie get a duet. The group dance will be dark and contemporary, but Gia doesn’t know who’s all in it just yet. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is pyramid, Gia-style. I vote we keep her. So does everyone else.

T’was a dark and stormy night in Ohio. Or possibly day. Hard to tell.

Dance Moms recap stormy ohio

Inside the Candy Apples studio, we discover that Kaya/Black Patsy has abandoned her Holly Wannabe bob in favor of a ’fro, and also Zack is back after several weeks off for professional commitments.

Cathy says that Zack could be the key to beating Abby hereto forth. Not Anthony, who you know and I know has likely returned to Abby’s Ultimate. But Cathy pretends she doesn’t know that. He was a troublemaker and a losing one at that, and she is perfectly fine without him, so there.

Next Cathy does the Fancy Digital Pyramid … er, Tree … er, Circle on Tree … of Irrelevance. Zack and Mari are on the bottom. Dance Moms Jackie Collins, whose real name I forget right now, says Mari’s placement is an insult to the entire dance community. I’m sure it is. Middle is Nicaya and Hadley. No word on how the dance community feels about that, but Kaya and Yvette are insulted.

Lucas takes the top spot. Finally someone is happy.

Cathy says that makes him the leader. He’s the Guy. Suck it up, Mari. He is.

Both studios are headed to Charleston, WVa., for a Masters of Dance Arts competition. The Apples group dance will be called Rise of The Phoenix, and Cathy expects them to rise triumphantly to the occasion. She also happens to know “first-handedly” that Chloe is doing a solo because she saw it on the social media. Which would actually make it second-handedly. Also, Gina G (I remember now), you are much too grown to pull a Sacagawea with your ’do.

No braids past age 30. Ever. You promise right now.

Because Cathy needs a soloist who can beat Chloe (and Lucas is the wrong age group), Zack gets the job. He says Cathy’s choreography is his ticket to victory. Oh, child.

Back at the ALDC, the mothers want to know how exactly Abby is going to choose Nationals soloists if she’s not here to assess the talent. They ask Melissa if Abby mentioned anything about it when Melissa was at her house.


Dance Moms Season 3 Episode 28 Melissa duh

That was all the way back to this morning …

Which was a very long time ago …


Nationals. Remind me again what this “Nationals” deal is? Oh yeah. The things Abby said Maddie is definitely going to about an hour or so ago, Melissa. Let’s have a memory.

“She said Maddie is proooobably going,” fudges the worst liar ever.

Allow Christi’s face to speak for the group.

Dance Moms Season 3 Episode 28 doubtful Christi

Allow Melissa’s face to speak for Melissa.

When we come back from commercial, it’s times for drinksies with the mommies at the Wooden Nickel. And everyone’s invited this time! Oh. We’re actually calling it “lunch.”

Kelly says she feels bad for the other moms and kids that Abby isn’t showing up because of her. Christi doubts that’s the real reason — or at least not the reason in its entirety.

Next day, Abby’s missing again. Everyone has mixed emotions about it, but Gia’s here to steer the ship. Christi says they could try leaving a trail of hamburgers from Abby’s house to the studio to see if that helps lure her back. Maybe throw in a donut here and there, suggests Kelly. Maybe a chicken nugget or two for variety, adds Jill. Melissa doesn’t find this funny at all. Lori gets very hungry.

Back in Ohio, even though Cathy said she could handle the choreography all by herself, Yvette is running the group number with drill-sergeant authority. Cathy says it’s still her who makes the final decisions. Also, there’s what looks like a giant rope spider web on the studio wall. When the hell was this actually filmed? Halloween?

Back at the ALDC, the Pitt Crew discovers first- or second-handedly that Cathy and the Apples will be at the Charleston competition, too. Time to relive Cathy smacking Abby with a purse. And also Abby. For she’s back and hairbandier than ever.

She’s also openly seething that the Hylands are here, too, and informs the clearly rattled girls that they will be doing solos every week for as long as they remain there, with exactly the same amount of time as Maddie to prepare them. What about exactly the same amount of attention? Do they get that, too?

The ALDC group dance will be called Black and Blue, and features Maddie letting the audience know how much she has been made fun of. Midway through practice, Abby calls for the moms to come down from on high and they use the opportunity to quiz her about her whereabouts of late. Off tending to my ill mother, she informs them. Whoops. Nope. “I was at Star Power, judging,” she sniffs. I’m sure I could probably have found that out first-handedly if I were better at social media, but anyway, there it is. But that was 10 whole days ago, protests Jill. What about the other days? The nerve, Abby says.

Kristie pipes up that it’s none of their business where Abby was. Then why is it Abby’s business where she is when she’s not here, Kelly wants to know. Oh there ya go, Kel. That will make life easier for your girls.

“Why are you here?” Abby hisses. An argument ensues about who broke the contract more, and Kelly says the other mothers agree with her. Melissa says she doesn’t agree with Kelly at all. Kristie says she’s staying out of it. That makes Christi laugh. Abby calls her on it. A two-blur discussion ensues.

Abby says she’s going to begin rehearsing the completely non-offensive Kenzie and Asia and in the meantime, the mothers can figure out if Kelly and her daughters are really, truly an asset to the team — because she wishes she had a magic wand to make Paige and Brooke 5’8″ and brilliant, but she doesn’t. Kelly says she wishes she had the same for Abby. Abby tells her to make it happen. While you’re at it, Kel, I’ll take a tap of that thing, too.

In Ohio, Zack is running his solo, The Rescue. He says he feels like he’s dancing better than ever, especially since that bully Anthony has been replaced by Yvette. And we even get an Yvettism! “Dance for the cause, not for the applause,” the unofficial assistant tells the boy. That’s the Yvette I know and love. Now tell him he has to risk it to get the biscuit!

Kenzie and Asia’s duet is called We Hit Harder. Abby says it’s a competition within a competition. Not only are the girls competing together against the other duets, but they’re also competing against each other to see who shines brightest in theirs. Upstairs, it’s Kristie versus everybody else. She tells Kelly and Christi that they were out of line, calling Abby out in her own studio. Kelly crabs that once again she’s the villain when she’s just trying to make life easier for all of the girls, not just her own.

Downstairs, Abby says she’s only going to enter one child in the mini division at Nationals and, at this point, it’s looking like Asia. She tells Kenzie that if she doesn’t step it up, there’s always going to be people like Asia who put her in a corner. Where’s Johnny Castle when you need him, baby?

In West Virginia, there’s a large and vocal cheering sectioning for the Apples, anchored by this guy I shall call No Abby/Partially Eaten Ritz Cracker Guy.

Wait a minute. Is that you, Mitchell A. Finke, you little hanger-on, you? Yes. Yes, it is.

All this cheering for Cathy confuses Melissa. “They cheer for us, not for Cathy,” she pouts. Kristie prefers a more direct approach, grabbing Asia’s hand and steamrolling through the crowd, almost running Cathy down in the process. But she did say multiple “‘scuse me’s,” so there’s that. Cathy says multiple “don’t touch me’s” and a scuffle almost ensues, but Mitchell A. Finke steps in to save the day.

Inside the building, the smack talk continues, but Abby is not there to witness any of it. Gia dials her number to find out where she is.

“Are you coming?” Gia asks.
“No. I gotta go,” says Abby. Click.
Abby Miller, International Woman of Mystery.

Speaking of mysteries, allow Cathy to clear one up. One perpetuated by our Melissa back in Dance Moms Chatter Part 2. Ahem.

So there.

Jill jumps to Melissa’s defense, and Melissa says she’s going to take off her bra and show Cathy how perky her boobs still are. Between the yelling and the idea of Melissa showing her her boobs, a chastened Cathy settles back into her seat, pronto.

Asia and Kenzie go first. Make faces, Kenzie! Lots of them. I don’t care what kind. Whatever face Asia is making, make it back at her. Faces!

Dance Moms we hit harder

The choreography ends with Kenzie on the ground, then sulking offstage while Asia struts away, puffed up like a prize peacock. Melissa hugs it out with Kristie, anyway. Kristie says Asia dominated the dance.

Zack’s turn.

Dance Moms Season 3 episode 28 Zack rescue

I absolutely love to watch this boy dance and the solo is a stunner, perfectly suited to his strengths.

Chloe’s solo is called I Know It’s Too Late. It’s a lyrical beauty, too.

Dance Moms Chloe I Know It's Too Late

You know what I’d love? I’d love to see Zack and Chloe dance a duet. That would kill me stone cold dead. Kelly, find another magic wand and make that happen. Make me 5’8″ and brilliant first.

Time for the group dances. Of course, the Pitt Crew and the Apple Mothers run into each other in the hallway. Ever the instigator, Jill asks for a show of hands among the Ohio contingent — who here’s a dance teacher? That would be Gina G and Yvette. Then why do they even need a choreographer, Jill wants to know. Gina G says Cathy did their choreography, if you want to know it, missy.

Yvette takes that well.

Dance Moms Season 3 epsiode 28 Yvette

Smelling blood in the water that doesn’t involve them for once, the Pitt Crew egg Yvette on and offer to let her sit with them.

Yvette prefers a more memorable departure.

Dance Moms Season 3 episode 28 yvette leaves

When we come back from commercial, we discover that Yvette did most of the leg work on the choreography and that’s why she’s so upset at the slight from Gina G. She calls Cathy out on not setting the record straight, telling her that she is too passionate about what she does to let someone else take the credit. Even though Cathy privately tells us she can’t believe she traded Anthony’s yelling for Yvette’s meltdown, the two make up and head into the auditorium to kick some ALDC ass.

I wish we could just take the obnoxious adults out of the equation, because I think Phoenix Rising is a very cool dance with very cool costumes and the Apples dance it beautifully.

Candy Apples Phoenix Rising

Since we’ve seen mere glimpses the ALDC  group dance practice, I have no idea what we have to compete with the Phoenix.

In keeping with the Black and Blue title, Maddie’s wearing blue (and a dooze of a faux shiner) and the rest of the ladies are wearing black. Get it?

Dance Moms Black and Blue

From what I see, there is no way this very simple dance can beat the Apples. Melissa, on the other hand, says it’s a guaranteed win. I guess we’ll find out. It’s awards time.

Asia and Kenzie’s duet takes first, even though Kristie says Kenzie held Asia back. There’s no “me” in duet, Kristie. No “I” either.
Zack gets second in the junior elite soloist division. Chloe takes the win. Christi says she’s never been happier for a victory.
Phoenix Rising gets second, too. Black and Blue takes the win. Shows you what I know. Perhaps if we could see these dances in their entirety, with every dancer filmed, it would be easier to figure this stuff out.

Backstage, the obligatory mother smackdown begins. Christi informs the Apples that even though Zack was amazing, Chloe was technically better. She says the ALDC-versus-Apples record this season bodes well for the Pitt Crew at Nationals. This time Yvette keeps her cool, but she privately admits she’s worried.

Back in their own room, the moms decide to phone Abby with news of the clean sweep.

Can’t get anything past this one, you ding dongs. Then Abby hangs up. And I wish I had me a Ding Dong to go with my trail of burgers and donuts.

With the spoilsport not there to rain on their parade, the Pitt Crew commences with an outright celebration. And — Cathy crying on Yvette’s shoulder for drama — the downtrodden Apples consider their future in the wake of the loss.

Next week — Vegas, baby. Plus hats in the group dance, and plenty of tears.

So what say you, Dance Moms nation? Is Abby shirking her responsibilities at the studio … or being a good daughter? Since Kelly is a paying customer, do she, Paige and Brooke have every right to be there and be treated nicely? Do you think Kelly’s only still there because of a contract with the show? Did Yvette overreact just a leeetle? And were the Apples robbed? Sound off in the comments section below.

New episodes of Dance Moms air Tuesday night at 9/8CT on Lifetime. The two-part Dance Moms Season 3 finale will air Sept. 3 and Sept. 10.



  1. How can fans love Candy Apples when the roster of the dancers changes every week? What did happen to Nick & Jalen? That would be interesting footage to see how their departure from CADC went down. And who is the extra girl dancing in the group number — there was no explanation at all.

    And if Zach thinks Anthony was bullying him, he needs to get another career if that was too much for him to handle.

    • What extra girl, were there not only 3? Hadley, Mari and Nikaya? I’ll have to watch it again, and I totally agree with you about Zach, he’s too sensitive for this business.

      • The blonde girl in the front, on the left, in the Candy Apples dance was a stranger. She was not in the show, just the dance.

  2. I really enjoy coming here each week to get the take down on the previous night’s show. I’ve never made a reply because I thought everyone covered it pretty well.
    Today I want to make a comment about Maddie. I agree that Maddie is obviously, for whatever reasons, Abby’s favorite. (Although she did toss her aside when Sophia was there.)I see a lot of remarks being made about some being sick of Maddie, Maddie, Maddie. As a child, she probably does enjoy the lime light. Why shouldn’t she? Still, sometimes I feel she isn’t as comfortable as some may think she is in that roll. There are times the pressure to be ‘Maddie’ has to be overwhelming. After all, she’s just a little girl. Imagine the strain of hearing the Moms complain about her preferential treatment. The pressure for her to Win is stronger for her than the others. Having to tone down her wins so as not to offend anyone. On top of all that, she just wants to be a kid and enjoy dancing with her friends. She shouldn’t have to regret being so dedicated to the dance she loves. She shouldn’t be hated on because of what others do.
    Personally, I do enjoy watching her dance, she’s beautiful. However I would like to see the focus be more evenly divided between all the girls. They are all so wonderful and talented. All should have equal air time, and equal opportunities to dance solos and duets. I don’t think it’s fair to give Maddie so much and the other girls so little. But she’s not the one deciding that, so it’s not fair to be negative toward her. I hope I made sense without being offensive.

    • I could not agree with you more Becky, that’s a lot of pressure for a little girl, and I’m sure it’s very difficult to hear the other mothers talk about her the way they do.

  3. I guess it would ruin the show to keep the moms out of the rehearsals, but it would sure be better for the kids if their moms weren’t sitting there complaining and fighting with each other and Abby. I know Abby is a very tough teacher, but it is HER dance studio and the moms need to learn that. Abby has been very affected by the moms since the show began, and I don’t blame her for being mad at Christi and Kelly. Kelly thinks she can just come and go as she pleases and say whatever she wants. Christi is so mouthy and rude. The mothers are vulgar but the dancing is so beautiful; I agree that the kids should be the stars and not their moms.

    • Phyllis, if “affected” you mean relishing in every single thing the moms say, and takes the opportunity to ridicule, insult and bully those young girls, tearing them down until they’re in tears….then yes I guess Abby is “affected”. She loves every second of the drama, without it she would be nothing but a fat-ass “teacher” who can’t even do the moves she expects those girls to do. Sorry, but I have NO sympathy for Abby at all. Yes it is her studio, but those moms are PAYING her to teach their girls, she works for THEM, not the other way around.

      • I totally agree. Abby is selling a consumer product and absolutely SHOULD listen to the voices of her customers. Also, for whatever reason, no one seems to remember that this show is called Dance MOMS. Not Tiny Dancers or My Big Mean Dance Teacher. This show is not about the girls or Abby, it’s intention is to be about the Moms. We might find that annoying (I’d love to see more of the girls dancing), but Lifetime is giving us exactly what they promised, a show about the life of dance moms.

        • Great point Paula, I’d love it to be all about the dancing, but I don’t think it would get as many viewers. Not everyone enjoys dancing, or watching dancing. All I need to do is ask my oldest nephew how much he enjoys getting dragged to his little brother’s dance competitions, it’s fun for the first couple of times, then it gets painfully boring. LOL

  4. I’m so glad we have so much inside information here. LOL!

    All the mothers, Abby, Gia, and the girls have said that the show is HEAVILY edited and what we see is not what really happens. Abby and Christi do not like each other. End of story. Brooke loves dancing, but she’s portrayed as a sulky teenager, but she’s not being given other opportunities and wants to do that as well… It’s not all an Maddie love affair, but it plays up the rival aspect of the show and keeps people watching. Apparently, or so it’s been said, Chloe misses several of her technique classes and that’s why Abby is hard on her… I don’t think the girls like their “characters” that’s shown on the show, they are edited to look a certain way. They are taking 40-60 hours of film and cutting it down to 40 minutes. I have a child that’s 12 and I can assure you that in a 40-60 hour period you could catch him acting back, snotty, bratty, selfish, and maybe even cry. That doesn’t mean he’s those things, it’s simply hormones and the age…. People are way harsh on these kids.

  5. Great recap! At this point, Kelly is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. Miller screeching she won’t come back as long as the Hylands are there, but if Kelly leaves, Miller will just use that against her yet again. I vote Kelly stay, and let Miller stew, or refund her money.

    I wonder,,,we got a couple of “all Cathy” episodes. Now we get a couple “Miller free, with Gia” episodes. Maybe Lifetime is testing the waters with both. The “all Cathy” ones bombed. If this “no Miller” flies well, maybe Lifetime will do a new version, “Gia and all girls”, and “Miller and Melissa/girls” off to LA.

    It would suit me fine if Miller and Melissa go away. Gia deserves the credit. She always has done all the work.

    Take Kristi and Asia with Miller. It would be interesting to have those 2 shows and see which one actually gets the most views.

  6. OMG! I could not stop laughing at this article! (My boss in in a deposition, and someone peeked their head out the door to see if I was OK) Woopsie. 😉 Thank you for your witty report! you nailed e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

  7. I enjoy watching the show, I often download the songs from the show as I find them enjoyable. I don’t quite understand what Kelly is doing. First she leaves because she claims Abby treats ALL the girls badly, but then she comes back. Leaves, comes back and so on and so on. t is my opinion that Brooke does not wish to dance anymore, Paige may want to be in the studio but it seems like she wants to be there for her friends. I am tired of EVERYTHING being about Maddie. What is Melissa going to do when the show ends, life goes on and Maddie is NOT the star she hoped she would be?

    • I agree with EVERYTHING YOUR SAYING!! I don’t understand Kelly’s logic and I don’t understand why Christi keeps standing by her side. In my opinion, Kelly’s like a loose cannon and the recital episode proved it. And yeah, the Maddie thing is starting to become a little overrated. Especially facially, she’s tired of being the star and her same faces every week prove it. Chloe seems to be getting a lot better than Maddie, so let Chloe be the star. And besides, there are certain things Maddie can’t have; such as the ballet scholarship and the Nationals win in season two and the music video from season one. I’m just tired of this whole reign of Maddie theme

      • A one of the meet and greets Kelly shared they are locked in with Lifetime for 6 seasons. She couldn’t not be there if she wanted to. I sometimes feel bad for her and the kids because rest assured this was not what the signed up for. Christi is in the same situation. The only hope is that the girls learn perserverance and strength from this situation, and definitely learn the way not to treat people.

      • Kris did you see the youtube video of the rehearsal from the recital? If you watch it, you’d see that Kelly was justified in being upset, a lot happened that wasn’t shown on the program.

  8. Gia needs to open her own studio. Her choreography is a breath of fresh air to Abby s. I am sure most of the girls will follow as long as Abby was no where to be found. The morale of the team is so much better when Gia is teaching. Yu don’t need to beat children down in order to get results. So proud of her and her work and it was awesome watching her dance side by side with Chloe is rehearsal to demonstrate how she wanted the dance to look. Unlike someone else we know. Would love to see the show just about the girls, and Gia and Jay. Leave the mommas out. Have closed rehearsals without them and watch the girls grow technically year after year. Congrats Gia and Girls once again.

    • I completely agree about Gia having her own studio, but I can see Abby completely blacklisting her before Gia even started. I wonder if Gianna really actually “likes” Abby as a person, I mean, if I were a teacher, or even assistant teacher, and I saw a colleague treating the kids and even the parents, they way Abby does, I wouldn’t want to work with her. I’m sure there are plenty of dance schools that would welcome Gia with open arms.

  9. Mari and NiKaya were a mess in the group dance. It was a nice number overall, but those two had way too many bobbles and missteps compared to the ALDC girls.

  10. As a dance teacher myself, I understand that she has an ailing mother, but when these people pay over 10,000 for dance classes, they do deserve respect. I do not applaud Chrissy for the way she talks to the teachers, but Abby doesn’t treat some of the girls with the respect that they deserve either.

  11. I saw Abby on the bus heading to the competition….she handed the girls costumes on the bus….next scene they all say she’s not attending the competition…..was she roaming the streets of West Virginia?

    • HA! Most likely roaming the halls of another Star Power competition, Zoey. One wonders if the contract with in10sity Dance is coming to a close, and Abby’s gone a courtin’ another partner. Or her mom is deathly ill and I’m going straight to hell.

    • Zoey, Abby may have just gone onto the bus to give the girls their costumes and then gotten off before the bus left for WV, we don’t know.

      • Well, if you have NO IDEA what August 13th, 2013…in Brooke Hyland History is all about….on next week’s episode you will, ..even with the well-advanced filming…
        and hmmmm, I wonder.what Abby and the rest will react! *smirking*

  12. I get your point, Sofa, but if her mother is sick and dying — and I hope like mad she’s not, because I love me some Maryan Lorrain — there needs to be more that indicates that. Not Abby telling us that she’s shirking her own studio and TV show to judge other competitions. And if Maryan really is deathly ill, wouldn’t the mothers be aware of that and not in full teardown mode? I dunno … I’m asking. But truth or editing, we’re being forced to believe that Abby’s being, as Katherine said, wildly unprofessional. And if it IS truth, that’s unfair to Abby and unfair to us.

  13. Her mother is sick and DYING. Even if she wasn’t dying, she is still very ill. Gia can handle the girls. If my mother was seriously sick I would leave those girls with Gia as well. Its her mother for goodness sake! Have you no compassion?

    • Of course Abby should put her mother’s health above the girls. But I also believe that she should trust Gianna enough to be able to teach the girls without having to worry about being fired, as we saw a couple weeks, or last week, or whenever that was. I do feel for Abby’s mom, I remember she had serious health issues last season, and she’s definitely not a young woman anymore. Abby needs to focus on her mom and let Gia take care of the girls, after all, that’s what Abby hired her for.

  14. This show is really starting to get on my nerves. No, wait, let me clarify: ABBY is really starting to get on my nerves. Talk about unprofessional. Sick mother or not, those moms are paying a ton of money for Abby to teach their kids, and they deserve to know why she’s not there supporting their daughters. At this point, I kind of wish Gianna would just take over. Anyway, I’m super glad for Chloe. She deserves to finally take first place. I thought everyone overall danced well this week. Also, did anyone else notice that Candy Apples added a dancer for the competition? During the rehearsals there were only 3 girls, and at the competition there were 4. Must just be the result of bad editing.

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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.