Dance Moms Season 4 episode 5 recap : The Next Right Thing

dance moms nia at last Lori Acken

Let me just get this out of the way right now, Dance Moms Nation, since I have been doing a horrible job of keeping you current on all of the legal crap between Abby and Kelly (because I could not care less about all of the legal crap between Abby and Kelly).

I actually did inquire into Abby’s reported engagement — because I think Dance Moms Wedding Special would breathe some kind of new life right into me where Dance Moms is concerned. OK, so I actually asked the show’s saintly publicist Theresa if she had, you know, any bridesmaid news she wanted to share with me. The official answer is: Nothing’s confirmed. But God bless the purported blushing groom for being willing to be, by his own proud admission, “Mr. Abby Lee Miller.” You’ll go far in this union, my friend.

The next thing I bet you want to know, even before we get to it in the recap, is WHAT IS THAT SONG?!! — the chill-inducing chant to which the ladies do tonight’s breathtaking group dance. It is Seth Glier’s award-winning “The Next Right Thing” and I’ll race you to iTunes to buy it.

On with the show.

We start at Casa de Melissa, where someone named Meghan is home-schooling Maddie and Mack, while someone named Jill is quizzing Melissa about it. You know, just in case Kendall needs to take that next, future-destroying step in her dance career.

Then it’s off to the studio where someone has finally jumped on the cold-shoulder-shirt bandwagon after everyone else has jumped off it.

dance moms season 4 episode 5 recap abby

Abby congratulates the Pitt Crew on last week’s victory over the Candy Apples, but lets us know that it still doesn’t mean she’s going to scrap her plan to make some changes. She tells the crew that she’s off to Atlanta to make it happen and — in case their mothers didn’t share — she’s already kept enough Orlando kids to make a whole new team. Where she is keeping them, I do not know. But she’s kept ’em.

A light bulb goes on in Dr. Holly’s head. Before she earned her Ph.D in Dance Mom with an emphasis on Reality Television, she was an admissions director and recruiter for a dozen years. Hence, she could be a big help to Abby in her search for the person who will replace her own kid and all of Nia’s friends. Abby takes her up on it. Free labor’s free labor, after all.

Not wanting to be left out, Melissa sullenly asks if Maddie and Mac are going, too. Abby says they can come along as her merch girls.

Let’s go to the Pyramid.

Kendall is bottom of the bottom. She was the only person who didn’t win. Brooke is next — her acrobatics weren’t lofty enough. Then Paige, who has to work on her posture. And rounding out the row is Mac. Her belly sticks out too much when she dances.

Last in row 2 is Nia. Holly is pleased she’s finally off the bottom. Maddie is next, which means Chloe comes out on top. Abby says she owned the stage and acted like a competitor.

Oh, well hell … turns out we’re all going to Atlanta, in order to take part in the Masters of Dance competition.

Paige, Chloe and Kendall will do a trio about Southern belles. Maddie will do a ballet solo. Mackenzie gets a solo, too — in the lip-sync category. I’m floored. We have an entire category for the thing we spent most of last season trying to get Asia to stop doing?! I thought lip-syncing when you dance is, was and shall always be b-a-d! Now it’s part of Abby’s big plan for Mackie’s future.

Abby has big plans for your future, Mackie.

dance moms season 4 episode mac

I’m scared, too, dear.

Everyone except Mack will do a group dance routine called At Last. Nia will be the star of the piece because it’s about the civil rights movement and a young black girl finding her freedom. Up in the Mom Loft, Christi wants to know if the combination of Holly volunteering to work for Abby and keeping her mouth shut about Nia’s stereotyped part in the group dance means she’s willing to do anything to keep Nia a part of the competition team. Holly says she’s giving Abby the benefit of the doubt that At Last will be tasteful.

Maddie’s ballet solo is creatively titled Ballerina. Abby says it will allow her to show off all the technique she’s accrued and perfected since becoming home-schooled. It will also allow the mothers to go at it again about home-schooling and the extra advantage it gives the Ziegler girls at dance. Nothing new to see here, people. Let’s move along.

Abby tells Kendall, Chloe and Paige that all they have to do to portray perfect Southern belles is behave the opposite of their mothers. Who are, at the moment, discussing how Abby once, in Jill’s words, “sneezed her boogies in her eyes and in her hair” during dinner.

Show us, Jill.

Jill sneezes her boogies

And she didn’t even get up to wash her hands.

Back in the studio, Mackenzie is proving to be an ace at lip-syncing the music to her solo, which is called Love Overdose. Holly says Abby’s soft spot for Big Mac is endearing. We haven’t seen it in a while.

Then we see Maddie working with Lindy, the ALDC ballet instructor. Kelly says it’s fine that Abby praises Maddie for being home-schooled so that she can spend the brunt of her time at the studio, but she shouldn’t hold it against the other girls that their mothers choose otherwise. Melissa says they should just get over it.

As if on cue, Abby makes a rare appearance in the Mom Loft to berate Christi for not home-schooling Chloe so she can have privates with Lindy, too.

The next day, Christi and Chloe have a heart-to-heart about the subject. Chloe says she couldn’t imagine her life without dance, but she couldn’t imagine her life without school either, because it’s the most normal part of her day. In other words, the part where she’s away from Abby Lee and the ALDC and the television cameras and the pressure. Christi tells her girl that the path of her future is entirely up to her, and she will support her either way. But she doesn’t look entirely convinced of her words.

From the looks of it, there are about 4 million kids at the Atlanta auditions — a few boys, but mostly girls.  Abby calls out one awkward adolescent for her haircut. Gad. Then, one by one, she begins picking off the other dancers, too.

Who else thinks this cringe-inducing moment was staged — by people who should be strung up by their toes?

dance moms season 4 episode 5 Atlanta audition

That poor kid.

And why must all the mouthy mothers be Black-Patsys-in-training? Did no white mother get excitable, too? Not one? Holly calls the whole debacle “the Jerry Springer of dance.” I call it plain old mortifying.

These are the finalists from Atlanta. Discuss. In the meantime, I’ll take a moment to go bang my head against the wall until it bleeds.

dance moms atlanta auditions

Come competition day, Abby tells the soloists and the trio that if they have a bad performance, they cannot let it affect the group number. But they really need to be amazing to prime the judges for the final act.

Mackenzie goes first. I’m pleased to see that she actually has some solid technique in there with all the vamping.

Maddie’s ballet solo goes well, too.

The trio’s choreography is more burlesque than belle to me, but whatever. The dance is cute and Abby is happy with it. Which, for these three girls, is an outright miracle.

The gravity of the group dance has rendered everyone a nervous wreck. Abby says love it or hate it, it will make people think. And the whole thing rides on Nia’s shoulders. Holly tells the somber girl that she is playing a woman of strength and dignity and passion and she should own it. She does.

dance moms nia at last

And Holly’s not the only one moved to tears.

That. Dance. Was. Stunning. That dance is the reason dance was invented. The reason you are here, people — not to bitch and fight and tear these children, who are capable of something this beautiful and powerful, down.

There are months worth of episodes left in this season. Oh that someone in charge of this show would actually take the song to heart and do the next right thing and the next thing right. Which is to let us and the girls feel like this more than once a season.

dance moms at last

For a couple of minutes, anyway? No? No.

Come awards time, Mackenzie gets second, and Maddie, the trio and the group dance win. Backstage, Abby folds Nia into a hug. And that’s it for the good feelings. Next week, she tells the team, she’s back on the road, looking for something better than what she has.

Which, apparently, is a backup Chloe and her bitchy blond mom.

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


  1. I am an avid fan. I realize that that this TV and not exactly real life but I do have some comments.

    – I have nothing against home schooling in principle. Lots of people choose this for several reasons. I also realize that kids following some arts/sports careers from young age are often home schooled. It seems the most practical. We just don’t realize it. Even some of these Specialist institutions, the sport or art or whatever is foremost.
    – My thoughts on the girls :-
    Brooke is quickly fading away into the background. No solos. But it could be that she is doing more with older team which is a good thing.
    Peyton is a good dancer but seems too old for this group.
    Paige is doing much better and seems to be enjoying the trios which is nice to see.
    MacKenzie is cute and seems very smart to me. Dances beautifully but I just wonder if she will ever dance in time to the music. Maybe it’s just me since no one ever mentioned it.
    Kendall. This is one determined young lady. Dances nicely. We’ll see how she comes along.
    Maddie is the current Diva. It remains to be seen if she will really be a career dancer but it is possible.
    Chloe. Now this is interesting. Abby mentions that Chloe seems to be falling off the wagon. We certainly see her giving Chloe a very hard time lately. I think she has the world of talent and could make it. You’ll do realize it was a COMPLIMENT that Abby asked that Chloe be home schooled in front of the
    other mothers right? Only the best of the best are pushed in that direction. Now if they were tennis players they would be in some Tennis Academy or something but there is nothing like that in Dance so the child prodigies are usually home schooled. Look at gymnast Gabby Douglas, how do you think
    she got that good. And believe me I can name lots of people in many other disciplines. These kids usually have to sacrifice their education. We can say it’s bad but to be the best you usually have to SACRIFICE a heck of a lot.
    Nia. Notice I saved her for last. Not a coincidence. I saw a comment on Nia once that I totally agree with. Nia is a Character dance. I would even go so far as to say a Modern Dancer. I think she is awesome and will get even better as time goes by. I am not sure why Holly is always bemoaning the typecasting of Nia when she does Character dances so, so well. She just comes alive. I think when Nia gets some strength in her thighs and torso she will be so, so good. Actually I think Abby thinks so too. I feel Nia is the best of both worlds, well trained yet not this hard bodied look that so many modern dancers have.

    We’ll see.

    • I completely agree with your assessment of all the girls, you have great insight! I think you hit it right on the head with the mothers, Christie in particular, that being told your child should homeschool may not be a bad thing. However, considering how competitive these mothers are about where the girls place on that damn pyramid, and their awards or lack thereof, I don’t think they look at it that way. I completely understand how homeschool isn’t for everyone, especially for someone as social and outgoing as Chloe is. A kid like her NEEDS friends that she’s not always being compared to, and told that she has to beat them and she’s not as good as. As she said, school keeps her normal. All Abby sees is potential, or lack of, in these girls. It’s like how dare they have other interest that don’t involve her, SHE’S supposed to be the main influence and mentor in their lives, no one else is allowed to fill that role.

  2. Has anyone else noticed how quiet Christi is on twitter? I have a feeling our Chloe has, indeed, left and Christi is not permitted to discuss it via social media. We all know she’s not stingy with her thoughts. ;-). If so, I’m done for good. I quit watching for a long time after Abby cheated and made the judges give Maddie a higher score than Chloe. This will definitely be the deal breaker for me and we’re a “Nielsen” family.

    • I’ve seen pictures that Chloe has posted that include the girls, so I wouldn’t hold too much stock in that. Abby did not cheat, she pointed out an error in the scores, if you’re going to blame anyone, blame the judges.

  3. I wish the other moms would leave Melissa alone about homeschooling. My best friend homeschool and so far 4 of her 5 kids are either in college or have already graduated. The 5th kid will start college next fall. So homeschooling can be a good thing. Plus, Maddie is so talented and passionate about her dancing so why not encourage it with extra classes etc… I am so sick of the jealousy and the meanness from the moms.

    • I don’t think it’s a question about the kind of education the girls are getting, but taking advantage of the extra time the girls will be spending in the studio.

    • The other moms aren’t mad that she’s homeschooling her kids, they’re mad because she lies so much about it. She says they go to school in the morning and dance in the afternoon, but we found out not this past week but the week before that Maddie gets there every morning at 9:00am. If Melissa would just own up to it, they would drop it. If she wants to homeschool her kids, that’s her choice and they should respect that. I don’t have a problem with homeschooing, but she’s putting dance in front of her children’s education. They need their education to fall back on in case their dance career doesn’t work out but Maddie and Kenzie don’t understand that beause they’re too young. Abby has Maddie thinking she’s going to be on broadway and working as a professional dancer one day and she very well might, she’s an amazing dancer and truly loves it. But you never know what the future holds and she might not become a professional dancer. I just think it’s very irresponsible and kind of selfish of Melissa to deprive her girls of a proper education.

      • Then they obviously don’t understand how homeschool works, it doesn’t matter when it happens, as long as they get the hours in. The mom’s are just bitching to hear themselves bitch and it’s getting old fast.

      • And I completely 100 percent agree that the Ziegler girls will need their education to fall back on, that’s something that can never be taken away from them, whereas dance could be over with one catastrophic injury, or just plain burn out.

  4. Loved the group dance this week and as always, wish that they had shown all of it instead of cutting to reactions in the audience (Mom’s and Abby’s reactions). Once again, though, I lament for Chloe because I knew from the beginning that her being at the top of the pyramid would mean that Abby would get to glory in her opportunity to knock her off of it. She should still be on the top with her win with Paige and Kendall in the trio, but from what I saw of the pre-views for next week (my DVR cut them off right in the middle), Abby is going ‘replace’ Chloe (at least symbolically) with the new girl. I heard her say, ‘this is the new Chloe’ or something like that. So…we should all be confused. Chloe has grown into her height and rediscovered her ‘center’ and has been dancing really well. She got a first place overall (although I am sure that Abby thinks that if Maddie had been dancing, Chloe wouldn’t have won), and Abby has pointed out the fact that her technique makes her stand out in the trio’s no matter who she is dancing with. Yet…somehow all this adds up to our needing a new Chloe. So…am I to assume that because Chloe refuses to be home schooled and because Christi refuses to insist upon it, we need a new Chloe? Or…could this be yet another attempt to crush Chloe’s spirit and her love of dance. Abby asked Christi, ‘what happened to that girl who wanted to be a Rockette and loved dance?’ Gee, Abby…what happened to her? Could it be that you have spent the last 3 years crushing her spirit and making sure that Maddie stayed on top no matter the cost to Chloe. Those competitions were always bent in Maddies favor. So she wants a new Chloe? A new sounding board? A new spirit to crush? I wonder how the new girl’s Mom will feel about it. So.,…after 2 competitions where Chloe won and was insured of being #2 behind Maddie, Abby brings in a new Chloe and guess who will get the solo’s that should have gone to real Chloe as 2nd. P.S. The idea of Chloe as a ‘2nd’ is so reprehensible anyway. If she was treated like Maddie, she would perform as good as or better. If she was given the private time…and I bet she could have done that ‘ballet’ number (which as so many of you pointed out…was not ballet) just as well as Maddie.
    Once again I just pray that Chloe will continue to love dance enough to stay with it and to get away from Abby.

    • Lori I crack up at these ppl! Kathryn, “C” has had every opportunity that Maddie has had and then some, she is almost two years older. The kind soul that I am, I allowed the child to continue when her mother bounced her checks. I had invested time and energy into this dancer and thought she had all the right ingredients to go pro. I taught her and coached her to win the coveted Miss Dance title. I’m the one who has the professional dancers who are Radio City Rockettes. I’m the one who had them come in and teach the original choreography. I’m the one who sent “C” to the auditions for Clara in the Christmas Spectacular. Since her mother’s “Character” developed things have changed quite a bit over the last 3 years. My entire staff used to work with this child constantly and now she misses classes, doesn’t show up for rehearsals and blows off studio events. Her Mommy also talks smack about me in public every chance she gets. Truth be told Christi has refused to sign an ALDC contract that concerns our regular (not televised) competitions and standard company rules and regulations, the same damn contract she signed every year before there was a reality show. So for all purposes she is NOT an official member of the ALDC! “C” has been asked time and time again to join, she has been invited and included in everything this season – yet her mother plays dumb and passes the buck onto my staff for not texting her or leaving her out of company emails although we have the proof backed up. Here is some inside scoop that you won’t see on TV, because it has nothing to do with he show – last week her mother stood at the front desk in the entrance of my building and screamed the F word 11 times in a row. Since you think you have all the facts – “C” lives about an hour from the studio and that’s why we cannot start Pyramid until my regular studio classes are in full swing. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if the F word got screamed at 11am when nobody but the crew was in the building, it’s quite a different thing for the 9yr old walking in and her Daddy that heard it all! Try dealing with that customer as a businesses owner.
      I loved seeing Nia shine in Free At Last – I did this as a production number many years ago with an outstanding cast. Usually the great pieces are something we did before at the ALDC, just like Where have all the children gone? I have begged them to pan back and shoot the whole stage! I hope the choreographer’s cut is a little bit better. We will all have to wait and see. Lastly, homeschooling is not for everyone. The time wasted at the bus stop, cafeteria lunch line, and phys ed class are better utilized learning a 2nd or 3rd language. Maddie finished her academic work before all the other kids in her class so the teacher used to send her to the 1st grader’s room to help the little ones??? Some dancers peak when they are little, others who never win anything growing up turn into professional dancers with very lucrative careers. Maddie’s time is now, she needs to make the most of every opportunity. In the state of PA you automatically fail if you miss more than 30 days of school. Maddie and Mackenzie both can benefit greatly from a more flexible schedule. This doesn’t mean they learn less, they just don’t keep traditional hours. I had a student who as a senior in high school got the [girlfriend] role in the national tour of Big, the Musical. She was only required to take 2 classes her senior year – Gym and English. She wanted to take French 5! The show arranged her onlocationeducation tutor to be an older lady who was from France! Katie spoke French fluenty and eloquently by the end of the 6 month run. I am positive she would have never had the same tuteledge in 45 minutes twice weekly at our local high school from a text book. Another student had Chrons, he was cyber schooled because he could use the bathroom when every he wanted. Imagine the taunting from classmates when you have those kinds of accidents? He was never in a school musical or got in front of the class to give a speech. John is currently starring on Broadway as Specs in Newsies, the Musical. I’ m proud of all my students, even the orthopedic surgeon who just invented a new knee replacement surgery. PS Kali never missed dance class and her mother (a school teacher) never said the F word in my building!

      Lori – I have a book coming out with Harper/ Collins and it’s almost finished… I could just kick myself (with a hyperextended leg and pointed foot) for not engaging you with the opportunity to be my ghost writer! Not sure if you do that sort of thing, but it would have been fun!
      (pls excuse any errors I am at my mom’s bedside & all the lights are off)

      • Abby: I actually appreciate your response to my post. I have posted on this blog many times and have stated many times that Christi shares in the responsibility of Chloe’s problems. You have to realize that we only have what we see on the show to go by. I have some dance background myself, and know a little bit about what I am talking about. Of course, not your accolades, but being a dancer for 8 years. My body type was against me, and then I lost my ride. Might sound like a cop out to you and your attitude about it, but I couldn’t tell my Mom, ‘HEY! You have to get me to class! She couldn’t get me there despite trying her best, and I had to accept that I couldn’t go anymore. When I was finally old enough to get there myself, I had lost a lot of technique and then developed health issues. I never lost the love, though. I do see that Maddie has improved a lot since she has been having more time to dance and more privates. She is a very good dancer. I hope that she keeps the love as well, but from what we see, you are responsible for some of the most hateful language I have ever seen directed at a child. I know that you were exceptional at that age in that you knew what you wanted and had parents that indulged you enough that you could do what you wanted and pursue your dreams with what seems to have been the ability to say ‘here is what I am going to do’ and not having anyone say back to you, “oh no you are not, young lady!” During all of the seasons, you have seemed to have the idea that the kids can dictate to their parents. Like the time that Maddie was in the car and her Mom wouldn’t let her get out and come in. Some kids can’t dictate to their parents like that. Then, your blaming and punishing Maddie for half of that season because she didn’t have the temerity to stand up to her mother. Then crying like she had personally let you down by not doing that. It was so hard to watch. You seem to glory in being mean to these girls. With seeing how awful Christi is, can’t you understand why Chloe doesn’t stand up to her and why she doesn’t do what you want her to. Can’t yo imagine her humiliation at her mother bouncing checks, especially when you say something about it in front of the other girls. That is not Chloe’s fault. She is probably not allowed to question anything that her mother decided she is going to do. That is my biggest issue with you. Don’t blame Chloe. don’t blame Kendall or Paige. Even all the things you blame Chloe for are probably because she doesn’t dare go against Christi. I can see that there is still a love of dance for Chloe, or she wouldn’t have worked hard to re-adjust to her body and to get back a lot of what she lost that one year. You never seemed to acknowledge that as a difficulty for her, yet you brought it up about Nia. Chloe grew what looked like 4 or more inches and became the tallest girl. Yet, despite this and despite the horrible things that you say to her and the horrible life she must have at home, you never say anything nice about her. From our perspective (the viewers) you seem to hate her as an extension of the hate you have for Christi. Same with the Hyland girls. As ‘awful’ as you seem to think they are, they are good enough back up dancers to allow for you to continue to score your ‘wins.’
        I will say in your favor that you have helped to produce some very good dancers, and that is what kept me watching for the first two seasons. What kept me watching after that was having become emotionally invested in these girls. I have no desire to see a group of girls that you had nothing to do with their training. I have no desire to see that group do someone else’s choreography. You are doing all the things that you hate Kathy for. For you to say to Maddie in front of all the other girls that she has been carrying the group for the last 2 seasons isn’t true. Don’t you see that rather than motivating the girls, it just makes them think that there is nothing that they can do. What kind of pep talk is it to say BEFORE a performance that they are all expendable. Tough love works on a few people, but not on pre-teen girls. All it does is make them think that you hate them.
        When I was speaking of Chloe getting the same opportunities as Maddie, I didn’t mean contractually or this many or that many solos, I meant the same sort of support that you show to Maddie. Showing enthusiasm for Chloe and treating her like a human being child rather than an adult that you don’t really like but are contractually obligated to give solos to. I think that it would benefit Chloe to go to another teacher at this point because I don’t think that there is any way that you are ever going to change your mind about her and will continue to judge her by her mother and not realize that some kids can’t fight their parents or dictate to their parents what they are going to do. It is a shame that Christi values fame more than her daughter or her daughters wants, but the truth is that the child that can do that is rare. I don’t think that Maddie does that. I think that Melissa is wrapped up in the fame of both Maddie and Mackenzie and that is why she makes the choices that she does. She is almost as reprehensible as Christi in her own way. The way that you both say to Mackenzie that she should be more like Maddie all the time. Gah! I am amazed that she doesn’t hate Maddie and see it as a possibility. She is not Maddie and has her own gifts. I think that Maddie will require years of therapy to get over what is happening to her right now. I really do hope that she continues to love dance so much, but I can foresee a time when she will also make the decision not to continue. I wonder why (at her age) that you see this as ‘her time’. If the goal is for her to dance on Broadway at this age, then maybe so. I would think her ‘time’ would be when she’s old enough to be a professional dancer. I hope that she keeps her love alive. She is probably so stressed over having to ‘carry’ the team, and now being made to feel responsible for her friends being replaced (that has to be hard on her) so that she can have dancers that are ‘worthy’ of her. GAH! Do you realize that if these parents were not in collusion with you in allowing the abuse, that you would probably be up for charges of ‘abuse of a child.’ As a woman who must have some insecurities of your own, and who must have had to deal with a lot of issues as you grew up being heavy, I am stunned that you would use such abusive language to these girls. Do you not realize that they could be scarred for life and have to carry the baggage of being told they are ‘stupid’ and that their parents are ‘stupid’ and all the horrible things that you say. Your excuse is that they will get harsh treatment in the dance world. Well, that is when they are adults and maybe a bit more formed and able to handle it. I had a very strict dance teacher (in a wheelchair) that would swat our offending limbs (gently, but with enough force to get our attention) with a stick, but she NEVER called us ‘stupid’ or insulted our parents for the way they brought us up. We were taught by her (with the help of a ‘professional student’ to demonstrate the moves) and instructed on what could help us to be better dancers at home (like how to eat right, etc), but never told what to say to our parents or told that our parents were stupid for not doing what she recommended. You go too far.
        I do wish you well in dealing with your Mom’s health issues. I just wish that you could treat these precious children as human beings that you love, rather than as a means to an end (or a ‘win’). Sometimes the other team just has a better day. I would have liked to have seen you praise Chloe for her win instead of saying, ‘she’s number 2 ‘for now.’ Remember that sometimes all we see is the worst that you say.

        • I was literally bouncing up and down at my office desk reading this……..NICE!!!! And you “went there”, I freaking love it!!!

          • And Michelle, if you get fired for reading the Dance Moms blog at your office desk, it is so not my fault….

        • Lori: I don’t know if she came back and read my reply or not. I hope that she did. After watching last night’s show, I just don’t believe a lot of what she says. A lot of the things that she refers to were years ago (Christi bouncing checks…etc). I do know, after last night especially, that she never intended to let Chloe be the number 2 behind Maddie and that those ‘competitions’ between Chloe and Kendall were just her trying to punish Chloe further. I truly believe that Abby hates Christi and as an extention, Chloe. Last night’s episode seemed all about punishing Chloe and sure did make it look like Chloe is one of the girls (along with the Hyland girls) that she wants off the team. My big beef with Abby is her inability to see these kids as kids. The fact that she speaks to them (even Mackenzie) as if they were adults. I am the mother of a now adult daughter and know that 7 and 8 year olds are still very immature. You can’t speak to a child of that age like they are an adult. Saying ‘why aren’t you more like Maddie?’ or ‘you should be more like Maddie’ probably cut to the bone. Especially when ‘Mom’ seems to agree. Yuck! I wish I hadn’t become so emotionally invested in these kids so that I could quit watching completely, but do care and do get madder and madder (just like the Dance Mom’s).
          Is there anybody out there that believes that last night’s episode wasn’t all about trying to crush ‘old’ Chloe down further? Even the dance that she was given had horrible choreography, but that never occurs to Abby (that the reason they get a 4th place is because the choreography sucks). The beginning of the dance where she had to ‘crab walk’ across the stage backwards. Also, we all know that a lyrical number will win out over a jazz routine. Abby has said it herself, so she gave the lyrical number to new Chloe. Wonder what the outcome would have been if old Chloe got the lyrical number and new Chloe had to do that awful jazz number. Food for thought.

          • Kathryn, I’m not sure if I think the post is really from Abby Lee or not. Its IP address is from Pennsylvania, but other than that, we aren’t sure, and the publicist can’t verify the associated email address. So a mystery it shall remain.

        • I expect it was really her. That hag cannot let someone else have the last word. I expect she reads all the sites and eventually has to get her version in, none of which I believe. The woman is a proven liar.

  5. Can you tell me the artist who sang Free at Last. That was such a lovely number the girls did and Nia shined.

    • Hi, Sharon. If you’re talking about the group dance song, it’s “The Next Right Thing” by Seth Glier.

  6. It’s so weird to see the AUDC dancers at Abby’s open call auditions. Which came first? These open calls or AUDC? Did they find them at the open calls and invite them to do AUDC? That’s McKaylee (sp?) and her Mom in that picture. Last open call (that you didn’t see, I think).. had at least Haley and JoJo that I saw.

    P.S. Love your recaps!

      • I will seriously stop watching the show if Jojo joins the ALDC. Having to sit through an hour of AUDC with her on it was painful enough. I really don’t think Abby would do that though. Jojo is no where near ALDC material. Not to mention, Abby isn’t a big fan of bratty kids.

    • Actually Tessa from AUDC season 1 was in this audition. So she went after the show… I think they just wan’t the spot light again!! And I loooovee Tessa, I would love to see her on TV again.

  7. I’m dying to see the whole group dance!! I think they are doing the Choreographer’s Cut next week for this episode, and I will be patiently waiting! I’ve watched it about 5 times and I can’t get over how beautifully it was danced and performed. I’d have been heartbroken if it didn’t win, especially for Nia, because it was performed perfectly and was just breathtaking. For being so young, they really understood the gravity and maturity of it and went in and nailed it. No, it wasn’t perfect and I saw some minor issues, but its not just about being perfect and doing tricks. Its rare opportunities you get like that to truly speak to an important issue and strike a nerve, and I’m glad they did it with respect.

    I REALLY want to see the full dance, not the one just edited for the show.

    In other news, I really used to “like” or well, at least respect Abby as a dance teacher because I get it. I had mean teachers like that growing up, but none were as good at what they did as she was. They were just mean. I do realize majority of this is scripted, but can someone write better scripts? Between this open call
    business, telling the kids they aren’t good enough and all the Maddie favoritism business, her crap is getting old. She needs to change her tune, fast. I will still watch the show for the dancing, but its getting extremely difficult to defend anything she says or does.

    Also, Lori, I look forward to your Dance Moms reviews every week! You are the only recapper of this show that really “gets it.” Thank you!

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I’d like to see the whole dances, too, even if someone does goof up the choreography or whatever it is we aren’t supposed to see.

      • I know Abby doesn’t usually recyle routines, but I can absolutely see them winning Nationals with that group dance.

  8. I am sick of hearing about the auditions and homeschooling. Stop the auditions and all the “everyone’s replaceable” babble — it’s way more than old.

    Forget about the homeschooling. Melissa is homeschooling Maddie and Mackenzie. Big deal — I’m tired of hearing about it.

    Although — I must add that the more they talk about the homeschooling the fishier things get — During one of Abby’s “pep talks” she said Maddie was at the dance studio at 9am ready to dance (the last episode, I think?), but this episode Melissa said they don’t go to the studio until 1pm for voice and then privates. There’s a big difference between 9am and 1pm!

    • I’m not going to read too much into the time discrepancies regarding the home-schooling. As long as the girls get their allotment of hours in, it really doesn’t matter when they are. They very well could have been at the studio at 9 or 9:30, doesn’t really matter, they could dance for 4 hours, and then do their schoolwork. That’s the thing, it allows for flexibility.

  9. I loved what I could see of the group dance, but once again Lifetime ruined it for me with all of the cutting in and out, showing the moms in the audience, etc. Stop trying to be “artistic” with all of the editing, just place one camera in a good position and let us watch the dance unfold like we were in the audience. And for heaven’s sake, quit cutting to the moms & Abby during the dance — I want to see the dance, not them.


    P.S. I checked on lifetime and so far this dance isn’t up as a clip, just Maddie’s ballerina dance (which I don’t want to see again) — please, please, Lifetime, put the group dance up as a clip!

    • I keep checking for the full dance, as well. I’m wondering if they ran into some licensing drama with the song, since this is the first time that I can recall that they’ve used someone else’s actual recording?

      • They have the song up under the “music guide” section, so I don’t think it’s due to song rights ( but who knows).

        I did find a very bad cell phone recording of it on youtube (and it’s still better than Lifetime’s cut-up version) here:

        “Free at Last” (Full)

        • Wow, if that’s the right video, that’s not even the same song as the one on the show. If so, what a disappointment. I thought the song was perfect but I guess not.

  10. That was the best episode in a long time, despite the manufactured home-schooled drama. (Isn’t Chloe at Pittsburgh’s rather excellent arts magnet school?)

    And I admit it. I love Christi doing sarcastic commentary instead of fighting with the other moms.

    • Chloe went to the arts magnet school last year, but this year she’s in a regular public school (Mars something in Mars, PA). Not sure why. The rumors I’ve seen say it’s because she missed too much school with filming (which, to me, doesn’t make sense with a performing arts school), but I don’t know the real reason why.

      • Some performing arts schools don’t allow students to do paying gigs while they’re attending the schools. I can see missing lots of days though, any school will boot you, or ask you leave nicely, if you don’t show up to class.

  11. I could not be more proud of Nia if she were my own daughter. That dance was absolutely stunningly beautiful. The maturity she showed, and the emotion….if this doesn’t show Abby how amazing Nia is, and can be if given the chance, Holly should just pack up her girl and leave now. I was literally holding my breath through that entire dance, I could not take my eyes off Nia. For the first time in ages, I didn’t even notice the other girls in the routine, this was definitely her time to shine.

  12. Here’s an interesting article some of y’all might be interested in reading on how competitions are affecting ballet. It makes some really interesting points about how artistry is being lost as kids focus more on things like the number of turns you can do. For example, there are parts of swan lake that aren’t technically that difficult and would score poorly at a competition because of this but they are so difficult to perform well because of the artistry and emotion involved.

    • It’s true. And Maddie’s solo was lyrical. That was NOT ballet. Ballerina’s do not roll around on the floor. Nice try, Abby.

      • Exactly what I was thinking Paula, and they wear ballet slippers or toe shoes, not jazz shoes.

      • So true! When Abby said she was doing ballet I thought there’s no way a ballet piece will win. And then it wasn’t ballet. Oh Abby…

    • it’s true. having to compound your ‘hardest’ moves into 2 minutes and 45 seconds to get the best score possible is more like artistic gymnastics. i think that’s why maddie (who was doing a contemporary not a ballet routine) always dances so fast- they her choreography with flashy moves so she can win. some teachers have amazing kids but they won’t send them to competitions because they’re then teaching the kids to dance for competitions- when outside competitions, be it in a music video, a rock concert, a musical, an audition, a ballet, an exam, a stomp show show etc., they won’t be doing a timed routine trying to get the best score possible with the flashiest moves. that and ballet doesn’t win at these competitions against flashy lyrical routines (at that age many ballet teachers will keep the moves ‘simple’ and hammer in the basic positions), many kids just take it once a week as a foundation to their ‘real’ dancing and so schools don’t enter routines.

      • Excellent points, and even Abby herself said that competition kids don’t always do well in the professional world.

    • I agree with all of you, as well. I know nothing official about ballet technique, but I do attend every performance of my hometown ballet — and Maddie’s dance had more in common with every other solo Maddie has ever done than anything I’ve seen at an actual, classical ballet.

      • Oh yeah, Maddie’s routine definitely wasn’t your typical ballet style, and a lot of competitions would have penalized her for that. Some competitions require that you have so many actual ballet moves in order to compete in that specific category, not to mention you have to wear the proper footwear. I mean, she did alright for what it was, but it wasn’t true ballet.

  13. Yes Lori, tears were in my eyes. I am an African-American woman and I loved the dance. I was crying, my Mom was crying it was heart-moving. It makes me realize how far my people has come. I loved this one and the Rosa Parks one

    • I felt like a dork admitting I was tearful (in a positive way —laugh) about something on Dance Moms, but I watched the dance back several times and choked up every one. The dance didn’t seem like something Abby herself would choreograph, but I’ll take it anyway I can get it.

      • Abby may have been inspired in part for the ALDC group dance “The Next Right Thing” by the Candy Apple’s group dance “Believe” from episode 2 choreographed by Blake McGrath. (I just rewatched “Believe”. Abby certainly looked stunned and Blake’s choreography was very good from what I saw.)

        Regardless, I was happy to see Nia get a featured part with choreography that shows off her talent and style. She had a lovely conviction in portraying the theme that really carried the dance. In the Choreographer’s Cut version of episodes, both Nia and Paige have danced beautifully in the group dances for the last three episodes.

        • I was thinking the same thing about Paige, she’s finally grown into her long limbs and found her grace, it’s nice to see after all Abby’s put her through.

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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.