Dance Moms recap Season 4 episode 7: Bite Me

Couple things right out of the gate, Dance Moms nation. Today’s recap will be screen-capture-free, because the events of its last twenty minutes are currently a matter of litigation in the New York City courts, so no press screeners were made available. So much the better if you ask me. There’s not much that happened this evening that I’d care to commemorate in pictures or in words.

In light of the weekend’s news of Maryen Lorrain Miller’s death, I was really hoping we might have something, anything I could write positively about — even though I knew better from the preview alone. But several seasons’ worth of dismay over the direction Dance Moms has taken came to a savagely unpleasant head this evening and it’s going to take some good, hard thinking in the next few days to decide if I can continue to watch this show and support what it has become.

I love how passionate you, the fans and readers, are about the show and the dancers and I learn a lot from your comments. I love the ALDC girls and watching them dance and support one another, regardless of the words and actions of the adults around them.

But it should not be commonplace to see them cry and look stricken and incredibly rare to see them smile.

In the simplest terms, you aren’t fun to be with anymore, Dance Moms. You never were nice, but now you’re only  the worst kind of bully to the very children who made you a thing. And I don’t know that I’d choose to be a part of that any more.

Here is the long and short of what happened tonight.

We start out at ALDC where Abby can’t be happy with last week’s group dance win because everyone else did so badly. Jill and Holly want to know if Abby regrets bringing in New Chloe, which impinged on everyone else’s time and resulted in mediocre dances.

Abby says she enjoyed working with the girl and her mother. And anyway, she’s not just replacing one dancer anymore. She’s decided to assemble a whole new junior elite team to compete with the Pitt Crew. Except maybe Maddie, who could possibly be part of the chosen ones.

Bottom row of the pyramid, from left to right, are Mack, Nia, Kendall and Chloe.
Row two is Paige and Brooke.
Top is Maddie.

ALDC will divide and conquer at two competitions this week. Paige, Chloe and Brooke will attend Sheer Talent in the Bronx, and also — along with their mothers — accompany Abby to her open auctions in New York. Paige and Brooke will do solos, Paige and Chloe will duet and all three will reconvene with the rest of the Pitt Crew for a group dance called Beautiful Revenge.

Kendall, the Zieglers and Nia will be dancing at NUVO in Pittsburgh. And — we knew it was going to happen, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition fans — Maddie will also be dueling with “her friend” Kalani Hilliker, Abby’s beloved pet from AUDC Season 2.

While the mothers discuss the unsettling turn of events, Kalani and her mother Kira appear in the studio.

At the NYC auditions, the crowd chants for Chloe and Abby informs us that she has sent oh so many students to Broadway success. Christi and Kelly ask Abby why their children weren’t taught the audition combinations before being called on to perform them for the crowd. When they wonder if Abby deliberately planned to embarrass them, Abby says the real embarrassment is that the girls are wearing ALDC clothes. Chloe cries. Kelly has her girls change.

Abby is beside herself about the talent in New York, and we get the requisite audition mother making a scene, this time at Paige’s expense.

Come competition day in New York, Christi says she is sure Abby is up to something, but she’s not sure what just yet. It doesn’t take long to find out.

Paige’s solo, Ooh La La, is adorable, but after spending much of her practice time having what is left of her confidence reduced to rubble by Abby, her legs are not straight and her gymnastics are wobbly. Abby says Paige is forever a disappointment for not taking her corrections.

Brooke is next with Purple Rain. She does very well, but Abby says she is incapable of learning anything new and performs with zero energy.

Instead of watching Chloe and Paige’s duet, Abby tells the mothers that she’s going to watch other dancers, but she really heads off to enter Maddie and Kalani’s duet, 2 Sapphires — which won at NUVO — into Sheer Talent. Melissa asks Abby to enter it as non-adjudicated, so as not to steal Chloe and Paige’s thunder, but Abby says she needs a big win in New York.

In the dressing room, Maddie tells Chloe that she and Kalani will not be doing their duet here in New York, even though Kalani has made the trip. It is — obviously — not the truth.

Even though there is a considerable size difference (Kalani, did we have a growth spurt since AUDC?), Kalani and Maddie dance beautifully together. In the audience, Christi and Kelly call out Melissa for lying to them and for having Maddie lie to Chloe. Melissa looks flustered, but Abby laughs and calls Kelly an idiot.

Though their dance, Wishbone, is not as intricate as Maddie’s and Kalani’s duet, Paige and Chloe dance beautifully, too. If these duets would not have been afterthoughts to all of the unnecessarily unpleasantness, they would have been lovely to watch take shape and to savor.

In the hallway, Melissa, Kelly and Christi argue about who knew what when where the dueling duets are concerned, and the fact that Maddie lied outright to Chloe. Melissa says Maddie was told not to tell anyone about performing her duet and was just trying to do as she was told. Avoiding the truth is not the same as a lie, if you will.

Then Melissa delivers a splendid line of bull in a laughably twitchy aside, and Maddie attempts to backpedal in the dressing room, saying she thought she and Chloe were discussing NUVO, not Sheer Talent.

Christi comforts a clearly shaken Chloe by telling the girl that she knows who her real friends are. That gets to Maddie, who shows a rare bit of off-stage emotion, tearing up and huffing, “I guess we’re not friends anymore.”

In an aside, she tells us that this shouldn’t be such a big deal, because it’s just a dance. Just a few minutes of her life. Hardly the end of the world.

Well, yes. But it’s also a matter of character and integrity and maturity and fair play, Maddie, and how you should be taught those things with exactly the same level of commitment with which you are being taught to dance. And have examples of those traits set for you by the adults in your life.

When Abby announces that Kalani might be improvising a solo, as well, the mothers ask if Kalani will be doing the group dance, too. Kalani says she doesn’t think so. Abby says well maybe … if Brooke doesn’t show more enthusiasm about her role.

Between the debacle that was the auditions, her children’s phoned-in solo choreography and the duet trickery, Kelly has had all she can take. She hands Kira a group-dance costume and announces that she and her daughters are leaving. Abby retorts that she never said outright that she was replacing Brooke with Kalani, advancing on Kelly in a fury. Kelly shouts back, pointing a finger at Abby — who opens her mouth wide and aims it at the finger in her face.

dance moms season 4 episode 7

Unnerved by the display, Kelly slaps Abby’s face then grabs a fist full of her hair in an attempt to stop the charge.

The other mothers recoil, some children begin to sob and Holly shepherds the girls from the room. Abby heads off to call the police. Holly tells Kelly to pack her things so they can get her out of there.

When New York’s finest arrive, Abby tells them she does not need an ambulance, since it was only her head that took the abuse. Kelly and her children are driven off in a black van.

The remaining kids do the group dance, which wins its division.
Paige’s solo gets fifth. Brooke gets fourth. The other girls accept their trophies for them.
Paige and Chloe gets second.
Maddie and Kalani gets first.

Christi says she hopes it’s all been worth it for Melissa.

Asked how she plans to proceed with Kelly, Abby says the face of the team has changed. It’s business. Her business. Her rules. Her show.

But the decision to keep watching it — and what continues to happen to these poor girls at the hands of people who should know so much better — is entirely our own.

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


  1. Brooke, Kelly, and Paige…move yourselves and the rest of your family here to my hometown of Shawnee, OK…..we have a lot of BIG NAMES from here…..Brad Pitt was born here….and often flies in to see his cousins…..and the dance studios (like 3-4 studios in Shawnee) will audition FOR YOU…especially you, Brooke….you may not be on TV…..but, you will be encouraged….along with the rest of your dance troupe….and you will find so much, brotherly/disorderly love in this town and state….Sisters Hyland your Dreams Will NOT ONLY ENCOURAGED BUT PROMOTED…by an entire state! :8D

  2. ive read a lot of other post about this fight yet everyone once to focus on the fight but, if anybody watch Abby interview on the view she said there are three dancers that are not her students and only compete there she didn’t mention Paige, Broke or Chloe, bur state all the other girls dance there and take classes. not in the incident that happened in the video did anybody notice how mad she got because those three where wearing her line of dance-wear and makes them change. So from my observation Chloe isn’t even part of the dance company, but is apart of the team. Abby really dumb Chloe is clearly a better dancer then Maddie who is a competition kid, lets face she not a professional, she a brat and throws fits when she doesn’t win from doing the same dance over and over again to different music and costumes. At lest Chloe has a chance to be professional and is learning how to actually be able to survive in the real world. Maddie will never make it in the real world because she babied and thinks she the best because she told over and over again by everyone including the show. 10 years from now she will be a has been and trying to ride coat tails of her fake fame.

  3. I just re-watched this one, and I have a question. When Christi was saying to Chloe that Maddie wasn’t really her friend, did Melissa actually say, “You’re perfect” to Maddie? Or did she say something else? Maybe I misheard it. If not, it’s just another scary, inappropriate comment she’s made to her daughter, ala “You’re my best friend, you’re my best friend.”

    • Yup, she did say that, I’m glad I’m not the only one who heard it….no wonder Maddie is turning into such a cocky little brat, kinda sad really.

  4. If Kelly is filing a law suit against the show, she needs to focus on how the girls were emotionally and verbally abused by Abby, and the producers sat back and let it happen. Making it about Abby trying to bite her, she’s going to get laughed out of that courtroom. I think she, and the other mothers, have a legitimate case but it needs to be based on facts. We’ve ALL seen how Abby has spoken to the girls, threatening and screaming at them calling them stupid, idiots, etc. Any other teacher would be fired on the spot, why should Abby be any different?

    • I’ve read the lawsuit Kelly filed against Collins Avenue and Abby. It does focus on Abby’s behavior towards the girls and Collins Avenue encouraging said behavior.

      I was on the fence about the show after watching this episode, but after reading Kelly’s claims I cannot watch Dance Moms anymore.

      • Thanks Jillian, I’ve heard so many different things about the lawsuit I wasn’t sure what to believe. Now if ALL the mothers would just band together, Abby wouldn’t stand a chance, there’s power in numbers. Can’t see it ever happening, but you never know, if the studio is affected by enough bad press, I can see a lot of parents taking their kids and getting the hell out of dodge.

  5. Why, oh, why can’t they can’t include stuff like this in the episodes?

    Christi Lukasiak ‏@Dancemomchristi Feb 13

    Ok, here is a funny #DanceMoms moment that you didn’t see! Enjoy:

    Spooning with Abby

    The moms tell Jill a story of a time when Holly woke up with Abby in her bed, in this bonus scene from Episode 7 (Big Trouble in the Big Apple) of Dance Moms Season 4.

    Lifetime: Get rid of the bullying, fighting, and yelling! Use the funny stuff!!!!

  6. i have watched the show since day one. I have loved it but have slowly started to question many things and if i would continue to watch it. I have watched it just to see if it would change and get better love to watch the girls dance. I have absolutely no respect for Abby. She commented multiple times about Kathy and her Candy Apples and how she did not teach these kids and she should not present them at competitions as her own. Well if Abby gets her own “Elite” team is she not doing the same thing she accused kathy of? One word describes Abby if she does do the “Elite” team and that would be HYPOCRITE. I cannot believe that for ratings producers would let a woman harass children in the manner she harasses these kids. Prayerfully for these children and their future, this is all staged and they are all excellent actors along with their parents and Abby. Otherwise, these kids will need serious counseling one day and may never succeed in life. Lifetime, review what you are doing here and go back to the old show or cancel it. UNACCEPTABLE!

  7. What’s annoying to me is how thoroughly Dance Moms now misses the point. It was never about finding the best dancers in the country. It’s about watching a group of beloved, above-average dancers growing together, working on their weaknesses, clashing with their teacher, mutually learning with their teacher, and the moms who love them and can’t seem to get out of their way.

    Abby seems to think that the weaker dancers are holding back the better dancers, and that the grueling schedule is too tough on the weaker dancers. WHICH MISSES THE POINT. If the schedule is too tough, find ways to push the weaker dancers without exhausting everyone. Let a weaker dancer do a solo one week and miss the group. That’s fine! WE JUST WANT TO SEE CUTE, HAPPY KIDS GROWING UP.

    All the kids look numb when they’re not crying. Even Maddie knows that as much as she’s Abby’s pet, it takes just a few wrong moves from her mom before she’s dumped in with the others. She and Melissa have to walk an impossible line between mollifying their friends and staying on the ins with a teacher who is increasingly, arrogantly demanding. Worse, Maddie seems to be mimicking Abby’s habit of doing whatever is most self-serving, and finding ways of justifying it later.

    Abby’s had a very bad year, losing the two people she loves most. Perhaps that’s why she’s been so tough on the girls? But it doesn’t make the show easier to watch.

    Just imagine how great the show would be if we watched actual rivalries develop alongside the tremendous friendships the girls have formed, and if the show wasn’t just a one-note ‘Maddie is best’ but ‘look at how expressive Nia is, how graceful Chloe is, how cool Kendall is, how joyful Paige is, how elegant Brooke is’. Dancing has enough challenges to make a show without manufacturing situations that make everyone so heartbreakingly miserable.

    • I signed it! And I tweeted it hoping others will too. This show HAS to be stopped and these poor girls need some serious therapy.

  8. No real people act this way it must be scripted. I will say that I think Abby is so mean to the girls is because she can’t stand the moms and for good reason. Kelly is so angry all the time and Christy just feeds off her. If Kelly weren’t around Christi would probably act decent. personally I’m glad to see Brooke go, she looks bored and Paige is a so so dancer. Chloe on the other hand is awesome and a darling little girl and I’d keep her, in spite of how nasty Christy gets. And let’s be honest, Nia isn’t that good and he mother pretends to be so smart but she comes off as pompous to me. All these kids vying for spots on team and these moms are sooooo ungrateful! It would ne nice going forward to hear less mom drama and more kids talking. I swear I don’t think they speak at all.

    • Real people do act this way – crazy ones. The Moms simply react to how their children are being treated. Yes they have had some other drama along the way, but the major issue is the abuse Abby heaps on the children. These moms are under contract and cannot leave the show – otherwise I think they all would have bailed except Melissa. Kelly shows real emotion about how her girls are treated. She knows it is harmful so she stands up for them in the only way Abby will understand – Abby screams and yells so Kelly screams and yells.

  9. I don’t agree with the with how the fight ended. Sure Kelly shouldn’t have put her hands on Abby however Abby’s constant name calling and criticism could drive anyone to that point. To watch Abby’s take on what happened it such BS. She goes out of her way to belittle Paige, Brooke and what she does to Chloe is the worst. I like Maddie but what she did to Chloe was so wrong. Abby is teaching this girl to be a sneak (the word she called Chloe) a liar,(the word she called Chloe) and Melissa to allow Abby to raise Maddie with such poor morals is so wrong. If Abby does go through with an elite team to compete against the remainin girls I’m sure no one is going to root for the new team. That team would be no better than Candy Apples. Win with the team YOU taught not the team others have taught just for a win.

  10. I’ve watched Dance Moms since it’s first season. My daughter competed in both dance and gymnastics and never did any of her instructors speak to her in the way Abby does to those children. In the season when the Moms walked out, I was outraged when Abbey told Maddie that she should have disobeyed her mother and gotten out of the car to come and dance. Melissa didn’t even react to the fact that Abby was telling her child to ignore whatever she tells Maddie to do and only listen to Abby. Melissa is so obsessed with Maddie being famous, she is willing to allow Abby to have complete control in raising her child. I think this week we are finally seeing the real Maddie.
    Feel bad for Mackenzie growing up in perfect Maddie’s shadow. And then what does Abby do last season? She brings Asia in to compete against Mackenzie to make her better. I’m sure that’s just what she needed. LOL!
    All I can say is I hope they are making a lot of money off of this show because these children are going to need it for therapy!

    • Abby is a fat a… Bully she loves control as long as she can control you she loves you now we see why she likes Melissa the other moms won’t be a door mat for her big a… Thats why they have a hard time with her sorry to say massive is a ugly little girl inside and out abbey will never put her up against Sophia or any great dancer because she knows Maddie will get beat any good dancer will duet with Maddie but will never compete against her watch and see I can’t stand that little ugly girl or Melissa she so wrapped up in Maddie she needs to get makenzie teeth fixed with the money she making

      • wow….that’s a little harsh isn’t it? “Ugly little girl inside and out?”, “ugly little girl”? You do know these are CHILDREN you’re speaking about right?

  11. Lori, your recap was spot on. I am very disturbed by this week’s episode, and even debated turning it off last night. My mom and I watch the show together every week, it’s an hour where we can just relax and hang out. We were not expecting what we watched! If this was a stunt by the producers to get views up, I think it’s done the opposite. A lot of the show’s fans are Tweens, whose parents monitor what their kids are watching on TV to make sure that it’s appropriate. If parents saw what their kids were watching last night, they would not be pleased! I love the Hyland’s, i’ve had the honour of meeting them twice, both times they were all so incredibly sweet. Paige has been picked on by Abby since the start – at the beginning I agreed with a lot of what Abby said, but as time went on and I could visibly see Paige’s self esteem drop, my sympathy towards Abby disintegrated with it. NO child should be treated the way Brooke & Paige were last night! Abby blatantly told them how they’re bad dancers several times last night, if I was Kelly I would’ve gotten infuriated and done something too. What the show is failing to realize is that we enjoy seeing the girls just doing their thing, interacting with one another and having fun. We’re not interested in physical altercations between the moms! Especially since the drama on the show is staged – whether the moms will admit it or not. They are put into situations where they have to fight. I don’t think the producers would make the moms get physical with one another, but I do think they were feeding Abby a lot of what she said to Kelly last night – which was a huge mistake, because look what it led to. This March will mark 2 years since I started watching the show. At this point, I hope i’ll be able to make it to March! I’m really not interested in the show if it’s a whole new team, I watch the show for Chloe, Brooke, Paige, Kendall, Nia, Maddie & Kenzie. I’m not sure if I wrote this above but i’ll write it again if I did – no child deserves to put up with what the producers and Abby are throwing at them, therefore I think for Brooke & Paige’s own well being it might be best that they stay away from the studio. It’s sad that it’s come down to this, Lori your reviews are the cherry on top of each new Dance Moms episode – we’ll do this together, and we can rant and vent about the episodes together… but please don’t leave us!

  12. I agree with so many others that I enjoyed this blog because it was a funny take on the show. The show is just not that entertaining any longer.

    But I do have some burning questions after last nights episode:

    1. I swear a read somewhere amongst this Kelly/Abby assault that it was not caught on camera but I can no longer find that but surely they did not recreate this for the camera.

    2. Did Kelly do this on purpose to get out of her contract?

    3. I often wonder what w

    • Stupid phone. Cont:

      I often wonder what would’ve happened if the show would’ve never come in their lives? Would everyone still just be dancing competitively for Abby in Pitt? And if so, is she really that abusive and mean? Sad, sad situation for all this to blow up like this!

      4. I think every week about what was really scripted and really happened? I used to know the answers but I don’t anymore and just find the whole thing really aggravating.

      • Abby Lee Dance Company would still be in bankruptcy. They went bankrupt in 2010 and just came out a few months ago.

  13. Kelly can go, but I sure would like Brooke to stay. The poor kid seems so shy and her confidence level has taken a dive because of all the games played by adults are allowed to continue. I think she is a good dancer and there isn’t one thing “wrong” with her. She’s a teenager for God’s sake. Keep singing little girl, and dancing. I hope you return. You remind me of my granddaughter and I think that’s why I keep an eye out for you. Yes, I remember when Abby was nice to her kids and would praise them and love them but yet still be tough on them, and now it’s almost too painful to watch. I really hope this is all scripted cause I don’t think normal people act like this, plus I don’t want any of the adult’s actions to ruin the dance kids or any other kids that are watching. Something has to change.

    • Brooke has had one foot out the door since the show started. She’s probably thrilled that she’s done.

    • Kelly has a right to stick up for her kids but I must say she acts like a bratty kid always storming out brook is a good dancer but Paige can’t dance to save her life she stiff as hell kelly was wrong for putting her hands on that big whale she is not worth a criminal record abby do not make the show by herself those moms do also without those same moms we so use to see it will not be the same watch out lifetime your ratings gone drop

        • I felt we finally saw more of the girls dancing, and I loved that. I would like everyone to know that anger is the first step of grief. Abby needs
          a little compassion at this time.

          • Normally I would agree with you, but Abby has been a miserable hag from day one, her mother had nothing to do with it. Yes she is under an enormous amount of stress, and probably was at the time this was shown, but that doesn’t excuse how she treated those girls the last 4 years.

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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.