On tonight’s episode of Lifetime’s smash dance series, Bring It!, Team Captain Kayla gets asked to the prom, and Miss D and the Dancing Dolls have an integral part in the prom-posal. Unfortunately, prom is scheduled the night before an important competition and if Kayla misses practice for a difficult lyrical routine (a major departure from the Dancing Dolls’ Majorette style) the team might not have a chance against new rivals in a new dance category. I chatted with Dianne “Miss D” Williams about tonight’s episode and she explained why she lets her girls enjoys life’s big moments.
Bring It! is a major departure from another dance show I watch (ahem, Dance Moms) where the girls lives are ruled by a Dictator of Dance. Miss D’s encouragement of her girls to participate in the big moments of their young lives stems from her own upbringing. “When I started the Dancing Dolls, I always said that if I had a daughter, I would make sure that everything I didn’t have as a child, that daughter would get,” says Williams.
“I consider the girls my own children,” she continues. “The way that I would fight for my own child is the way that I would fight for them. I’ve watched a lot of them grow up in front of me. I remember when they got they got their first training bra, I’ve watched them become women, I’ve been there for major moments.”
And high school is full of major moments, some which can’t be repeated. Williams missed her own prom because he mother ran off her date for not wearing a proper shirt and tie. “I’ll never forget things like that, so when the girls have prom, I want to be there for them, I want to be a part of that. I want to take those pictures and let them know that I want them to have fun and be proud and also, harass the hell out of their boyfriends,” she laughs.
“My girls know that there are certain things that I’m going to be lenient on, and prom is one of those things. If it’s class day at school, if it’s graduation, if it’s them receiving awards, them being inducted in to the National Honor Society. Family First. School First. If they have to go to Bible study, go. Bring me back a piece of what you learned.”
Williams is a firm believer that just because dance is the center of her life, the focus doesn’t have to be the same for her Dancing Dolls. “I think that as adults, we all make decisions that we have to sacrifice certain things to make yourself happy. Kayla is going into her senior year in high school and she’s a young adult and has to start making those decisions. The girls know, that on Friday nights, they might have to miss a football game and they’re not going to be able to go to basketball games. But when it comes to things that you can’t get back, like senior class day, senior picnic, senior prom, junior prom, baptisms at church. Those are things that you can’t do again, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I don’t want them to miss that. I know what it feels like and I’ll never let my girls feel like that because of me. It’ll never be because of me.” And of course, missing practice can come with a price, says Williams, “[The girls] know when they miss practice, it’s double the work when they return because they have to catch up on what they missed. No corners are cut for anybody. If they don’t know what they’re supposed to do, from the captain to the newest girl on the squad, they can be cut.”