It’s that time of year again, Dance Moms Nation. The ALDC dance concert is on and it’s going to be cutthroat this year!
The Pitt Crew plus Sarah (of CWAY CWAY fame) and Kamryn from the Select Team are all lined up for pyramid, which is predictable, as always. Chloe hits bottom (this time for missing a day of rehearsal to get an MRI on her foot), even though Kendall was the one who couldn’t win a competition even with Maddie choreography. Nia finally makes it to the top after her Maya Angelou-inspired win and all the girls give her a big cheer. Although I doubt Abby’s good graces will last her long.
After everyone’s been put in their place for the week, Abby announces that this year’s concert will be dedicated to her mother, who passed away not long ago. It always feels a little cheap to “honor” someone on reality TV but this actually seems okay. Remember first season when the team visited her in Florida and they all played together in her pool? This show used to be cute, guys, and now it just oscillates between sad and frustrating. Hopefully this tribute is tasteful and not just a gimmick.
In addition to the group number, Abby announces that the girls will get 45 seconds on stage each to audition for nationals solos. Maddie is exempt (obvs) but the other girls have to pick their best choreography and get it ready in time for the show, without the help of Abby or any of the ALDC instructors. Come show time, Abby will judge them for herself and decide who goes to nationals.
As group rehearsal starts, the moms retreat to their lofty nest to complain. Christi is upset that Kamryn has returned even though Chloe beat her once already and she takes it out on Kam’s mother, Jodi. They bring up the rumor that Abby tried to convince the judges to score Kamryn higher than Chloe at their last competition and Christi decides to confirm or deny it once and for all. She calls the competition and asks to talk to one of the judge’s from that night. Of course, all national competitions use the same judges all the time and always hand over their personal contact information to raving mothers.
“Francisco” reveals that Abby (shockingly) did try to convince him that Kamryn was better than Chloe. Kamryn’s mother defends Abby’s choice, but Christi isn’t buying into that any time soon.
To give the girls a break from rehearsal, Abby sets up a charity dunk tank, with herself as the, uh, dumpee. The moms pay ten dollars to give their kids a shot at dropping Abby in a tank of cold water and Abby donates the money to her mother’s charity foundation. It’s cute, but definitely a gimmick. And the girls could definitely work on their hand-eye coordination. Perfect Maddie’s throw is a mile off and Kendall’s hits the lever but not hard enough to make Abby drop. Whoops.
Tech rehearsal goes well; the girls practice about a million numbers while Abby works light and sound from the booth. Until, of course, the end. Chloe comes off stage limping and her foot is too swollen to fit in a pointe shoe. She says she wants to dance, but Christi decides to take her to express care.
The dreaded happens: Chloe comes in the next day in a full boot and will have to sit out for the week if she has a hope of being well enough to dance at nationals.
She can’t participate in rehearsals, but Chloe still attends and watches as the other girls choose their 45 second solos. The moms help their daughters pick their best numbers and look on while the girls rehearse. Christi feels compelled to point out that it’s very convenient for Kamryn to be dancing with the Pitt Crew this week just in time for the auditions and for Chloe to be hurt. Jodi is, of course, sorry that Chloe was injured but does not regret being here for the concert. Did Christi really think one of the Select Team moms would care about things being any semblance of “fair”? That goes against the very nature of the Select Team.
After the break, Abby is informed about Chloe’s injury and Christi has to pull out the X-rays to prove her kid is injured. Then, once Abs is satisfied the injury is real/non-ignorable, Abby expresses doubt that Chloe will be okay for nationals despite Christi’s reassurances. With these three, it’s always one step forward and two steps back. You have to feel for Christi, who obviously regrets getting Chloe kicked out of nationals last year, but it’s hard to fault Abby for not wanting to risk further injuring one of her dancers.
Now the team has a problem because the dance — already rocky from limited rehearsal — is off balance. It just doesn’t work with an even number of dancers. Abby makes the decision to pull Sarah, who balanced out Chloe. It’s not an unheard of decision but ChristY is upset about it and, of course, the other moms goad her into confronting Abby. This is defs going to end well.
ChristY enters Abby’s lair and asks her to “utilize Sarah’s talents.” Even after Abby tells her to get out and Sarah literally begs her mom to leave, ChristY overstays her welcome and Abby pulls her from the group number — and probably the rest of the dance concert. Then, as Sarah stands in the hallway outside of the room and sobs while asking her mom to “just drop it” and go home for the night without risking her career with the ALDC, CWAY goes CWAY and marches her kid back into the studio. As if that will help things. The other moms are appalled that she doesn’t listen to her child, so now they goad her to back down from Abby. Things would go smoother if they would just make up their collective mind already.
Fed up with the criticism and the yelling, ChristY leaves the Mom Loft and announces that she is done with the ALDC. This is classic CWAY behavior so only time (approximately a week) will tell if this is the real deal.
Rehearsals wrap up pretty uneventfully. Abby reminds the girls six more times that their shot at nationals/their entire lives are on the line with their auditions and that she wants them to be flawless. Yes, Miss Abby, we’ve all heard it before. Now can you explain why your hair is perpetually in curlers?
The day of the show, Chloe has to sit on the sidelines, but she stills hangs out in the dressing room to support her teammates. The group number — a heist-style jazz piece — looks nice enough for having been learned in five minutes and Kamryn gets her chance to shine as the lead.
The forty-five second solos compete with mixed results. Nia looks great doing her Maya Angelou number, but expresses doubt that Abby will pick her over one of her “favorites.”
Kendall does a pop bubblegum number called Applause which shows off her personality and looks clean. It’s sad that she’s working so hard to understudy for Maddie.
Then in comes Mackenzie. Abby (still with a full head of curlers) says she expects a lot from the littlest dancer now that she’s been bumped up an age category but Mack-Z blows her first trick and has to make up for it the rest of the dance. To be fair, this is probably the only non-acro number she’s done since she turned eight and that’s a lot of pressure for a ten year old.
Abby is unhappy with the performance, but not as unhappy as Mackenzie herself. The kid comes off stage almost in tears and — a true little sister — immediately picks a fight with Maddie as all the girls gather around and try to make her feel better. It can’t be easy to stand in Maddie’s shadow any day of the week, but after blowing a big audition it has to feel even worse.
Kamryn performs last and also blows a turn, but Abby is still impressed with her ability to “perform to the back.” When she hands out critiques to the mothers (on paper instead of more verbal abuse), no one is surprised she didn’t comment on Kamryn’s total fail. After looking over her rap sheet, Nia is upset that her chances for nationals seem to be over, even though she performed her best. Christi steps up and helps cheer up the distraught girl while her friends gather around her. Nia has never had a solo at nationals and it looks doubtful this will be her year.
Everybody puts aside their differences for the dance concert reception, however, in order to honor Abby’s mother. The girls dress nicely and hang out together as Abby makes a tearful speech about her mother as a person, a teacher and a dancer. Remember when we used to get heartfelt moments like this on the reg? When Abby wasn’t always a rage monster and we saw the girls spend time as friends? I can’t say enough how much I miss those days.
So, the auditions were supposed to be definitive but so were the junior solos three weeks ago. Who’s in and who’s out? Can anyone but Abby say? We’ve only got one episode left this year and if you’ve stuck around this long, thanks! Can’t wait to finish out the season with you and we can all hope and pray together that the Select Team is gone for good at the end of it!
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