Dance Moms recap Episode 30: Takin’ It To The Streets

dance-moms-episode-30-cathy Lori Acken

The season is winding down, Dance Moms nation! It’s time for nationals and things are about to get seriously crazy. But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to reflect on the hot messery which has been Season 4…


Our faithful Abby brought in a “Select Team” of dancers whom she talented poached from around the country to challenge the Pitt Crew. For the first half of the season, we waited for them, we argued about them and mostly we hated them. When they beat the girls in competition we were worried they might be here to stay.

Yeah, right.

After the mid-season break, Abby brought the Select Team back sporadically as a group and as individuals to shake things up and to keep the format from becoming stale but it’s all felt very transitory.

Maddie has had an eventful year. She starred in international music sensation Sia’s video for the song “Chandelier,” she has appeared on multiple late night talk shows and even a few web series. Of course, Abby is thrilled and has taken plenty of time to scold the other mothers for keeping their girls in middle school.

Kendall is struggling to rise as a favorite, Nia is struggling to be noticed period, and Chloe is trying to keep her mom from getting her kicked off the team… again. MackZ is tiny, cute, and looks a little sick of dancing.

Last week was the annual ALDC Dance Concert and each of the girls (plus a Select dancer) performed a forty-five second solo to audition for a place on the Nationals team. Since then, we’ve all been on the edge of our seats to see what would happen this week. And I can’t say it was surprising.

The team is in L.A. for nationals this year and everyone piles into a tiny, rented studio for rehearsals. The Select team busts in just in time for Abby to start critiquing the previous week’s performances.

Pyramid is quick and only semi-painful. Like ripping off a band-aid. Chloe is last because a buckle fracture in her foot prevented her from dancing at all last week. Mackenzie dropped a few turns. Nia was not as good as Abby thought she should be. Kendall was, like, alright I guess. Kamryn (straddling the line between Select team and Pitt Crew) performed to the back of the audience and was very impressive.

Maddie gets the top spot for breathing so beautifully.

Now for the part we care about. Who’s dancing solo at Nationals? The answer is … not Maddie. Despite requesting to dance anyway, the fledgling starlet is appearing on Jimmy Kimmel and has to attend rehearsal for the taping, so she will only be around for one day of dance practice. The actual soloists this week will be Kendall, Chloe (whose foot is conveniently all better now) and Kamryn.

Holly is not happy. Nia — dancing with the ALDC since she was two years old — has never performed a solo at nationals. Her beautiful, contemporary dance tribute to Maya Angelou killed the competition two weeks ago, but Abby didn’t think she lived up to it in her audition. Nia won’t be dancing this week and Abby tells Holly to take her elsewhere if she wants to have a solo so badly.

With the obligatory, early conflict out of the way, Abby drops this week’s real bomb. Although the Select Team has been hit or miss all season, Abs now invites them to join the studio which she is going to open in L.A. in the coming year. As the moms wonder how Abby will split her time between a new studio an entire country away, Abby wonders which of the moms will be moving with her.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the primary conflict of Season 5.

But back to this season’s conflict. As this news sinks in for the moms, Gia (still, apparently, Abby’s secretary even in a rented studio space) arrives to tell them a package has arrived with Abby’s name on it. They drag the brightly-wrapped box inside only to find Cathy’s hideous name stamped on it. Abby decides to leave it in a corner and encourages the girls to ignore the trash.

But before rehearsals can start, another familiar face appears. Ava and her mother arrive, apparently here for pyramid, both of them with selective amnesia. In case you’re struggling with the same condition, DM Nation, Abby kicked Ava off the team after her mother had the young dancer compete against the ALDC a few weeks ago.

Not one to go back on her word (well, this time), Abby stands by her decision and kicks Ava out all over again. As the rejected mom and daughter walk out the door, the mothers express their absolute disgust that someone would allow their child to be screamed at by such a horrible, rude, loudmouthed woman more than once.

Apparently they’ve never heard of irony.

Maddie and Melissa head off to rehearse with Jimmy Kimmel and leave the lesser dancers behind.

After the break, the moms talk with the girls about their feelings about the pyramid. Chloe pipes up that she’s just glad the original team is dancing together again and it’s really freaking adorable. They discuss the possibility of moving to L.A. for Abby’s studio, and it’s almost universally agreed that if anyone goes to L.A., it will be to find their own opportunities, not to dance with Abby.

The Select team rehearses their number, entitled “Hollywood Stars.” The goal in this routine is to show off their lines and control. Abby gushes about their technique and fails to mention that, except for Sarah, every dancer on that team came from a different teacher and she can’t take any responsibility for any of it. The Pitt Crew’s dance is, of course, a statement number about kidnapped children which is subtly entitled “Amber Alert”. Mackenzie is being terrorized for the millionth time in her ALDC career and the girls rehearse the number with their usual half-heartedness.

On the other side of the dance tracks, Cathy has begun rehearsing with her thirty-millionth team of dancers this season. This week, she’s brought in a former So You Think You Can Dance winner to choreograph their routine the music for which is… Sia’s “Chandelier.” Nice. That’s definitely going to end well, Cath.

Back at the rented studio, the moms decide to open Abby’s package. Surprise! It’s hideous! The package contains an apple-dotted chandelier in the world’s least subtle act of passive aggression ever. Cathy decides she’s not getting enough attention and marches into the ALDC studio to nag Abby in person. The mothers gleefully send her into the rehearsal to hand deliver her gross light fixture. The Wicked Witch attempts to goad Abby, the moms, and even the girls, but no one takes the bait. Though it’s definitely one of her more annoying stunts, it’s also her least effective.

Afterwards, the moms discuss Cathy’s message … which was basically “You didn’t choreography Maddie’s biggest dance” …. which literally everyone knew already. They have to agree with the sentiment, segueing into a discussion of Maddie’s super-secret private lesson earlier that morning. It’s assumed that Maddie will be doing a last-minute number during Nationals. And it will be more surprising if that doesn’t happen.

Back in the studio, Abby is on the phone with a realtor — she plans to have a studio up and running by next season but she doesn’t have a building yet? — and ChristY decides now is the perfect time to ask about the apple chandelier very loudly.

Abby loses her temper and Sarah starts crying, prompting Abby to yell at her instead of her mother.

This is (hopefully) the only time I sympathize with CWAY, but Ab’s tantrum seemed more abrupt than usual. That screaming match just came out of nowhere.


So now CWAY and Sarah are off the team (how many times is this now?) and the Select team is down two members. Abby has gone AWOL to hunt for studio space and watch Maddie’s Jimmy Kimmel performance, leaving the soloists with woefully little rehearsal time.

Christi is predictably unhappy with Chloe’s choreography despite Gia’s reassurances, and all the moms are now certain beyond a doubt that Maddie is going to be brought in to “save” them at the last minute since she’s been learning new material with Abby all week.

To finish off the episode, the team heads to a street-dance show in downtown L.A. It’s being hosted by one of Abby’s numerous “old friends” and she takes plenty of time to pimp out Maddie’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel and the new studio that’s supposed to be open by this time next year. The girls watch in awe as a bunch of young, West Coast hip-hop dancers take the stage. It’s almost like Abby has only taught them how to do contemporary, lyrical routines! How odd!

dance-moms-episode-30-cathyOf course Cathy can’t take a day off from being annoying so she hauls her team out to the street, too, and challenges Abby to a dance-off. ALDC accepts and the kids throw down. They go at it as individuals first, and Nia and Chloe nail it.

Chloe is a total sass bucket of curly blonde hair and Nia is as fierce as she has ever been and infinitely more confident than when she is doing a choreographed number. They go head-to-head with a Candy Apple and let the crowd decide who wins.

The traitorous crowd picks the Apple girl, but no one can deny that Chloe and Nia looked fabulous up there.

The groups then face off. The ALDC takes the stage first and perform a perfectly in sync, completely unchoreographed routine to music they have never heard before, followed by the Candy Apples who are also amazingly perfect just, you know, riffin’ off the tops of their heads!

Really convincing, editing crew. Really convincing.

The ALDC wins the overall competition and Cathy leaves a tad more humbled, while Abby self-advertises some more. It’s quite an ending to a big episode — and with only one episode left in the season, the stakes have never seemed so high.

So who is dancing next week? Is Abby’s L.A. studio really a thing? Is Christi going to hang in there for another season? What about Holly Give me your thoughts, Dance Moms Nation! And see you next week!

The Dance Moms Season 4 finale premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 on Lifetime.


  1. A friend of mine and her son took part in the VIP Dance Event in Calgary, Alberta Canada this past weekend with Blake McGrath teaching and Chloe was one of the guest instructors. Christie was also there and I was told that she was VERY sweet, friendly and supportive of all the kids taking part. She was nothing like what we see on television, and said that Chloe loved working with Blake, especially with the younger kids. I think that’s great to hear, things aren’t always what they seem on tv. In the end, Christie is still a mom supporting her daughter and Chloe IS happy now, doing what she loves. I think it’s safe to say that Abby did NOT kill her love of dance.

  2. They’re not going to air what really happened between Chloe and that fat bitch. miller made a very cruel remark about Chloe’s eye. I despise that ego inflated hag.

    Chloe is doing quite well, is dancing for Studio 18, and is modeling for, I think it’s called “Something “Kix”, and has several videos posted at the vip event. She looks great, and happy!

    You are going down miller, and melissa and maddie as well. buh bye you old hag! L.A. won’t accept you and once off tv, you go back to being nothing but the hack you are!

  3. thanks so much for the updates. i hope kendall does good she has worked so hard for it. feel bad for sara i wanted to see her do a solo, she did get 1st on the on my own dance just like abby asked for so she shouldve had gone with them.

  4. The summer M/G fan circuit gives us a hint at the future:
    Brook/Paige – gone forever – they did some stuff with Chloe but than dropped out
    Chloe – did her own sessions – looked liked these were loosing steam as time went by – she was doing individual moves and not full dances – just seemed like it was a menthol release session for Christy
    Maddie, Kendall, Nia, MacZ went with Abby to England and than to Australia – all of them seem to be having fun and improving their performance skills while staying in dance shape – they also did dance classes for the attendees

    Next Session – I think we all know that Jill will do everything possible for Kendall (I think Kendall is now in the league with the best dancers and is growing into a solid stable dancer who also has beauty going for her) to be a star. I also think that Holly sees the path Nia is on and will step up to keep Nia with Abby.

    I always liked Kilani so maybe see will come back – but my real hope is that Abby can convince Sophia Lucia’s mom to let her be a major building block for the new LA studio.

    Of all of the dancer I have seem – Maddie and Sophia are on a different level. On the next level there is a group of 8-12 dancers (national) who you could be happy with any of them. (I will miss little Sarah (Christy) because she has a great chance of being an outstanding dancer, but I don’t think the timing is right with Abby)

    • There is no way that Sophia’s mother will subject her daughter to anything that horrible woman has to offer, that young lady is in a league all of her own. She doesn’t need Abby, if anything, Abby needs Sophia. I agree about Kendall, no one has the natural grace that she has, I prefer watching her over Maddie lately. At least her “face” is natural and not fake the way Maddie’s face is. Chloe is actually working with Blake McGrath right now, helping teach master classes in Calgary Alberta, Canada this weekend.

  5. Wow! I do see the two different jackets, Debra. I didn’t really notice that before. It seems the two moms who really speak up for their daughters without walking on eggshells around ALM may have really left. I think the contract for the show was for 4 years. I could be wrong. If Chloe and Nia have left the studio for good, I hope they do something to keep us up to date of their future dance careers. I want to see a joyful Chloe again. I haven’t seen that since her National title 2 years ago. I will say this– Maddie will never have a better partner for a duet than with Chloe. Even the other new favorite on the Select team won’t be able to keep in sync with Maddie the way Chloe has. They’ve been dancing together too long. I know Chloe, Nia, and MacZ have developed some very thick skin. They will be able to handle rejection well in their future careers.

    I really don’t know what Maddie will do if something happens to Abby. Abby knows her stuff, but she has her favorites. I think Abby is very creative, but the way she treated Chloe was hard to watch. I’m praying a phenomenal dance coach comes into Chloe’s life and gives her the dances that reach her greatest potential. I saw Chloe trying to put on toe shoes in a recent episode, but I’ve never seen her dance in them.

    As for Cathy, she’ll never top Abby’s dancers. Maybe for a brief episode, but even then, it won’t be HER work. She is just a rude, vulgar, and tacky woman whose only mission in life is to aggravate Abby. She doesn’t want to teach dancers to learn. She wants to have dancers to try and beat Abby. I hope the judges see this as a selfish move and send her empty handed. I can’t believe those mothers are allowing their children to be used as pawns in Cathy’s detestable agenda.

    Now that the team may be down to just two (Kendall came later) original members, Abby’s real team is gone. I really don’t think she will ever get another team like the original I’ve been watching these few years. The moms have seen her favoritism towards a few. I’ll keep watching until the what most are predicting comes to pass. Maybe we’ll be surprised.

  6. Nia was robbed at that Dance-off but I hope Abby recognized her spirit and talent and will hopefully start to pay more positive attention to her. If this was Chloe’s last episode it’ll be devastating but completely understood. Abby has become more mean to her over the years and it is cuz of how she feels about Christi and it’s sad cuz Chloe is a lovely dancer, and it would be a huge blow to lose her!

  7. 580,000 is the number of 18-49 households watching. That is number of TVs watching.

    “As of 2013, there were an estimated 115.6 million television households in the United States, up 1.2% from the previous year due to the inclusion of televisions that receive content over the Internet. A single national ratings point represents one percent of the total number, or 1,156,000 households for the 2013–14 season.”

  8. Number of households is 580,000

    “As of 2013, there were an estimated 115.6 million television households in the United States, up 1.2% from the previous year due to the inclusion of televisions that receive content over the Internet. A single national ratings point represents one percent of the total number, or 1,156,000 households for the 2013–14 season.”

  9. Did Leslie’s contract expire or something and CWAY auditioned best for the same role? Because they literally play the same character. The only difference is I never felt quite as bad for Payton as I do Sarah.

    • Leslie is an angel compared to CWAY, poor little Sarah will be in therapy her entire life thanks to that Mommy-dearest monster she’s stuck with…

  10. Chloe was great, as was Nia. Who needs millions of youtube hits because you dance around in a nude leotard? These two have class and creativity.

  11. I agree. Chloe and Nia were awesome.

    I wish the stupid show would just get back to the girls and dancing. The highlight was definitely Chloe’s excitement at putting the team back together.

    The girls are like the daughters I never had, with the added advantage of the fact I don’t have to pay for the dance lessons, unlike the soccer, music and tennis I did.

  12. I notice something in the group photo above. Word is that Chloe left that dump when filming ended. She is not allowed to wear the “team jacket” the others wear because she was only there for Lifetime filming. Look at the photo above. Both Chloe and Nia are not wearing that “official team” jacket. Interesting.

    Now I am wondering, has Holly removed Nia too? I can hope. Also, tonight in the street dance we see that Nia has short hair. Miller’s contract says no cutting of hair. Must have long hair. Interesting.

    So, if, a huge if, miller moves to LA, obviously melissa would follow her, but would jill and kendall? Looks like miller has lost her “team”.

    Damn Cathy for using that “sia song”. I had to hit mute. That woman cannot sing and hurts my ears.

    IMO Nia and Chloe kicked ass in that street dance. 🙂

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