Dance Moms Camouflaged Maneuvers

Dance Moms Camouflaged Maneuvers


Dance Moms
March 12, 2013

So this week and next week, Dance Moms has two hour episodes for some reason that I don’t understand. Last time there was an atypical episode length, we had Cathy hitting people with purses, and that was only thirty extra minutes. I can only imagine what they’ll do with a full extra hour.

We start with Pyramid right away where Abby reminds the girls how unhappy she is with all the second places from last week. Still, she isn’t yelling at them…she’s being cold instead. At the bottom of the pyramid is Mackenzie, then Nia, then Paige, Maddie, Kendall is second from the top, and at the top is Brook. Since Chloe isn’t on the pyramid at all, she asks about it and Abby snaps that she’s still on suspension. Abby tells the audience that she’s doing this to inspire her to work harder and resist her mother’s rebellious nature. Solos go to Brook, Kendall, and Maddie. The group number is an interpretation of the military concept of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Once the girls are sent from the room, Abby gets all her yelling out with the moms. She doesn’t want them to be happy with their kids getting second place. Outside, Christie tells Chloe to be so good that Abby can’t help but pay attention to her. When the girls are back in the studio, Abby tells them that she’s using the military theme because she wants them to get back to the basics. While the girls start practicing, the moms finally get a firm answer out of Melissa in terms of her impending wedding (a carry-over plot point from last season) and make plans to take her dress shopping, then they have another argument about Jill’s tactics concerning private lessons and Kendall’s duet with Nia from the week before. This ends like most of their arguments do, with Holly storming out of the observation room while Jill says that she doesn’t understand why she’s so mad.

While speaking with Melissa about something dance related, Abby gets a phone call and it is from a man. Abby is giddy and giggly, while the moms complain that she’s on the phone instead of working on the girls’ dances. This goes on for…a while. She apparently sets up a date. Evidently after she left speed dating, she met a man at a gas station. The moms want to help her get ready for her date and she reluctantly agrees.

Kendall’s solo is a contemporary piece called “Secrets and Lies.” Jill is elated that Kendall is being given a solo (as opposed to a duet, I guess?). Abby tells her that if she wants to compete with Maddie, she needs to work on her face. Just before group rehearsal, Mackenzie says that her foot hurts. Apparently she injured it doing a trick several days before. Melissa tries to explain this to Abby, but Abby says that Mackenzie either needs to do the group number or not do it, because she needs to plan the number one way or the other. Mackenzie does the rehearsal, but she’s nervous to commit to definitely performing it. The moms are confused as to why Mackenzie is rehearsing if she’s injured, but they brush it off and go back to planning Melissa’s bridal shower.

While getting her nails done for her date, Abby’s appointment is highjacked by Holly, Melissa and Jill. They misbehave and cause a scene and generally embarrass themselves and her. When the gentleman arrives, he’s not quite how she remembers him. By that, he’s a bit shorter than she recalls and she isn’t sure how she feels about that. Still, it’s “just dinner,” right, Abby? He tells her that they’re just going down the road and Abby assures him that the mad hens clucking at him are not her friends, but instead her customers, as they head out the door.

The guy explains that he rented the whole restaurant so they can have some private time. He seems…interesting, that’s for sure. He wants to write a book explaining how he’s figured out woman, a former male stripper, etc. The next day, Abby admits to the clucking hens that she isn’t sure if she was laughing with him or at him, but she did have a lot of fun and she does need more laughter in hers life. So she doesn’t know if he’ll be in her life or not, but she did have fun and fun is a good thing.

While Abby works on Brook’s solo and longs for the girl to get some passion for what she’s doing, Jill takes Kendall to get some new headshots. But then the shoot ends up being about Jill as much as Kendall. Then the moms take Melissa to her bridal shower. The moms observe that Jill is competitive even in something as simple as a party. Then come the dresses. The moms make plans to invite themselves to the wedding and make themselves her wedding party. Finally, Melissa finds the dress that makes her cry. They all agree that this is a turning point to cement their friendship.

The next day, Melissa arrives and tells Abby that she is dropping Maddie off and taking Mackenzie to the hospital. Abby is accepting about that and sends her on her way. The moms remark that they didn’t notice anything being wrong, but Melissa calls to ask Kelly to take Maddie home since Mackenzie was apparently in so much pain that she was crying quite violently. They wonder if Mackenzie’s foot might be broken, but observe that since the number is hiphop and the girls are wearing combat boots, maybe she’ll be able to blend in even with a boot for her broken foot.

When Abby learns that the girls don’t understand DADT, she sends the moms home to discuss the matter with them. The conversation between Kelly and her girls is…kind of weird. The girls kind of look like they already know what she’s talking about and are humoring her. That’s really the only conversation that we see and it’s probably for the best.

Meanwhile, we learn that Mackenzie sprained her foot and cannot dance for the next 72 hours. This means dropping out of the group dance, which means telling that to Abby. Melissa and Kelly note that Mackenzie is the only one who likes the hiphop dance, but Kelly thinks that maybe she got scared by how challenging the number is and she is trying to find a way out of it.

The competition finally arrives. Abby is also suspicious of Mackenzie’s mysterious foot injury, even after being given a doctor’s excuse. She even goes so far as to get a wheelchair to keep her off her feet. Kelly and Christie discuss the fact that Mackenzie was almost definitely intimidated by the hiphop routine and might just be looking for an excuse to not perform.

Kendall’s solo is the first in the lineup. I think she does well, but I thought Maddie did better than she apparently did last week. We won’t know until judging exactly how she does. A cool thing about the extended episode is that we get to see the entire routine (something I’ve complained about when watching from time to time). So that’s a nice change. After Kendall performs, Abby doesn’t think that she did well enough for first place, but we’ll see.

Maddie does do better than Kendall does, there’s no denying that. It’s a real treat to get to see her full number. You don’t realize how hard what these kids do is until you see the full results. Backstage, Abby discusses Kendall and Maddie’s dances with them, but just tells Brook to keep practicing on her own. Abby wheels Mackenzie out of the green room (and that little girl seems to have an odd little smirk, unless I’m much mistaken). Kelly is resentful that Abby won’t even watch Brook practice, but still expects her to be a passionate leader.

The moms apparently caught Mackenzie doing cartwheels earlier and using her wheelchair as a prop. The moms confront Melissa, who jumps to Mackenzie’s defense. The moms think the kid’s lying, Melissa swears she’s not. Finally they let it drop because Mackenzie is, you know, six.

Brook’s dance is beautiful but far from flawless. The camera shows Abby making a few bad faces during the performance and she hardly gives her a standing ovation, since she forgot a step. Backstage, Abby laments that Brook is might consider a calling other than dance. Then she asks Mackenzie how she’s doing. Melissa says she’s resting. Abby wants to know if she’s resting from all the cartwheels she was doing. Mackenzie denies having done anything and Abby interrogates the other girls. It seems she was doing tricks of some sort.

Before the group routine, Abby tells her that she’ll be watching her perform carefully. She wants her to start speaking up for herself, especially against her mother thwn Christie does something that breaks the contract. Then the girls go on stage. It’s actually a pretty cool dance and the girls seem to be pretty on top of things. They’ve done hiphop before with less than stellar results, but tonight they did better. Holly admits that it was not perfect, but it was entertaining.

Backstage, the girls are given 20 push-ups each , because they all made mistakes. Then Abby sends them out the door to await the award ceremony. There, the girls are awarded as follows: Brook earns second place, Kendall is given fourth place, Maddie gets second place, and the group is given…seventh. Abby comes into the green room waving a white flag. She gives each a lecture on what they did wrong. Then she sends them out of the room and rants and raves at the parents. She’s especially unhappy with Brook. It seems that Cathy is back for the second 2 hour special next week, so we’ll see how that works out next time.


Dance Moms All’s Fair In Love and War

Dance Moms All’s Fair In Love and War


Dance Moms
March 5, 2013

At Pyramid this week, Abby congratulates the girls on winning, although she says that she didn’t think it was their best performance. She scolds Chloe for using her own choreography…which was improvisation anyway. Whatever. On pyramid, we start with Paige, then Kendall, then Brook, then Nia (third on the pyramid for taking third place at the competition), Mackenzie, and Maddie tops the thing off. Jill looks…pretty furious when Maddie is put on top. The girls are going to New Jersey, and Abby explains that everyone will be in the group dance except Mackenzie (and she will be replaced with a boy).

Solos go to Mackenzie, Maddie, and a duet is given to Kendall and Nia. Maybe this time Holly won’t call Abby a “monstrosity of evil.”

Last season, Abby brought in a boy named Nick and the group number won first place. He is the boy being brought in again. The piece is called “Your Dream Will Become By Dream” and is about the different kinds of love (romantic, familial, all kinds). Upstairs, the moms muse on how everyone remembers their first love. They decide that they’ll take Abby speed dating (and Abby realizes that the fact that they’re all getting along means they’re up to no good). Jill decides that this is a good chance to get Kendall ahead and asks Abby out for dinner. Abby immediately guesses that she’s going to hook her up with a guy.

The next day, Abby arrives to find Christie and Chloe not there. As Kelly points out, this is not the week to be late. It turns out that it was just traffic issues. Before Abby can run the group number, the moms come in and demand that Abby come out with them right away. Kelly invites Christie, but Abby refuses to go if she’s going. So Jill kicks her out so that Abby will go, and of course Christie throws a fit about it in confessional, despite this being Abby’s night and not hers.

Abby is shocked and deeply amused to discover that they’re speed dating. This is an…awkward thing to watch because Abby has some weird requirements, but at least the guys are nice to her. They don’t say whether or not any of the guys decided to go out with her again, but I hope that they do. Abby needs some fun after losing her dog.

While rehearsing Nia and Kendall’s duet, Abby says that the girls are working in sync like she wants. Upstairs, Jill looks horrified every time Abby corrects the girls. Christie muses that Holly might want to watch out because all Jill cares about is Kendall winning the Competition of Life. Holly is, of course, not thrilled about it and she and Christie go down to confront Jill. Whether or not she did anything wrong, Jill does react very snidely to their concern.

While the girls try on their costumes for a dress rehearsal, she tells them about her speed dating adventures. There is a lot of giggling from her, the girls, and from the moms upstairs. After the commercial break, it’s off to the competition!

At the competition, Abby warns them about their bad history in New Jersey. She then discovers that Nia has a cough. Concerned, Abby asks Maddie to make sure that she knows the routine and tells Jill that they can sub someone for Nia, but Jill says that she can’t do that and Nia promises that she will be fine on stage.

Mackenzie’s solo is adorable as always and she does not forget any steps. Even Abby has only nice things to say to her (apart from not using her face enough). Then Jill disappears to run the duet with Kendall and one of the teachers. Abby sends Holly to go find her. Holly is frustrated that Jill is having privates when they’re practicing a duet, and Abby says that it’s not like the instructor to do that. Still, when Jill returns, Abby tells her that she shouldn’t put the other moms’ opinions about the good of her child. Mixed messages everywhere.

The duet is cute and nothing noticeable seems to go wrong. No one fell over or forgot what they were doing. We’ll see how it places soon.

Next up is Maddie. She’s beautiful as always. It’s kind of sad to say, but beautiful dancing is just sort of the standard for this kid. It’s always worth watching. It’s noticeable when she doesn’t do well. In the dressing room, the moms confront Jill for what happened with Christie in the limo (Kelly invited her. The night was for Abby) and not being a team player. Jill says that she’s doing what’s best for her child and Christie admits that it’s better that she’s honest.

Abby says that she isn’t totally happy with the ground number, but I thought it went really well.

At the awards ceremony, Mackenzie gets second place in her age division. Maddie also gets second (which is surprising. I would have liked to see the first place number). The duet gets fifth place (Jill says it’s because it wasn’t choreographed to be a “winning number”). Then the group number gets second place too.

The moms tell the girls that they’re proud of them, but everyone knows that Abby won’t be happy with it. Abby tells them that some of them need a break and that she doesn’t think they love dance. The next two week are going to be two hour specials, so we’ll see how all this plays out.


Dance Moms Bye Bye Baby

Dance Moms Bye Bye Baby


Dance Moms
February 26, 2013

Dance Moms Bye Bye Baby – Our episode begins in typical fashion with the girls arriving for pyramid. Yet when they get there, Abby is missing. She arrives late and explains that her beloved dog, Broadway Baby, passed away from kidney failure. Even Christie makes it clear that she feels deep sympathy for Abby’s loss.

The pyramid starts with Paige on the bottom, then Brook (for making top 5 but not winning), Mackenzie, Kendall, Nia, and Maddie on top. Conspicuously absent is Chloe, and Abby explains that this is because she is still suspended. Abby explains that Mackenzie will not be in the group number (presumably because it is too mature from her). Solos go to Nia and Maddie, and they will be going to St. Louis, where they will inevitably run into an old teammate (not Cathy) who they did not get along with at all.

When Abby’s grief overwhelms her, the moms discuss the subject of dedicating their group number to Broadway Baby. They choose a new song, talk about new choreography, and go to look at new costumes. While Melissa and Jill think it’s a good idea, Holly, Kelly, and Christie are sure that Abby will not appreciate them changing her dance direction. To top everything off, Kelly and Christie are still not speaking.

At home, Abby discusses the loss of Broadway Baby with her mother. Despite her mom’s assurance that there was nothing she could have done, she still frets that being home might have made a difference, but instead she was off with other people’s children. It’s very sad to see anyone suffer a loss as deep as what Abby is obviously feeling for her dog.

The next day, Abby has still not returned to the studio. She tells her mother that she is hesitant to leave her alone because she doesn’t want anything else to happen while she’s on the road. Her mother tells her that she has to go back to the studio and teach the kids, but Abby says that they’re just too unappreciative. Ironically, at the studio, the girls are working on a card to cheer her up. The moms ask whether Abby will be back or not, and no one knows. Meanwhile, Kelly and Christie get into another screaming match about the Kelly not calling her. Again.

Abby returns to the studio and works with Maddie and Nia, then finds out about the tribute dance. She is not happy about this. She calls the mothers down and lectures them on changing her vision, explaining how offensive she finds it that they changed everything in her vision. So she tells them that they can choose the music they want and improv to it, but the results are…messy. We’ll see how that goes.

At the competition, however, she is still planning to have the girls improvise. They are barely in the door before they run into none other than…Black Patsy! She and her daughter spent about two weeks with the ALDC before returning to St. Louis. In the green room, Holly and Abby fuss over Nia’s costume. Then it’s time for Nia to go on stage. She does…well enough. Some parts looked very good. Other parts looked sloppy. It averaged out well enough I imagine.

After Nia is the Rival of the Week, Nicaya. I’m not sure what to think of her performance. It also had highs and lows, displaying some sloppy jumps. Then comes Maddie. This kid is always good. Never forgets to point her feet. She does a lovely dance to a pretty song in a weird costume. Sounds about right for Abby. After her solo, the announcer says that Maddie wanted to dedicate her dance to Broadway Baby. This earns her little more than a stink eye from Kelly.

Backstage, Abby thanks Melissa for the dedication. Melissa shows Abby a video that she had of Broadway Baby dancing for Abby, the week before. Back in the green room, the moms ambush Melissa, accusing her of going behind their back to “get her kid ahead.” Melissa probably hits the nail on the head when she says that the other moms are just upset that Abby is her friend again and doesn’t treat Melissa and Maddie the way she treats the other kids. At the risk of taking sides, the moms are really being ridiculous.

Abby has no delusions that the group number is going to be flawless, nor does she even think they stand a chance of placing well. Still, at the end she admits that it could have gone worse. In the audience, Kaya (AKA Black Patsy) is trash talking the kids. Abby makes a graceful exit, but Kaya follows them out of the auditorium, saying all sorts of mean things about the girls.

After Kaya is forcibly removed from the competition and her child disqualified (for totally inappropriate behavior in the hallway), it’s time for awards. Nia is given Best Costume and third place, and Maddie is given first place. Somehow, the girl’s improv group number won first place. Apparently happy dances do pretty well at these things. Everyone is happy with the win, and even Abby seems cheered up. Christie and Kelly seem to have made up. The girls present their card to Abby and Abby requests that everyone say a prayer for her baby. All in all, the episode ends on a very uplifting note.