Dance Moms

Dance Moms
Genre Reality
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 184 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Collins Avenue Entertainment
Original network Lifetime
Picture format
Original release July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13) – Present
Related shows
External links

Dance Moms is an American reality television series that debuted on Lifetime on July 13, 2011. Created by Collins Avenue Productions, the show follows the early training and careers of children in dance and show business under the tutelage of Abby Lee Miller, as well as the interactions of Miller and the dancers with their sometimes bickering mothers. They compete against each other through their children. Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Los Angeles, California, the show is primarily filmed at the Abby Lee Dance Company studios. Dance Moms season 7 premiered in November, 2016.

Ellen DeGeneres is developing a film based on Dance Moms.[1]


Primarily set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and, since 2015 in Los Angeles, Dance Moms follows the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition Team of mostly preteen girls as they travel week-to-week to various dance competitions, winning awards and preparing for Nationals, while at the same time being prepared by Abby Lee Miller to be "professional, employable working dancers." The series depicts the doting mothers as rivals of each other on behalf of their own daughters, often arguing with Miller and each other, and sometimes closing ranks against rival teams. Dance performances are creatively conceptualized by Miller and her dance instructors, with input from the show's producers, while choreography is done by Miller, her staff, and occasionally a guest choreographer. Various rival dance teams spur the team's competitiveness. The show's success is often credited to the drama and conflict among Miller and the moms, along with the weekly dances and the close relationships among the girls as viewers watch them grow up and improve their skills.

The show features Miller as a strict dance team coach who, over the series, relies more and more on criticism, sometimes personal, to motivate the girls, with an emphasis on hard work and competition against teammates. Every week on the show, Miller uses a pyramid of individual headshots and gives feedback to each girl about their ranking, previous week's performance, attitude, effort, and the behavior of the girl herself and her mother. Miller had never used a pyramid in her studio prior to Dance Moms, and when once asked about the it, Miller stated, "I've never done that in my life. That has nothing to do with me. That's the show; they came up with that whole process."[2]

In season 5, Miller relocated the team to Los Angeles to help build her reputation on the west coast, and while the team continued weekly competitions, the focus has shifted somewhat to include preparation for acting and music business careers. In the season 5 reunion episode, first broadcast in August 18, 2015, Miller contemplated changes to the Junior elite competition team for season 6 as most of the girls are aging out of the junior category.


Timeline of moms

Moms Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Current main moms
Holly Frazier Main
Jill Vertes Main
Kira Girard Guest Main
Ashlee Allen Guest Main
Former main moms
Melissa Gisoni Main
Christi Lukasiak Main
Kelly Hyland Main
Cathy Nesbitt-Stein Main Guest Guest
Kristie Ray Main
Jessalynn Siwa Main

Abby Lee Dance Company

Dance Moms at the May 2015 opening of ALDC-LA in Santa Monica, California, season 5. From left: Holly Hatcher-Frazier, Kira Girard, Melissa Gisoni, Jill Vertes and Jessalynn Siwa.

Rival studios

Beginning with the start of season 5.5, BDA competed as "Candy Apples" for one week after which they resumed using their actual name. This team (consisting of Huelsman, Wilkenson, Smith, Roth and Ava Cota) won the Overall Group competition, handing the ALDC their first Nationals loss in the group overall category.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13)October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12)
230[lower-alpha 1]January 10, 2012 (2012-01-10)September 25, 2012 (2012-09-25)
339[lower-alpha 2]January 1, 2013 (2013-01-01)September 17, 2013 (2013-09-17)
434January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01)October 14, 2014 (2014-10-14)
534January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06)August 18, 2015 (2015-08-18)
634January 5, 2016 (2016-01-05)November 22, 2016 (2016-11-22)
7TBANovember 29, 2016 (2016-11-29)[25]TBA
  1. Season 2 included one special episode that is not acknowledged as a season episode, as well as another that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.
  2. Season 3 included one episode that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome Ref.
2012 2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Nominated
2013 2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Nominated
Choice TV: Female Reality Star Abby Lee Miller Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Cable Award Craig Owens Won
2014 2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Dance Moms Nominated
Choice TV: Reality Personality (Female) Abby Lee Miller Nominated
2015 2015 Kids' Choice Awards Nickelodeon: Favorite Reality Show Dance Moms Won
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show Nominated
2016 2016 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Talent Competition Nominated [26]

Controversy and criticism

Several episodes featured controversial costume choices made by Miller, some of which were criticized by the moms, particularly Lukasiak and Frazier. Due to heavy criticism, the season 2 episode "Topless Showgirls", which aired on March 6, 2012, has been removed from rotation. The episode features the young dancers performing a burlesque-style routine and wearing sequined, flesh-toned bra tops and tights in an effort to make them appear nude. Miller defends her costume choice saying, "Everyone in the industry knows the girls are completely covered and everything's harmless." Lifetime confirmed pulling the episode.[27][28] The episode is not included on the season's DVD.[29]

Kelly Hyland was arrested in early January 2014 on charges of assaulting Miller during a dispute backstage at a dance competition held in New York City during filming for the show's fourth season in November 2013. Hyland appeared in court with Miller on January 21, 2014 and pleaded "not guilty". A hearing was scheduled for March but adjourned to May 5, 2014. Legal expert Rosemarie Arnold opined that because the episode aired on TV, Hyland's defense that the alleged assault was scripted was viable.[30] On a January 29 appearance on The View, Miller announced that Hyland and her daughters Brooke and Paige are no longer contracted with and would no longer appear on Dance Moms.[31][32] The episode featuring the incident between Hyland and Miller aired on February 11, 2014.[33] After the final episode of season 4, Christi and Chloe Lukasiak also left "Dance Moms"[34] because of continuing insults and dismissive treatment toward Chloe.[35] In October 2014, then-13-year-old Paige Hyland sued Miller, but Hyland's lawsuit was dismissed.[36]

On October 13, 2015, Abby Lee Miller was indicted in Pittsburgh on charges of concealing her income from her performances on the show in 2012 and 2013. She is charged with bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations in hiding some $755,000.[37][38]


A spin-off series, Dance Moms: Miami, set in Miami, Florida, at Victor Smalley and Angel Armas' Stars Dance Studio, premiered on April 3, 2012,[39] and was cancelled in September 2012.

A sister program titled Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition[40] followed Miller and other dance professionals judging twelve young dancers aged 6–13 years on different styles of dance, hoping to find the most versatile dancer of the group. The series premiered on October 9, 2012 and ran for two seasons.

In 2014, Miller hosted another sister program titled Abby's Studio Rescue that followed Miller as she visited dance studios across the country to assist them to improve their choreography, studio decor, staff and other aspects. It premiered on June 24, 2014.

In July 2014, another spin-off titled Raising Asia starred Asia Monet Ray, a guest team member for several episodes of season 3 of Dance Moms. The show followed Ray, her model mom, bodybuilder dad and younger sister Bella Blu, helping Asia to pursue her dreams of fame in show business.[41]

A British version of Dance Moms titled Dance Mums premiered on October 20, 2014 and ran for two seasons. Jennifer Ellison hosted the series, set at her Liverpool dance school, Jelli Studios.[42] Dance Mums was produced by Shiver Productions.

See also


  1. Crittenton, Anya. "Ellen DeGeneres Developing Dance Moms Movie at Warner Bros.",, July 20, 2016
  2. Juzwiak, Rich (July 21, 2011). "Dance Moms' Abby Lee Miller on Ranking Students and Dressing Them Sexily". TV Guide. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Dance Moms Cast". Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  4. "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003.
  5. "Faculty – Reign Dance Productions".
  6. "Faculty of Abby Lee Dance Company". September 14, 2003.
  7. "Kendall Vertes". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  8. "'Dance Moms' Season 5, Episode 9 Spoilers: Abby Lee Miller Threatens Kalani Hilliker's Spot On ALDC Team". International Business Times. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  9. "Decisions Decisions". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  10. "Kira and Kalani". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  11. "JoJo with a Bow Bow". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  12. "Jessalynn and JoJo". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  13. "The Competition Begins". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  14. "From Ballerinas to Showgirls". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  15. "New Season 3 Dancers Pictures". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  16. "The Beginning of the End". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  17. "Revenge of the Replacements". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  18. "Murrieta Dance Project – Murrieta CA – 951.698.3339". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  19. "Blame It on the New Girl". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  20. "Hello Hollywood, Goodbye Abby". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  21. Website design Visual Impressions Graphic Design. JC's Broadway Dance Academy 2007 All rights reserved. "Welcome to Broadway Dance Academy". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  22. "Junior Select Ensemble Pictures". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  23. "Presenting My New Team". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  24. "Abby Got Served". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  25. "Kids Choice Awards 2016 nominees list", MTV, February 2, 2016
  26. Anna Chan (March 2012). "Lifetime pulls 'Topless' 'Dance Moms' episode". TODAY.
  27. "Burlesque 'Dance Moms' episode yanked". Daily News. New York.
  28. "iTunes TV Shows – Dance Moms, Season 2". iTunes Store.
  29. "'Dance Mom' Kelly Hyland Faces Assault Charge For On-Camera Incident " CBS New York".
  30. "Abby Lee Miller: 'Brooke And Paige Are Leaving The ALDC Team,' Confirms 'Dance Moms' Star [VIDEO]". International Business Times. January 29, 2014.
  31. "'Dance Moms' Star Kelly Hyland Charged With Assault on Coach Abby Lee Miller – Video". ABC News.
  32. "Kelly Hyland Talks Abby Lee Miller Fight, Leaving ALDC: 'She Hurts My Kids Every Day,' Says 'Dance Moms' Star". International Business Times. January 30, 2014.
  33. Rebecka Schumann. "'Dance Moms' Star Dishes on Chloe Lukasiak's Exit From Abby Lee Miller Series, Says Goodbye After Explosive Season 4 Finale". International Business Times.
  34. Rebecka Schumann. "'Dance Moms' Season 4 Finale Spoilers: Abby Lee Miller Insults Chloe Lukasiak, ALDC Girls Compete At Nationals [PART 2 RECAP]". International Business Times.
  35. Rebecka Schumann. "Paige Hyland's Lawsuit Against 'Dance Moms' Star Abby Lee Miller Dismissed By Judge". International Business Times.
  36. "'Dance Moms' star Abby Lee Miller indicted on fraud charges". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  38. "Breaking News – Lifetime's "Dance Moms: Miami" to Turn Up the Heat on April 3". Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  39. "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition".
  40. "Lifetime's 'Raising Asia' Child Star Docuseries to Premiere in July". Variety.
  41. "Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014.

External links

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