Friday, July 15, 2011

"She doesn't have weapons - only her mouth."

Anybody else catch the season premiere of the new Lifetime show Dance Moms?  Of course, spending 16 years of my life dancing (private studio, competition and high school dance team) had me greatly intrigued so I dvr'd it and indulged last night.  

Now, I know that people are "portrayed" different when it comes to reality TV but I really think the owner of the studio in Pittsburgh - Abbey Lee - is REALLY as crazy and awful as she seems!  Then again, parents are paying her (GASP - one woman said she pays $16,000/year for her to teach her 6 year old!) so who really is the crazy one in the picture?!  Not to mention, the woman verbally abuses the girls from the minute their dance class starts to the minute it ends.  She doesn't even hold back when it comes to the parents... The woman runs a tight ship but she needs to find a way to get perfection from her dancers without all the verbal and physicological abuse.  Case in point... during a trio at competition one little girl's headpiece fell forward ... Abbey's comments to the mother..."Next time it better be sewed to her head!"  So while she was out in the lobby screaming at the mother, both the teacher and the mother missed seeing the little girl win first place for her trio. 

For me, dancing is one of the best memories I have from growing up.  I made lasting friendships and got to compete up and down the US.  When it came to perfection, time spent dancing, and expectations - I was way harder on myself than my parents ever were - I can't even imagine how these little stick-thin 6-year-olds are going to turn out after being told half the stuff their dance teacher screams at them on a routine basis.

Yes - part of the beauty of dance is the perfection, effortless, percise artistic movement - and lifelong lessons that can be learned from the art - discipline, dedication, showmanship, sportmanship - but as with everything else, someone can make it look bad for everyone else.  With this TV show, there will be a gauntlet of bad press about the dance world while at the same time, I would almost be willing to bet that the Abbey Lee Dance Company will have waiting lists out the wazoo of pushy moms wanting their daughters trained by the 'best".

Here's Abbey telling the 5-6 year olds and their mothers that she is going to have a pyramid each week of who is on top and who is in the bottom.  Nice lesson for 5 year olds don't you think? 

Tune in next time and see what you think... here's the previews from Lifetime's website...

Dance Moms


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