Abby’s Ultimate Australia Tour kicks off in March and will feature several showcases, master classes and competitions throughout the country with pricey tickets of around $250! The cast is headed to Ireland this week to promote a series of master classes as well, all of which will be filmed for season 5 of Dance Moms.
Apparently upon announcement that Abby Lee was headed down-under way, several child employment officials and dance teachers reacted with outrage. Peter Oxford, Child Ambassador for the Australian Dance Industry confirmed he has received a “huge amount of complaints” that Abby Lee’s “emotionally abusive” teaching-style breached Australia’s laws about working with children.
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As the producer of Australia’s largest dance competition Showcase, Mr. Oxford admitted this isn’t the first time Abby Lee has raised concerns – when Dance Moms toured Australia last year they also received “many complaints.” And he stands in agreement with these criticisms. “Why can’t we stop a dance teacher who advocates and makes financial gain from screaming at kids?” he charged The Australian, advocating for the government to revoke Abby Lee’s visa from his country.
An Australian dance manager named Jenny Jones echoed Mr. Oxford‘s concerns, and described a “growing backlash” against Abby throughout the industry and in the Dance Teachers Inc. Australia group.
Teachers are labeling Abby a “cult-like” figure who preaches “disgraceful sportsmanship” and has proven to be a bad influence on Australia’s youth dancers. In fact teachers insists Abby’s style is diametrically opposed to the Australian-style which revolves around “a lot more tact and encouragement,” says Davin Griffiths-Jones, who owns a dance academy in Sydney. “Luckily there is no dance teacher as brutal as Abby Lee in Australia.”
Abby is currently being sued by former student Paige Hyland for her teaching styles, and two weeks ago Holly Frazier erupted on twitter over Abby’s treatment of her daughter Nia. Abby has lost almost all of her original team since the first season, with Nia reportedly quitting as well.
An office connected to The Children’s Guardian, which regulates children working in the entertainment industry, said it would be contacting the ALDC in “relation to their compliance with their legislative obligations, both under the Children’s Employment and the Working With Children legislation.” Look out Abby Lee – it sounds like the Australians aren’t going to be as kind in regards to you screaming and berating their children.
Tonight is a new episode of Dance Moms, BTW!
TELL US – ARE THE AUSTRALIANS RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT ABBY LEE?
[Photo Credit: Lifetime]