Last night was the premiere of the first Dance Moms‘ spin-off, Dance Moms: Miami. We are introduced to Victor Smalley and Angel Armas, owners of Star Dance Studios in Miami, Florida. I am curious to see if they will be as horrible as Abby Lee from the original Dance Moms, but from an overview of the upcoming season, they seem to be reserving the insanity for the moms. Good call.
Victor and Angel are quick to point out that they would never put up with these crazy-a$$ mothers if it weren’t for their sweet and talented children. Victor is the good cop to Angels’ stricter bravado. Sammy Small and her mother Abby are new to the studio, but they aren’t new to Debi Epstein and her daughter Hannah. Sammy and Hannah danced together when they were younger, and Sammy, who has grand plans to be the next Hannah Montana, apparently wasn’t the nicest to Hannah. Abby thinks people are just jealous of her family’s wealth and talented children. Perhaps, although Abby’s husband doesn’t seem to keen on spending on his “wealth” on his daughters’ dancing.
Victor’s mother, Mayra Smalley, runs the studio and is challenged with corralling the moms. Victor and Angel have a “list” where they rate the dancers’ performances, based on their own opinions, not how well they did in competition according to judges’ scores. Debi is floored to see Hannah at the bottom. An adorable Lucas Triana, is on the verge of tears when he’s told his cuteness will only get him so far, and ends up next to last on the list. His mother Brigette, thinks her nine-year-old is winning multiple competitions should grant him a better place on the list. Oh, and she also touts herself as the resident dance mom b!tch. Good to know!
Kimmy Kopke is third on the list for her inability to memorize choreography, and new girl Sammy scores the second spot much to Debi’s eye-rolling and chagrin. The coveted top spot belongs to Jessi Kennedy. Her mother Susan is going to be a spitfire, mark my words. The troupe prepares for an upcoming competition, and Victor gives them a pep talk. Jessi scores a solo, and Lucas and Kimmy will have a duet where the young pair will be competing against twelve-year-old dancers. Hannah is saddened to learn that she will not have a solo this week.
The routine for the competition is “jazz funk.” Bring it! The moms are kicked out of the studio while Victor teaches dark “Miami-fusion” style choreography to the students. In the moms’ holding room, newbie mom Abby asks for the lowdown on Victor and Angel. Both Brigette and Kimmy’s mother Anicia Guttierrez can’t hide their smugness. Debi jumps in to talk about how strict this studio is compared to the one Sammy used to attend. Abby agrees that it must be, as Hannah seems to be dancing a bit better than the last time Abby saw her. Mee and yow. Brigette finds it hilarious as Abby and Debi rattle off their daughters’ impressive dance resumes.
Debi admits that she is far more competitive than her daughter. She cannot wait until Hannah is a superstar and shows up Sammy. Does Debi realize she’s jealous of a tween? Debi blames Victor for not giving Hannah a solo or a duet. Victor divas up to Debi after she accuses him of casting Sammy when she hasn’t paid her dues at the studio. He sashays away leaving Debi fuming. I already like this show so much better than the original! When Susan questions Debi about the altercation, she curtly replies she doesn’t want to talk about it.
We learn that Jessi is uber-competitive and wants to win at all costs. We also learn that Jessi’s grandmother was a ballerina in Colombia. A bit more history? Her mother Susan didn’t quite make it as far in the dance world as she would have liked. Shocking…her mother’s a famous dancer, and now her daughter lives to dance, admittedly to please Susan. Lifetime, you also may have a movie of the week with this one.
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