Behind The Scenes Of The Abby Lee Dance Company LA Opening! Plus, How Much Do The Stars Of Dance Moms Earn?

Abby Lee Miller at the ALDC LA Grand Opening

Abby Lee Miller just opened the L.A. Branch of the Abby Lee Dance Company and she’s taking Dance Moms along with her! According to reports the sixth season of the show will primarily take place in L.A. as Abby opens her new studio, recruits students, and conquers the west coast competition dance scene. 

Several members of the show have temporarily relocated to L.A. – including Maddie Ziegler  – even though Maddie just recently purchased a million-dollar house in Pittsburgh from her earnings. So just how much are the stars of Dance Moms earning!? You’re about to find out!


In a revealing new interview Abby Lee, who is feuding with producers over fabricated drama and lack of editorial control – spills all about how the ALDC process works, what the stars are making, and what’s going on behind-the-scenes.

Taking questions from fans at the grand opening, Abby revealed she’ll be structuring the schedule and the pyramid exactly like she does things in Pittsburgh and “yes” the mother’s really are that bad. “They’re worse off-camera!” she quipped, as Melissa rolled her eyes. 

Abby described the way the filming schedule works: Mondays everyone is off, “interviews” are done on Tuesdays which is the same day music is assigned, pyramid occurs on Wednesday, followed immediately by choreography and group routines being assigned, by Saturday the girls are performing on stage. “The ability to comprehend movement is vital,” Abby stressed about her intentionally tight schedule. 


Telling the story of how Dance Moms began, Abby shared that the creator – a friend of hers – was given $100,000 by the production company and instructed to find a teacher who already had students and a studio where they could film. Casting agents and producers interviewed “about 29 families” from her studio, and the process had absolutely nothing to do with dance! “No one ever danced a step” for producers during the casting! “The kids weren’t really cast on the show – their mothers were,” describes Abby. “The kids came along for the free ride.” 

Cathy found out about the casting and was told by Abby to come down and watch. Hilariously, Cathy ended up being “the first person cast on the show!” In a crazy twist, Abby says she was never actually supposed to be part of Dance Moms. “I wasn’t supposed to be on the show – I was just a choreographer,” she shares. “After they filmed episode one, the associate producer came in and suddenly I found myself in front of the camera. At the first competition – first episode – someone put a pen in my hand and said you have to sign this or we can’t shoot,” recalls Abby. “So I signed a contract for $1,500 an episode, for four years.” 

Now the show is preparing for its sixth season. “That’s a huge honor, an amazing honor to be on a television show that continues for six seasons,” Abby announced to the Mingle Media TV Network. But the status of said season, according to Abby, remains very up in the air – at least for her – and it seems to be coming down to money! 

“When we talk about season 6, we have to remember: these kids who just performed for you – for season 1, season 2, season 3, season 4 – they made $1 thousand dollars an episode,” says Abby. “Season 5 they got a big raise – $2 thousand dollars an episode. But yes, somebody is making big money.” 

It should be noted, that in all reality shows that casts receive bonuses, while the episode pay ratio may have remained the same the stars of Dance Moms likely received addiction compensation for things like screen time, reunions, events, ‘end of the season’ bonuses (often increased according to ratings), and compensation for filming their homes, etc. 

Abby won’t reveal who is making the big bucks, but she hints at taking production matters into her own hands for season 6. “So, it’s a lot to think about. Doing your own thing: producing music, producing television, producing films, who knows? We can control our own destiny and I think this is the beginning of it right here.”

According to Abby she opened the ALDC L.A. division without the assistance of Lifetime or producers, using all of her own money. “It’s scary to take all the money I made doing a television show, and teaching and coaching, and put it into somebody else’s building. In Pittsburgh I built my own building – I own it. But here I’m paying somebody else’s rent – and it’s a lot. $26,000 per month!” Additionally, dancers trained by Abby are the teachers at the new facility, so they’ll be carrying on the ALDC legacy and Abby’s teaching practices. Oh goody. 

Abby also insists that the LA-lifestyle hasn’t changed her, but the other moms are letting it go to their heads. Of course. 

As for what’s next in Abby’s future, she’s given up on her original goal of training “working, employable dancers” because “everybody has to pay their bills.” Instead she is hoping the new Los Angeles studio brings in tons of money regardless of skill or long-term potential in a dance career. “There’s a lot of kids who I’ve bought a lot of dinners for, bought a lot of costumes for, and drove back and forth to NYC for auditions – and you don’t even get a Christmas card from those kids!” Abby complains. 

As an aside Nia Frazier was present at the opening, which probably means that despite reports, she hasn’t quit ALDC or Dance Moms!


[Photo Credit: Instagram]