Dance Moms Recap: And Who Are You?

dance moms abby 2

Remember that time that Abby Lee Miller pitted sister against sister and lost her cool anytime she felt threatened by another competing studio? Of course, you do…it was only last week! This week she serves up even more drama on Dance Moms, ousting Kira and Kalani and prompting many cry faces from her dancers.

The episode begins with the ALDC meeting in her shell of a new studio for the pyramid. She claims her contractor has promised that they will be dancing in the space in three weeks, my my very meager knowledge of renovations says otherwise. Abby begins by harping on the group’s second place finish the most recent competition, and then congratulates a missing MacKenzie on scoring a bit guest spot on a Nickelodeon show. She also reminds the troupe that MackZ is her last first place winner, and all of the girls now standing in front of her are just first losers. Jill and Kira interrupt to say that the girls are suffering from the lack of dance classes being offered in LA…which is none. When Holly agrees, Abby draws the line…the ALDC can either take classes or pursue stardom, but not both.


Kendall is on the bottom of the pyramid, with Abby citing a crash and burn. JoJo follows for less than perfect turns. The last winner of the crew, MacKenzie, rounds out the bottom rung for being booted from the lead in the group routine. She goads Maddie about the sibling rivalry and Melissa interjects that her daughters are just so proud of each other (and she’s proud of Maddie, in case you’d forgotten). Nia takes the overall third place spot on the second rung of the pyramid for being good…which is exactly why Kalani places second. Maddie is back in the top spot for taking over her sister’s lead in the group number. Kendall, Nia, and Maddie will be performing solos this week, and the group number is a 1950’s music theater inspired piece entitled “Dance Bop.”

The moms discuss the girls lack of training in LA, with Kira leading the charge to get the girls more lesson time. Kalani has no interest in pursuing singing or acting, she wants to be a successful dancer–and she needs to work on her craft. At the ladies’ urging, Kira calls a choreographer who worked with Abby in the past on the Ultimate Dance Competition and is a veteran choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance. When Abby cuts rehearsals short to go look at carpet samples, Kira thinks that bringing in an outside teacher is exactly what the ALDC needs. However, Melissa knows that surprising Abby with what the moms consider to be a positive is only going to backfire.

dance moms kira

The following day, Abby is lecturing her soloists with Maddie bearing the brunt of her tirade, saying she’s an embarrassment when she’s about to cry. With poor Maddie on the verge of tears, Melissa is outraged by the way Abby treats “their girls.” Jill wonders if she’s been present for the past few seasons. Abby has treated “their girls” with this much venom since the beginning of time, but now Maddie is feeling her wrath. When prompted to confront Abby, Melissa claims that she isn’t going to put her daughter in a worse position…and she doesn’t want to be called a dumb mom. Well, at least she’s learned something from observing all these years.

All of the mothers agree that Abby’s criticism of their daughters is due to lack of training. As the moms present a united front to Abby about the need for more classes, Abby retorts to Holly that she and Nia are free to break their contract and go take dance class in hell. Always classy! While she’s at it, Abby decides she’ll teach written class on the history of dance…and maybe some algebra. To prove her point, she stops rehearsal and begins a stretch class where Gianna chastises Kendall for the positioning of her feet. A frustrated Jill responds that her daughter hasn’t had a stretch class in weeks, so what do they expect? As Abby and Jill scream at each other, Kendall fights back the tears and begs her mom to stop adding fuel to the fire before Abby dismisses her from practice.

dance moms tessandra

The day before competition, Melissa reminds Maddie that Abby is overwhelmed, and she is taking out her stress on the girls. Maddie needs just let any of Abby’s anger roll off her back. Kira is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Tessandra Chavez, the master teacher who worked with Abby on Abby’s competition show. When Tessandra barges in all smiles and sunshine, Abby pretends as if she has no clue who the woman is. Tessandra explains that she would love to teach the girls but wanted to get Abby’s permission first. Abby continues to interrupt with “now tell me your name again,” and “how do you know me” dismissive responses. An embarrassed Holly speaks up, sharing that the moms know how super busy Abby is and they were just trying to take something off of her plate.

Kira’s name is dropped as the instigator of this master class, and Tessandra kisses up to Abby as she exits stage left…she never wanted to step on anyone’s toes. Kira questions why Abby wouldn’t want to make connections with some of LA’s most respected choreographers, and Abby continues to act like she has zero recollection of ever meeting this Tessandra person…clearly she hasn’t had her own show for five years. As Kira rattles off Tessandra’s extensive resume, Abby turns to Gia and spews the moms must mean that compared to Tessandra’s assistant (who dances with Lady Gaga), Gia’s just a giant sack of bleep. Gia cuts short rehearsal, and the moms are once again at their wits’ end.

dance moms abby

At competition, the moms are still appalled by Abby’s actions the previous day. They try to explain that their only intention was to help Abby since she’s so busy. Maddie is still Abby’s target, and she warns that Nia or Kendall could easily beat her…after all, she lost to her little sister. Kalani gives Nia a pep talk backstage, and Abby appears beyond bored throughout her performance. The judges praise her for being a mature performer, but she advises that Nia take more technique and ballet classes to perfect her steps. Wait, what? Kendall performs next, and her choreography is so different from Nia’s I find it hard to draw a comparison. Both girls did a great job, and Kendall garners nothing but compliments from the judges. Maddie’s dance reminds me of a less frightening version of her first Sia video, so of course, I love it. She’s critiqued for her technique as well.

Backstage, the mothers question whether Abby now understands why they want more classes. They are just trying to support her, but they just want the same opportunities offered by the original ALDC. Abby rolls her eyes and throws a tantrum worthy of an Emmy before breaking down in tears. One by one the girls rally around Abby offering hugs. She shoos away Kalani, JoJo, and Nia while smiling like a Cheshire Cat in Maddie’s embrace. When Kira chastises her actions, Gia, who is turning into Abby’s mini-me, responds that she and Abby don’t care. Kira is beyond upset at Abby’s behavior, and she tells Abby to go to hell.

dance moms abby 2

After a screaming match of epic proportions, Abby yells that Kalani wishes Kira wasn’t her mother and accuses Kira of having an affair. It’s one of the sickest and most twisted (even if it was scripted) scenes on this show…and that’s saying a lot. As Kira storms out, Abby returns (wearing just a bra for some reason…) to announce she’s leaving as she’s tired of unfairly being made out to be the bad guy. Kalani wants to stay to perform the group number because she doesn’t want to let down her team. Their 50’s routine is adorable, but it’s evident that MacKenzie wasn’t present for the few rehearsals they had. At the awards ceremony, Kendall places fifth with Nia in fourth in their age group’s solo division. Maddie feigns a smile, but she’s clearly shocked at her third place finish (as am I!). Also third? The ALDC group routine. The poor girls can’t hide their disappointment. Kira can’t promise that she’ll allow Kalani to return, but Kalani and her teammates sob at the thought. This isn’t scripted…the girls aren’t actresses…at least not good ones. So sad.


[Photo Credit: Lifetime]