An Open Letter to Abby Lee Miller

Dear Abby Lee Miller,

Your show, Dance Moms has been on for three years now. We’ve been watching your dancers grow up before our very eyes. It’s very clear to the rest of us how talented, kind and beautiful they are. Many of us wonder why you can’t see it for yourself. It seems you will never be happy until you have broken them, with the obvious exception of your favorite one. What kind of a teacher does that? How can you justify setting your own students up to fail…on national TV?!  Doesn’t it kill you to see your own students suffering from panic and anxiety because of your actions?

Do you  realize what a huge impact you’re having on those girls’ lives? Do you realize that they look up to you? Do you know how much they seek your approval (for whatever reason). And it comes across that you are abusing that privilege every chance you get. As a former dancer, I know that the things you are teaching them (about dance and life) are going to stay with them well into their adult lives. What a privilege! Are you using that influence for good?

Are you aware that the world is watching you? You’re giving competitive dance a bad reputation. You’re giving real life dance moms a bad name. There are people out there who think you embody our experience. I grew up dancing competitively, and now my daughter is starting her journey at my old studio. It can be an intense atmosphere sometimes. Our teachers don’t hide the fact that they have very high expectations for their dancers (and their dance moms.) But it is all done with love and respect. We know we are a part of a family when we walk through those doors. Our teachers push our kids to be the very best versions of themselves. They would never find joy in watching our kids fail. They genuinely love our kids. That’s why they’ve been in business for over 60 years.

I can only assume that the moms on your show are keeping their girls with you because of contractual obligations. And I can only assume you would have replaced them by now if it wasn’t for those contracts. (After all, you tell them several times each episode how “replaceable” they all are.) How would you feel if somebody had talked to you that way when you were growing up? You’ve got girls lining up to be a part of your team, and I can’t understand why anybody would want to step into such negativity. The need for fame obviously clouds some people’s judgement.

For now, I think it’s time to take your show off my DVR list. It’s not fun to watch kids be torn down and never built back up. It’s not fun to watch verbal arguments turning physical. It’s not fun to watch your team deteriorate before our eyes. It’s sad. It’s not an honest representation of what it’s really like in the dance world. I don’t want any part of supporting that. I wish your dancers well.

Sincerely,
Marie

 

Comments

  1. My daughter watches this show, and so sometimes I see it as well. It bothers me on so many different levels. I can’t stand how Abby tears the girls down and the open competitiveness among the mothers bothers me too. Our children learn from the adults in their lives…is this honestly what we want to teach them? It’s nice to hear that it’s not really like that out there in the dance world. I’m glad for that. Visiting from the SITS Sharefest today…glad I did!

    • EagleFanForever says:

      I have two children who have danced at one of the top competitive dance studios east of the Mississippi. And by “top”, I mean the studio routinely wins the majority of top prizes at regional competitions, and then wins the top prizes at national competitions held by multiple dance companies, and has been recognized by the Federation of Dance Competitions for its excellence.

      Our team has also participated in multiple events with Abby’s studio.

      A few thoughts…

      I agree with the author. Abby Lee, and the entire Dance Moms “thing”, are flat out terrible in every way. By far the worst aspects of her behavior, at least as depicted on TV, are her propensities for emotionally abusing the children and engaging in screaming matches with the parents in front of the children — be it through passive-aggressive behavior, or outright denigration and yelling at both the children and their parents (and to be fair, including the parents yelling back at her).

      Her behavior toward, and in front of, the children, is inexcusable. It is abusive, and it sets horrific parenting, coaching, and adult behavioral examples for those kids. Those kids, many of whom have been with Abby since they were 6/7/8 years old, do not possess the capacity for understanding and internalizing that many behaviors are dramatized or outright faked for the sake of TV. These kids are not even genuine child actors — and look at the impact of this kind of life on child actors — most child actors suffer as a result of being exposed to adult behaviors when they are at the maturity levels of children (see Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, Danny Bonaducci, etc.).

      The parents don’t escape blame, either. That the parents involved in this show expose their children willingly to this sh*tshow should be enough to have them declared incompetent by the Pittsburgh Department of Child and Family Services and have their children removed from those families.

      Also — I realize that many of you who are dance instructors, or studio owners, fantasize about being able to behave this way when you get frustrated by poor behaviors by both children and parents, and you live vicariously through Abby. But there’s a reason you DON’T behave this way — because it’s immature, childish, deeply inappropriate, and damaging to the children that get exposed to the types of behaviors Abby exemplifies. And if you behaved this way, you’d have an empty studio and soon go bust.

      Finally, having participated in events with her studio — don’t believe what you see on TV in terms of how competitions and their results are depicted. The production company for Dance Moms routinely edits the depiction of those events in a way that turns them into utter fantasy. They conflate events that occur on different days, alter the appearance of results, etc.

  2. I’m appalled by her behavior and how she not only treats the moms but the girls. She demeans and demoralizing them and, quite frankly, I’m shocked and surprised she hasn’t been shut down for child abuse. If a parent degraded a child like that regularly, they’d be getting home visits from the state and have the possibility of having their child taken from them. How the Abby Lee Dance company is still in business is unfathomable and how the network allows the abuse and bullying behavior is sickening to me. It is my greatest hope that her show is cancelled and that her business is shut down. She’s scum in my opinion and the network execs who propelled her to fame aren’t much better.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    (Coming in via #SITSSharefest)

  3. I stopped watching Dance Moms awhile ago…the spirit of the show is just too negative now, and it’s not fun to watch anymore. Abby Lee Miller is the ultimate narcissist..I’ve seen her on TV and she just loves all the attention. She uses the children to put herself in the spotlight. I don’t think she’ll ever change…

    Dropping by from the Sharefest!

  4. I loved the dancing and the cute costumes but had to give this show up, too! She was just too harsh on the kids and it got to me.

  5. Anonymous says:

    IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT THE SHOW GETS CANCELLED. ABBY LEE MILLER DOESN’T DESERVE AIR TIME – SHE TREATS THE GIRLS LIKE CRAP. SHE IS A USER AND AN ABUSER.

  6. You are so off base Marie. I guess you don’t get it. Abby Lee is preparing the girls for the cruel real world even if comes directly from her. Wherever these girls end up they will not be soft but strong enough to know what thier level of ability truly is. Nia is not Kalani . Auditions will be easier on them. I guess you would rather they get thier hearts broken on thier own when they start applying for shows.You don’t have to watch the show you know just push the clicker to off. It’s that easy. 🙂

    • lovelikewhitney says:

      That may be true of the girls she picks on, but if that is the argument you want to make, then what is she teaching Maddie? Maddie has every opportunity handed to her. That isn’t to say she isn’t a good dancer or that she doesn’t deserve the opportunities she receives, but she shouldn’t get them because she’s Abby’s favorite and at the expense of the other students. She has set Maddie and Melissa up to expect to get everything they want every time and that isn’t real life. She doesn’t know how to lose gracefully and move on to the next audition. In the long run, she is hurting all of those kids.

    • tjazzjohnson says:

      Its very interesting that its ok for football coaches and basketball coaches to yell and scream at their teams some how that’s accepted but some how when dance team coaches do it, it some how becomes negative.. interesting…Some of us choreographers and a teachers want more for our students that we teach every day.. Remember Marie that it is a REALITY SHOW… dont focus on the negativity of the show look at the positive aspects of the show.

      • Would you say Abby and the show Dance Moms has done more good for the art of dance or hurt it???? Abby may have her own show and have few of her students hit the big time but at what cost to the art of dance????? With every ONE of Abby’s dancers that becomes successful there will be THOUSANDS of kids that will never feel the joy of dance or enter a dance studio because of the show Dance Moms.

      • Sitting at home says:

        Because most of the football/basketball coaches I have EVER known have turned back around and done exactly what Marie makes the point of here: building them back up. A real coach understands that mistakes are made. At a child’s level, they NEED to understand that mistakes will be made more often than not. The constant, consistent outpouring of negative reinforcement doesn’t set every single kid up for the real world; rather, it sets some of them up to believe that failure is a constant, consistent part of their lives. I understand that you want a good performance. I understand that you may even be a part of the uplifting side of the whole debacle, but don’t sit back and defend someone for driving force-feeding tactics down the throats and into the hearts of all the potential the next generation has to offer.

      • I have only accidentally seen portions of this AWFUL show a few times, never on purpose. I/we would focus on the positive aspect of it, IF it had any.

    • Having a teacher berate you constantly does not a professional make! I have helped “create” numerous professional dancers and I do not talk to them like that. Rather I encourage them to begin auditioning for experience at a young age. This sort of negative behavior will only exacerbate the tendency for these young girls to have eating disorders or worse.

    • Watched Abby Lee for a few months only. It is not the correct representation for any dance studio.
      I have a daughter who did competition dance. The team made friends with other studios along the way. To the point that as adults they still say in touch with each other. Even if the other team won over us the girls would clap and tell them how great they did. Next competition we would win over them and they all came over and gave hugs. At one time a girl from the other studio forgot her tap shoes. One of our team girls was the same size and let her use them.
      As an adult my daughter has been on TV, Off Broadway play, Universal Studios, taught at several dance studios, Dance judge for several competitions and lots of plays in New York and California. Even she has done as many as 50 auditions before getting a job. Dance is a career that is not for the weak of heart. But she loves dance and loves the children.
      Abby Lee is not a nice person to start with and it is horrible that the children are in that environment. No one should be treated that way. Please take the show off the air.

      • Well said Susan.
        I am a dance teacher too in NJ and if I spoke to my students the way she speaks to hers I would be looking for another job. I do not understand why the girls parents allow them to come back week after week other than because they must be under contract and can not leave. I do love watching the girls dance and they are all amazingly talented. However, the rest of the show and her verbal abuse is really mind blowing to me.

    • Dance Mother for life. says:

      Are you kidding! Abby is a horrible instructor. She destroys the girls spirits and souls. Training; I’m sorry her assistant, the girl’s for dog and pony shows instead of techniques to keep them safe, stronger, and skilled dancers. My girls have been in dance for over 20 years and have learned techniques that has improve them with little to no injuries to their body, spirits, and all while keeping their integrity in tacked. No one deserves abuse of any form. Thanks to Abby good dancers mothers are now being over powered by mom’s looking for the latest fade to make themselves look good. I have been there for each step of Dance and truly supported my girls only. I believe each parent believes their child has talent; however, at what cost does it take to destroy others by money or being pushed out. Dance mom’s of today are becoming like pageant mom’s and it all thanks to women (Being Kind) promoting these behavior. A child will only grow when their instructed. I understand sometimes a strong voice must be used. Individual verbal abuse in front of others is not excepted from one adult to another. Than why should it be an instructor to a child looking for guidance be tolerated? Just to let you know real mom’s are the ones work over time to pay for extra classes, new costumes, and shoes. We are the ones tired and worn out at the end of the day. I had faith in my girls dance instructor’s and when money became their main goal and the verbal abuse began a new studio was found. It’s up to the parent to fight for their child’s best interest and safety. Be a good parent don’t let instructor have the right to abuse your child in any way.

    • Getting them ready for real life is one thing, not being fair is another. I have watched the show from day one and love to see all the girls and their talents. When you are any kind of a teacher or person of authority over children it is ok to be strict and push the kids. You must also treat all the kids the same and always show fairness which Abby does not do. It sends the wrong message.I have a 21 year old daughter who started dance when she was five and a 10 year old daughter who also started when she was five. I am a dance dad to say the least. Abby may have a few of her kids hit the big time but how many thousands will never even walk in to a dance studio because of the show “Dance Moms”. I have observed new kids and their parents come to our dance studio very uptight wondering if all dance studios are like the ALDC.

    • Abby Lee is far from a good teacher. She is not getting them ready for a cruel world. Thats for the mothers to do. She is a dance teacher PERIOD! I don’t understand HOW the mothers let their children be subjected to such a child abuser. She is sickening. Her students are beautiful dancers and should have a teacher who CARES about them. All Abby cares about is winning. She is not teaching them, she is putting them in fear in of her. My daughter goes to dance school and if her teacher EVER talked to her the way Abby talks to them there would be a really big problem. I don’t talk to my kid like that and neither will anyone else. SHAME on those dance mothers for letting Abby talk to their kids and them the way she does.

    • Abby is right on target. I am an former dancer and that life is not easy and full of rejection. Abby is great and preparing these girls for what they will encounter in the real world!

    • Turnout ballerina says:

      You are so off base with this information. If this was just your opinion, then I wouldn’t have respond. Nia will face harder challenges in the dance world. You stand correct on that fact, but in know shape are form with how Abby treats them will help them in the really world. I work in the real dance world and though sometimes criticism is hard to take, but being mean and disrespectful to a person is not tolerated. If Abby was a great teacher and teaching this girls what to expect in the real world, why hasn’t she once work with Nia to correct her feet and her lines! Nia can be a great dancers with proper training. Nia has been with Abby since she was 3 years old. Nia is just the token African American child to bring balance. Abby doesn’t care one bit about her as a dancer or an artist.

  7. Seems like Chloe wasn’t replaceable. Abby has sunk this show.

  8. As a former “dance mom” II’m also appalled, but I also think that most of the show is scripted. Good letter Marie, I agree with you 100%

  9. U really think this is real? says:

    Come on. I agree it is not good for kids to be watching this because looks like reality to them but us as parents need to remind them and looks like other adults from reading these posts that this is NOTE reality and all scripted for ratings. These moms all go out together drink wine and laugh after every episode as they listen to the cash register ring. I guess like the Internet if it is on tv then it must be real. Wake up people . There is important things happening in this world as we watch and complain about dance moms. Lol

  10. Minerva says:

    I work for a performance based dance studio and I do not understand the competitive world of dance. I can tell you that I do see a different nature in people who come from those schools. They are fractured, they have anxiety, and low self esteem. They come to us looking to love dance again, not for the trophy but for the love of the art.
    Unfortunately they all watch the show. The kids think it’s funny and believe that it is a true part of the dance world as one of the competition schools in our area is much like the show.
    Knowing our families here at our school, I can’t imagine what the reaction would be to that kind of treatment. Our kids are very lucky, we treat them with love and respect. Hugs are a big part of the relationship we have with our dancers.
    I am ashamed of the dance moms for their support of this. Once again, the all mighty dollar rules.

  11. As a former dancer and teacher, I watch the show every week.
    ONE WORD: REALITY SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. I enjoy watching the kids dance and grow with their craft.
    2. There really are moms out there like that. Maybe not to the degree we are seeing, but they are out there. You can all say you are a family in your studio, but the talking behind the teachers back, the my kid is better than yours, and my kid is not getting the same as yours. It does happen, and you all know there is at least one mom out there in your group!
    3. Dance teachers push their kids to be the best, although Abby is a bit rough and I don’t think any teacher wants their students to fail. I feel she wants the failure more for the mom than the kid. ( still messed up)
    4.The bottom line is they only show you what they want you to see. They need the drama to keep the show going. I think that most parents, students and teachers know this. Out of all the moms, Holly has always seemed to be the most grounded, and that makes me believe my view that they are only showing us what they want us to see.
    Relax everyone, its not all real!

    • Yes I know…Two words….. need coffee!

    • Its actually two words…”Reality Show” abbreviate all you like its TV. But I do believe that we all have FREE WILL. If you are not behaving this way …we would never see it. So edit smedit she is HARSH…I taught over 20 years and would never speak to another human the way she does. I am sure they amp it up for show…but reality is YOU CAN’T TAPE what doesn’t happen.

      • Yes I did correct the two words…. Yes they tape it… but the only show the bad…. I have taught for over 30 years and I wouldn’t never speak to anyone that way. MY KIDS LOVE ME… because I love them and teach them. I was always taught by my teacher… EVERY KID NEEDS TO BE A STAR! I live by that… but TV is TV… take it they way you want it.

  12. Dear Marie,
    As a dance teacher and studio owner, I could not agree with you more. In fact, I wrote an article that appeared in the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/risa-gary-kaplowitz/lifetime-networks-trick-o_b_2013530.html) a few years ago begging people to stop watching the show. I have dance teacher friends who said it was their “guilty pleasure/” I do not understand how watching that woman can be pleasurable in any sense of the word.

  13. Oh please did you really put this out there? You all have no clue! Especially in California if you expect to make it in the show biz as those girls do on show its a lot worse out there and Abby just preparing them. My daughter has experienced worse not by her instructor by other dance moms who says she didn’t deserve to be in a certain class obviously out of jealousy. Love the show and it’s reality. Believe me Abby ain’t shit compare to what out there!

    • Rhonda Rivera says:

      I live in Southern California, and what you’re saying isn’t even remotely true. My daughter competed for many years, and while yes – cattiness can be found just about everywhere – the point is that people watch this show thinking that this is all how it really is. Are you kidding? It’s our job as parents to make sure our kids aren’t treated like this, especially by other parents. I guess I just didn’t allow that to happen, and I definitely don’t regret leaving some of the studios where I saw that in the framework and background.

  14. Hello, I used to like dance moms however Abby needs to learn to respect her students like they respect her. So where’s the respect?

  15. I watched the show 3 times. the first time because my students were in it, even though they didn’t know they would be because they were in a competition. Another two times because I knew people who were on it. It made me sick and it actually raised my blood pressure, & I don’t have high blood pressure. If I had a teacher who treated my children like that. I would report them. I owned a dance school for many years. I would fire teachers who treated a student like that. It’s a shame to have that kind of talent to teach, but not have the common sense to treat people in a beautiful manner.

  16. Vicky Jones says:

    I also have been watching this show. Since all the problems are escalating total due to the adults, I don’t watch it on the night it airs I will watch it later on Xfinity so I can fast-forward through the mothers and Abby. I love watching the girls dance. It should be Abby’s Girls and show their talents not Dance Mom’s and showing their childish actions.

  17. Ate any of you dance teachers? I would think from most of these comments that none of you are dance instructors and don’t understand how it is to be on the other side and dealing with adults and their children. As a dance instructor, there are difficult situations that we have to deal with daily and it’s not okay for a parent to speak in such a tone to another adult. I’m not supporting the tone in which abby Lee speaks but alot of the things she says is the absolute truth. If those girls go off to have a professional career in Dance, they will encounter other people talking and demanding things of them in the same matter. Until you personally have experienced a career in Dance r have taught a dance class, it’s hard to understand abby Lee’s approach.

    • I am a teacher… I have had horrible dance moms, parents that think their kids are the best… and they are not. Bad mouth everyone under the sun when their kid does not succeed because they push them. Honesty to the kids is key… but the parents can be ruthless. I still think Abby can make her approach more human to the kids. The kids are still on the team for a reason, so groom them in everyway.

  18. pamshammo says:

    I love the show and lets not forget it is a show!! I do believe Abby is losing weight this season and I am sure that is making her crabby it is hard to do and she has a lot going on in her life. I do feel these wonderful dancers will all be ok and will turn out as good adults but lets face it bullying is still bullying fat or skinny she does (Abby) does use her powers not always for good and she is the only one that will answer to the higher powers when it is her time!!

  19. You guys, ITs all a show.. Its all scripted. And the editing makes her seem terrible.. In real life, shes actually a super sweet woman, and adores her dancers… The producers want drama and scandal and thats why they do it. I promise, Abby Lee is great with her girls off the camera

  20. I concur with this open letter and have felt especially torn this season . Its like she is going thru a nervous break down or something. She has really made me cringe on occasion. As some other comments state Abby you are in a very enviable position…National Tv , Competitive chamionship and obvious wealth…but if you have to be mean to the girls to keep ratings is it worth it? In the real world she would be sanctioned for her behavior which is to me “ABUSIVE” I don’t care how many trophy’s she has won or how many kids are now successful if it means they end up in Therapy for the rest of their lives. Sad but true you can’t keep being such a NEGATIVE force and expect POSITIVE results. But it would appear that some people are more than happy to exploit the situation. I hope she reads some of these things and gets some HELP! “When we know better we do better!” or we should!

  21. michelle says:

    Anyone of you been a professional dancer..yeah the real world of being a professional dancer is tough! There is no sugar coating..u get told you to fat too skinny too blonde too ect ect ect…so..i get what she is doing she is creating professional dancers that can handle the tough world of dance!

  22. tiny dancer says:

    I am a former ballet dancer. I have danced in some of the best companies in the world as well as Broadway, off Broadway, national tours, and even a stint with ” the greatest show on earth”. (please don’t go to any circus that has elephants..ty)
    I am blessed to have been able to make a living doing what I love, first as a performer, now master teacher/choreographer.
    Yes, dance is competitive, brutal even BUT.. I thank the powers that be every single day that I was surrounded by teachers who believed in technique before “tricks”, that dancing from the inside out was far better than the other way around. In other words..the kinder the heart..the truer the artist.
    Yes, I was yelled at by nervous choreographers, directors, etc ..but none as delusional as Ms. Miller.
    Fosse had his moments but, if a dancer wasn’t up to his standards, there was no theatrics near what you see on this show..you were simply asked to leave.
    Any studio that puts competition before training is doing dancers a disservice.
    Watching these dancers grow as we have, it is obvious their technique is suffering as much as their spirits.
    How very sad.
    As to dance moms? Where do I start..
    Maybe they act like that at other studios but never where I am teaching. If they dare tried..well..don’t let the door hit ya, etc..
    This is NOT what it takes to make it in the world of dance. In fact, just the opposite. No director is going to tolorate the drama.
    Competition can be a wonderful way for dancers to experience performing and seeing what’s out there but..a new competition every week?
    That’s crazy and motivated by $$$ and why more of these entities are popping up every day. Don’t even get me started on the calibur of those adjudicating these competitions.. it’s an embarrassing, and offensive, to the art!

  23. Rhonda Rivera says:

    My oldest is a senior in high school and she is going to college next year to major in dance. Her intention is to become a choreographer, which I have no doubt she will do, because that is just the type of person she is. She watches Dance Moms – mostly for the dancing itself, and I watch with her once in a while, while I grip a stress ball, yell back at the TV, and mostly marvel at the moms on that show for allowing themselves and their children to be treated that way. I also get angry with the moms because quite frankly – they behave like they’re still in junior high. It’s disgusting. But it’s a TV show. The girls are not really “a team” as they once were. They are paid professionals. They are actresses. They create drama because it is their job to do so. When the show first started, it was all far more mild. Abby didn’t seem like the emotional train wreck she is now, and the team didn’t win every single time they showed up. Just saying.

    The professional dance world is tough. It is hard core, and yes – depending upon what you go into, you can absolutely be expected to hear some downright mean criticisms once in a while. That said, my daughter also teaches at this point – she is sought out to teach/choreograph at studios in our area (we live in Southern California). I’ve never heard her speak to ANYONE like they do on this show, and if she did – she’d be dealing with me. The bottom line is – you are PAID to teach. I’m not talking about teaching professional dancers, we’re talking about little girls. Girls that want to learn. Those girls and moms are YOUR CUSTOMERS. If you are an excellent teacher, there is no need to speak to people in any other way than with respect. I can remember many, many times as my oldest grew up that the dance teachers would get snotty with the kids and the parents, and quite frankly – it’s rude and uncalled for. We pay YOU. You are not “our customer”…it’s the other way around unless you’re working with professionals, and even then, teachers are far more effective when they teach with respect and care. I know I wouldn’t stay at a dance studio that did otherwise, which is why it appalls me that Dance Moms even exists. All it does is show people that it is apparently perfectly OK to address one another the way they do. So wrong on every single level whether it’s entertainment or not.

  24. Shame on Abbey Lee for treating the girls the way she does. And I’m appalled that the Mothers allow it..shame on them for putting fame before the welfare of their children..JUST PATHETIC!

  25. Michelle says:

    This is the one and only time I will publicly comment on the show Dance Moms, so take from it what you will… but it really drives me bananas that we still view this TV series as “reality” and paint Abby Lee Miller as an evil villain.

    I am not arguing with the fact that the show is loaded with drama, and puts too much emphasis on tearing young dancers down. And yes, Abby Lee’s dancers are incredibly talented. HOWEVER, my issue is with the fact that this is a TV SHOW that is scripted, edited and fabricated to attract very large viewing audiences (and most likely doesn’t reflect the actual teaching style of the studio). Just like we don’t think everyone who lives on the “Jersey Shore” only gym, tan and do laundry (GTL), I don’t understand why we think this television series epitomizes Abby Lee’s studio (which is Reign Dance Productions by the way) or the competitive dance industry as a whole.

    At the end of the day, Lifetime has created a show that their audiences want. Abby Lee, her dancers and dance moms are playing a part… a part that makes them ALL a lot of money. Unfortunately there would not be a show without all the drama, tears and fears.

    The Abby Lee Dance Company is only one segment of the much larger “Reign Dance Productions” (http://www.reigndanceproductions.com/) in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Do you really think that with the saturation of the competitive dance market as it is today, Abby Lee would actually have as many students as she does if she were really “evil” and that condescending to her students? With the amount of choice parents have today, I really don’t think so.

    Take from my post what you will, but PLEASE do not judge a teacher, studio or an ENTIRE industry based on a television show. It isn’t reality and we need to stop believing that it is.

  26. I enjoy watching the girls at Abby Lee Miller dance. I have to think that Abby is not like that all of the time or she wouldn’t have any students. To dance at the level that they do, they have to be dancing 20+ hours a week. Out of that, we see about 15 minutes of class time. There is certainly more drama now than when the show first started and obviously Abby is seriously stressing but I honestly think that she wasn’t always like that. At one time, those girls serioiusly seemed to love her.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Hilarious Vincent when you say it’s one thing to prepare them for real life and its another to not be fair. What fairytale do you live in exactly? LIFE ISN’T FAIR! Sometimes people that don’t deserve good things get them and sometimes people that DO deserve good things don’t get them. It’s life. Grow up.

  28. Patricia says:

    This still has more to do with the moms than anything else who would allow there child to be subject to any of that .No contract in the world would keep me and my child in that class with a monster . DANCE MOMS WAKE UP

  29. Marc holland says:

    I am a ex broadway dancer and a competition choreographer a dance teacher. I have danced all around the world. And I have many auditions , teachers and failures. I agree with Tiny Dancer. But I would like to add. Technique is lacking in Abby’s teaching. She doesn’t teach with correct technique. Also I taught for her for a summer long before the show. And she was hard but not this angry. She doesn’t of her own choreography. Which bothers me. She has become a monster. I feel bad for her and her students.

  30. She can be an awful coach and that’s her choice in life. The issue is with the parents who allow their children to suffer this witch. She wouldn’t have a school if people stopped subjecting their children to her. I feel bad for the kids because they have a domineering coach and spineless parents.

  31. I watch the show, i started watching it in the beginning and got sucked on. I love dance! The girls do a wonderful job, i ache for them though when i see them get hurt by Abby. I know they long for her love & approval. Abby I believe makes threse mistakes because she is hurting inside. The one question i have for Abby is… Do you believe without any doubt that your mom is proud & happy with the way you treat those girls? And be honest.

  32. Rude, disgusting, nasty, vile.

    As a dancer for 32 years. That’s all I have to say about Abby folks!

  33. I don’t disagree with everything stated, however, I don’t think Abby is entirely in the wrong. For one, if the mothers of professional dancers acted like that the dancer would probably no longer be able to dance at that company any longer. Secondly, I do think that Abby is preparing them for the real world of dance, however, she could tone it down a little. Thirdly, I don’t think that she is actually that bad all the time, what you see on TV is only when she’s with her dancers, you must remember that she is a human being to and that she has her moments, and things being said against her hurt her just as much as they would hurt any human being. I’m not saying that Abby has the right to treat people the way she does but I’m also not saying that everyone that happens to see the show has the right to say the things they do say to her.

  34. Wow. Just a television show people. Not real. Actors, speaking script. Watched the show once, and it is ludicrous. Just don’t watch if you think it is junk…which it is. I guess all you people believe that soap operas are real too. Silly.

  35. Catster says:

    OK folks, let’s get real. This woman would not have a show if people didn’t watch it. She also would not have a studio if parents didn’t bring their children to her. All of the antics would not take place if there was no audience. People watching the show are to blame for the fact that it is still on the air. So, quit complaining and stop watching. If you want to watch children dance, visit a “real” studio. It is to our shame that our society feels that such brutish behavior is acceptable, even popularized as acceptable on television. Grow up folks, set some decent standards for yourselves as well as for your children. That is all.

  36. I have started watching dance moms in the second season and i have danced for 13 years of my life and a year of that was competitive and i think it is horrible that she gets so disappointed in all of her girls (with the exception of one) because they didnt place or got second… Yes the girls make mistakes out on the stage but what do you expect they are only HUMAN!!!! I love the dances that she has picked for them but for me i believe that if she wants her dancers to be so perfect on stage than why doesnt she GET UP AND SHOW THEM exactly how she wants it done? She has a choreographer teach them and then she critiques but never does the dance for herself! Every dancer os different and has a different style and you cant give a girl a jazz routine and expect her to win overall if jazz is not her strongest style! And its not fair that she tears down the girls self esteem as young ladies and dancers just because she doesnt like their parents choice! And honestly i would NEVER put my daughter in her studio! No one would EVER yell at my child the way she yells at those innocent girls who are just doing what they love! She has had some very good life lessons that she has taught the girls but she is not a positive reinforcer when it comes to the dance aspect! All she ever cares about is winning and yes its awesome to win but honestly if you are passionate about something then it shouldnt be about winning it should be about being priviledged enough to fulfill your dreams and being thankful that you are able to be passionate with it and be able to dance everyday!

  37. The true danger of this show being on the air is the level it sets.

    How many other abusive teachers are out there conducting themselves in classless, trashy behavior in the name of preparing their students for a harsh world and then use this “reality” program to justify their own behavior because at least their not as bad as Abby.

    The dance and entertainment industry is a cruel and harsh place. As a performer, you are putting yourself out there to be judged every day. Not everyone will agree with your vision or you may just plain suck, but you do it for the love of the art. You have to weigh your own desire to try again against an extremely limited list of opportunities and that will be a painful journey in it’s own right. THAT is why it should be harsh. There is no need for a teacher to create artificial pain in order to prepare someone for that. Life is kind enough to supply those lessons for each of us in ample abundance. All an abusive teacher does is promote acceptance of that abusive behavior and create a new school full of students that will potentially spread that misguided vision.

    Abby, please go enjoy life, preferably away from anything that has to do with kids.

    Don

  38. Dance Moms is NOT a reality show. It is scripted!!! Lifetime is giving viewers what they want and they are all making a lot of money. Abbey Lee Millers real studio is http://www.reigndanceproductions.com. Do you really think Abbey would have as many students as she has if she were really evil? Especially in today’s world and the amount of choices parents have. I don’t think so. You can’t believe what you see on TV. And for those people saying negative and hateful things about these innocent children, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
    Dance Moms is a tv show filled with lots of drama that their audience wants. So at the end of the day, please do not judge a dance studio or a dance teacher. Dance Moms IS NOT REALITY. SO STOP BELIEVING THAT IT IS!!!

  39. your all complaining about Dance Moms! But I bet you all keep watching it every week!!!

  40. Abby is mean, self indulgent and treats her dancers with no respect. She deserves what ever comes her way, KARMA!
    I am a dance mom, and dance grandmother

  41. I would like to see more classroom work….Abby doesn’t teach the children…she reviews the choreo that another person has taught…

    I find it an interesting show…but not realistic…the moms are hilarious…overblown self-centred spoiled women…not real at all….and how much do these students pay per year?

  42. I think there is something people fail to recognize here – this is a television show scripted for entertainment purposes. The people on the show are playing roles – reality TV is not reality. To assume what you watch on a television show that relies on sensationalism to attract viewers is reality is foolish. No one would watch a show with a nice polite instructor and no drama. It amazes me that people believe what they see on realities shows to actually be real. A little perspective is in order here I think.

  43. dancer forever says:

    Reality tv…yes..scripted ..yes. Damage done..absolutely. Do you think the lawsuits that have evolved from this show are scripted.NO..Real damage is coming from this reality show. Real studios are losing potential students because parents think this is how their child is going to be treated.
    Real compitition dance moms think this is how they should behave to get their child ahead. Real dance teachers are dealing with the fallout of this “reality” show while Lifetime and Abby laugh all the way to the bank.
    And yes in real life ALM can be rude to others “probably as a result of the power that comes from this “reality show”. Try standing behind her when waiting to check in a hotel when something wasn’t up to her now high standards. Lets just say “embarrassing”. Yes, Lifetime has really outdone themselves with this one.

  44. There is a major problem with the “it’s scripted, they are actors” argument.
    The ‘roles’ these people play are also their real-life roles.

    These children are not trained actors, and they are not adults.
    They do not have the ability to perform the complex cognitive dissonance required to separate the things that are said and done to them by their actual mothers, and their actual teacher based on which role they are playing at the time.
    Studies on attachment and its impact on future emotional health show this sort of inconsistent approach – where the child is unsure which version of their parent or teacher they will encounter at any given time – to be the most damaging to future emotional and mental health, as well as success in both relationships and study/career.

    Even if the mothers and Abby are all complete Angels when the cameras are off. This has got to be confusing to the children.

    Meanwhile as for the ‘preparing them for the real world of dance’ argument.
    A much better tactic would be to actually work on their key technique and their artistry, not burn them out with overtraining and endless comps, or focus on tricks at the expense of safe dance practice, and their developing bodies.

    Also I it the teachers job to give their students an honest idea of their chances of making it in the real dance world, but it is NOT their job to tear down children. You can do the first without doing the second. The second is NEVER excuse-able. yes the dance industry is extraordinarily hard to make it in, yes it is often not ‘fair’ and based on things other than who is actually the best dancer. Yes you will be told NO more times than you can possibly count, and sometimes that no will be accompanied by harsh statements. Yes there are choreographers, directors and teachers that are know for being a little……unbalanced…but there is absolutely no reason why that needs to be learnt at 7/9/12/14 years of age!!!!!
    The kids also do not need to live this in order to be prepared for it. resilience is not built by continually shooting holes in the proverbial cup. It is built by filling up the cup so that they have reserves to draw on when faced with negativity. You can fill that cup truthfully. But all Abby does is shoot holes in some kids cups, whilst filling other kids cups with lies and over exaggerating.

    Thirdly I had a dance teacher like this. My first teacher actually. Somehow my love of dance survived, my sense of self worth however was severly damaged. Needless to say I never have and never will treat my students that way. My students will ALWAYS know that they are valued, and that their emotional development matters just as their technique and artistry.

  45. My baseball team is competitive in kids on my team have broken down to tears.These girls don’t get yelled at. They should come to are baseball tournament in Syracuse, NY the weekend after Easter and see how hard work pays off. We get yelled at for missing anything. We do laps and push ups and cried when we don’t feel good we push twice as hard as the Abby lee dance co. Go to Syracuse and watch the Balston spa bear cats

    • We pulled our children from such a team, and thank God we did. We found another league, with kind, and loving coaches and the kids were taught well, and even beat the other teams on the “mean” league. I am a teacher, for 43 years. Just because you can, does not mean that you should. Ok, if you join the army, I would expect that, but not for kids. Sad.

  46. dear abby my name is holly l sleasman somerset pa i love the show i was born in pittsburgh pa in sept 17 1956 under the name of holly nedrow my family are from turtlecreek pa pittsburgh pa my other family are the nedrow scott mcfadden from turtlecreek pa pittsburgh pa please get on my facebook holly l sleasman somerset pa hope the tv show stays on for some time love the girls so iam born in pittsburgh pa 58 years ago i miss pittsburgh pa a lot like turtlecreek

  47. Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

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