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S04.E24: Abby-Phobic


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The ALDC competes against Studio Bleu in Woodbridge, Va., and Abby invites Select Team member Jade and new dance mom Loree to join the Elite Team for a week, inciting Christi's ire when she puts Chloe up against the older Jade.

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No, I don't believe for a second that's acting. She may be loved, supported, even revered in other parts of he life. But in this toxic environment, Chloe appears to be suffering terribly. I've had it with her mother, too, fanning the flames. If HER head were on straight, they'd be out of there, contract or not.

I don't know what Christi's priorities are, but she's not giving me anything to prove here that it's her daughter's well being. So, so angry about what they are doing to that girl.

Tying to this episode... :)

CHRISTI turned the pre-performance tap into an incident. Maddie didn't complain. No one else made it an issue minutes before they took the stage. Abby's eye roll need not have been more than another flash of Abby crap. That little bit o'drama was all Christi.

Edited by RealityCowgirl
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Just a few thoughts -

 

Chloe:  From what I've from what I've read elsewhere, the contract is over and Chloe is training at another studio.  In these final episodes, I think she's just going through the motions and phoning it in, knowing that she's almost out of there.  Hopefully, the other girls will follow her lead, because there are much better studios out there.

 

Mackenzie:  She must have a real anxiety when it comes to improv.  The last time she had a meltdown like that was when she was supposed to have an improv dance-off with Asia.  I wonder what Mackenzie eventually does in the future.  Dance isn't her passion like it is for Maddie and she's not really a singer.  I wish her mother and Abby would let her figure out her own niche.

 

Jane and Loree:  I liked them.  I like that Loree doesn't seem willing to get caught up in mom drama and she's willing to respectfully call Abby out.

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I notice that Abby still can't seem to see beyond a child's skin color/facial structure in planning dances for them. I like Loree and she seems very calm and stable-which means Jade probably isn't long for the show.

 

Mackenzie is what, 8?, 9? That's a pretty self-conscious age, She needs support, not ridicule. And I can't blame her for being less than confident with improvising not just in front of a group of girls where she's the youngest and a hyper-critical teacher, but in front of a camera. Poor kid, and her mom didn't help at all.

 

I've been rewatching the first two seasons since they're on Amazon Prime, and it strikes me just how much more life all the girls had at the start of the show. They really seemed to enjoy being there most of the time, and to take Abby in stride. It's not just Chloe, although she's one of the most changed. Part of it, I know, is getting older, but I think they're all burned out and have been hurt, badly, by this experience. I really hope this is either the last season entirely, or the last season for this group of girls.

 

 

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I notice that Abby still can't seem to see beyond a child's skin color/facial structure in planning dances for them. I like Loree and she seems very calm and stable-which means Jade probably isn't long for the show.

First thing I thought when the bitch announced the "token exotic Asian" theme for Jade's solo. She then claimed it was perfect for the girl's obvious and acknowledged strengths. In a dance form her mother said she hadn't done since age 7 or 8. Edited by RealityCowgirl
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ITA, Chloe looks so miserable its almost too painful to watch. I may have to start FF through her scenes.

In the group dance I thought Nia was really good. Sometimes I notice her and other times I don't, but this time she seemed so earnest and committed to the dance I kept watching her instead of the other girls. I thought the Studio Blue girls were very good, but I did not like the choreography. Or, maybe it came off as robotic because they practice it so much.

I liked Jade and her Mom. It would be nice to see them added and Abby removed. Is there any reason they can't do the show with guest choreographers like Crabby Apples does? I think it would make it a better show.

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I liked Jade and her Mom. It would be nice to see them added and Abby removed. Is there any reason they can't do the show with guest choreographers like Crabby Apples does? I think it would make it a better show.

I don't know if Abby has a producing credit, but I can't see them "removing" her. In fact, in the off-season they keep coming up with new shows for her to do, even without the girls. It may be "Dance Moms" but Abby is the one creating all the buzz. They don't want a drama-free choreographer. 

 

Just seeing how lovely Jade is helped me see Maddie in another light. She may have been the star when they were younger, but she doesn't stand out from the others anymore. As each new girl comes and goes, we can see that the older, better-trained dancers really are far ahead of Abby's girls. 

 

Asia may be annoying, but she's a strong, confident dancer, and much more of a professional than Mac. Mac is still getting by on her cuteness, but that won't last forever. 

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So there were "a hundred" teen-level dance teams competing in Woodbridge, VA? I find it hard to believe that Abby's worn and beaten girls would have placed way up in 2nd place out of a hundred competitive teams in the older division. Somehow I suspect the only team ALDC was competing against--for TV purposes, as always--was Studio Bleu.

 

It's getting downright painful to watch Chloe schlopping around with simpler choreography than she was given at age 10. Of course there's talk Chloe is training at another studio, but I don't see any extra training showing up in her work. Her turns are the only thing that's improved in all these years. I wish she would stay in dance, but not with the twin toxins of TV cameras and Abby Lee.

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I liked Jade and her Mom. It would be nice to see them added and Abby removed. Is there any reason they can't do the show with guest choreographers like Crabby Apples does? I think it would make it a better show.

 

 

As I was watching this I was wondering if this whole thing was a setup for either a new iteration of this show, which takes place at Studio Bleu, or even just a flat-out spin-off.  DM is showing its age and the effect it's had on the girls is making it much less fun to watch than it used to be.  And if rumors are true that the contracts are up (or at least one of them is--I assume the rest are for the same length) then this may well be the last season, or at least the last season with these particular girls.  Cause I can't imagine anyone other than Jill and Melissa letting their kids continue.  And, I mean, letting us see Abby's plan backfiring and the girls finishing as low as we've seen them do in a competition in a long time?  It just seems weird. Plus, the Studio Bleu woman had a similar "build" to Abby (I'm not judging cause my "build" isn't much better, honestly), and seemed like she could bring some drama.  

 

Probably not, but the thought did cross my mind.

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It's getting downright painful to watch Chloe schlopping around with simpler choreography than she was given at age 10. Of course there's talk Chloe is training at another studio, but I don't see any extra training showing up in her work. Her turns are the only thing that's improved in all these years. I wish she would stay in dance, but not with the twin toxins of TV cameras and Abby Lee.

 

I agee, I think Kendall and Nia have been stronger in their dance than Chloe of late.  I used to see Chloe doing personal appearances all the time, touring the country, Christy and Chloe talking to fans.  Is she still doing that?  I think that was her downfall, she should have been in dance classes and I think that's what Abby has been insinuating all this time.

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I agee, I think Kendall and Nia have been stronger in their dance than Chloe of late.  I used to see Chloe doing personal appearances all the time, touring the country, Christy and Chloe talking to fans.  Is she still doing that?  I think that was her downfall, she should have been in dance classes and I think that's what Abby has been insinuating all this time.

She does still do personal appearances. If you watch some of the recent videos that popped up while she was in London, she's definitely improved.

And she has been taking classes (well, at least privates) at other places: https://vine.co/v/MQhWEuihxKQ

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The show is hard to watch with Kristy's (?sp)  voice, like fingernails on a chalkboard, giving her negative opinion every 5 minutes.   Leave already!  No one is buying the old "we are forced into this like slavery" bullshit.  She is so unlikeable and so miserable.  Chloe learned to turn well at an early age.  She is semi-flexible.  Otherwise she is not a standout.  Would she be better if she had gone to a reputable school at the age of 8?  who knows.  Her mother is too much of a fame whore to be an unknown at a prestigious training facility.  It's about Kristy too, not just Chloe!

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Studio Bleu is a power house.  Glo (while personally I am not a fan) is a wonderful cherographer and her daughter is a fabulous dancer, they have  over a hundred dances they take to competitions alone and always place multipuls in the top 10.  When they said they were going up against Bleu I knew there was no way any of Abby's solos would beat them, that is why she didn't have her precious Maddy do a solo, Maddy can't touch any of the Bleu girls,  she's a good dancer but Glo's own daughter can dance circles around Maddy any day (she's the one that came in 1st)

 

I'm still not sure how their group came in 2nd.  That was a bit confusing for me, but I was happy to see one of my little DDC girls on the stage!   and Way to go Bleu!

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I don't know about a spinoff, but there was recently a "casting call" for dancers at a dance company called Artistry in Maryland:  I don't think it's a tv show, but they are definitely using "Dance Moms" as a recruiting tool.

 

http://www.backstage.com/casting/artistry-dance-company-41902/

 

COMPANY

Artistry Dance Company
Jennie Kowaleviocz, casting
PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION
Casting child dancers for Artistry Dance Company. Prod. states: "Is your child a fan of T.V shows like 'Dance Moms' and 'So You Think You Can Dance'? Do they want to break into TV, Broadway and reality dance shows one day? Artistry Dance Company is an innovative and fast-paced competitive dance company, geared to helping young dancers achieve a career in the commercial dance industry. Our dancers compete locally and nationally on a monthly basis, our goal at Artistry is to help dancers on our company get a foot in the door of the industry, dancers will be notified of auditions and casting calls when they come available to our director. At artistry dance company we make today's dancers tomorrow's stars."

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I don't think it's an act. I like Chloe. I can root for Chloe. I'm sorry, I just can't root for Maddie or Melissa.

 

Melissa never stands up for her girls.  Abby wasn't laughing at Mackenzie because she's cute.  Abby was making fun of her.  Holly was a better mother to Mackenzie in that moment.

 

I can't root for Maddie either.  I can't see her as an innocent victim.  When Chloe tapped her arm, Maddie flinched and put her hand to her face dramtically, as if Chloe had slapped her face.  I re-watched it three times.  Maddie has done things like that in the past, back to when they were playing with the watermelon in season one.  It's certainly more Abby and Melissa's fault than Maddie's, but as she gets older, I find it harder to pity her.  I think one of the reasons people still fawn over her dancing, is because she still looks like an eight year old.

 

Asia may be annoying, but she's a strong, confident dancer, and much more of a professional than Mac. Mac is still getting by on her cuteness, but that won't last forever. 

 

I just can't really handle Asia or her mother.  I have a visceral reaction when I see their promos.  I've just never gotten over the impression that Asia is a grown drag queen little person.  Her parents did her no favors forcing her to weight train when she was a toddler.  There seems to be hope for her - if her father intervenes. 

 

I thought I spied Pey-Ton on Team Bleu.

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I've just never gotten over the impression that Asia is a grown drag queen little person.  Her parents did her no favors forcing her to weight train when she was a toddler.

 

This.

Thank you - lol I got flamed for saying the very same thing on TWOP.

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I wasn't impressed with Studio Bleu's group dance.  They were high school dancers and they were alright, but nothing spectacular.  It should have been better knowing that competition dance studios practice the same dance over and over again for months (ugh).  I actually thought the Dance Mom's group dance was better and more together.  Especially given the age difference between the two groups. 

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I didn't really pay attention to the other team, so maybe they were "better," but this was the first time that I remember in the eleventy-billion episodes of this show that I was not just impressed by ALCD team's group performance but actually moved. I even went immediately rewound and watched it a second time, because I couldn't believe it, and I've NEVER done that (I *have* rewound and rewatched, occasionally, before, but only because seeing how they cut up and splice the [at least] two different performances cracks me up, and I like seeing where they did it so I can figure out exactly what kind of BS story they're gonna spin out of it. But, to rewatch because I was surprised by how moved I was by it? Yeah, not so much).

 

Typically, when they do one of the more heavy-handed "theme" dances that causes Abby to wax prolific for years and years about how deep and meaningful they are, I end up ... well, laughing. I'm sorry, I know that sounds awful, and it's not at the girls but at how treacly it ends up coming across to me, probably due to a combination of a) their not having the maturity to present it convincingly (maturity, as in age and out-of-the-studio life experience, not a failure or shortcoming on their parts in anyway; I think that, with rare exception of prodigious acting talent, almost every child at that age would be just literally too young to portray the emotions convincingly, even if the material was excellent, which leads to point B) and b) the fact that Abby's (or ... calling all RHONY: whoever ghosts her choreo?) choreography isn't nearly as deep and meaningful as she believes it is, leading to a perfect storm of, well, what you get when all the little kids in the neighborhood put together what they think is a Really Deep Serious show, and you just have to watch it  and bite your lip to keep from cracking up, because it's So Cute that they believe that it's Serious and Important and you love that they worked on it together like that, and one day, in ten or twenty years, you'll be able to tell them all about how they did this  when they were little and thought they'd put on this superserious show about Serious Important Things and they'll also get that it  ... wasn't. But, they were six and eight and nine, except maybe the one older kid who helped them and knew it wasn't quite all that but she is so sweet and loving and played along too, or, maybe, she did think it was, but she was 13.

 

BUT ABBY ISN'T THIRTEEN AND STILL BELIEVES IT. And it's just all so sad, so then I don't want to laugh, because OMG she really believes in it. Even when, before they all die from the CONTAGIOUS TEXT MESSAGE that sends cooties to the driver or whatever the fuck is supposed to happen in that dance, since everyone but the driver is texting--two hands on the wheel, good job on that part, at least, but she's not texting, so it must be Death By Texting Proxy!--perhaps they should have called The Last Head Turn and Last Look Away from the Road? (but then they wouldn't have gotten the ATT product placement choreography)--they SPIN THE MAKE-BELIEVE STEERING WHEEL LIKE THEY'RE AT AN ARCADE OR ON A RIDE IN THE KIDDIE SECTION OF AN AMUSEMENT PARK and not even like a Six Flags kind of amusement park but like the Rye Playland/Carnies Come to Town/And-I-Would-Have-Gotten-Away-with-It-If-It-Weren't-for-You-Meddling-Kids kind of amusement park, and even the thirteen-year-old neighborhood kid would have known to tell the little kids how to make it look like HOW STEERING WHEELS ACTUALLY LOOK, or, maybe not, SINCE SHE ISN'T OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE, BUT ABBY IS, right? ABBY DRIVES?! So, she knows how to use a freaking steering wheel? So even if it's the ONLY piece of choreography she actually, physically could have demonstrated in her entire damned--as she'll tell you again and again--85-year-career,been-doing-this-since-she-popped-out-of-her-mother-womb-or-maybe-even-as-a-fetus, she could have said, "THIS is how you hold a make-believe air-steering-wheel so Methadonna doesn't have to laugh every time we do this damnass dance"? THIS is what they have given their childhoods up for? Or, god, the Where Have All the Children Gone, Gone to Choke Themselves, Everyone, When Will They Ever Learn? dance? 'Nuff sed.

 

So, yeah, another Very Special Episodance, and I was waiting to see just what sort of cringe-y humor awaited. But, I might have, just might have, found myself brushing away a speck of dust or something in my eye. Which made me even sadder. Because, obvoiusly Abby didn't suddenly get better at choreographing shit. But the girls had something they obviously could easily connect to. Even if they couldn't all say, "I'M AFRAID OF YOU AND THIS SHOW AND EVERY DAMN IMPRINT ON MY SOUL I'M GOING TO BE FIGHTING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE," the connections were there in most of their stated fears. And they danced the shit out of them. And they moved me when they did. And that just made me sad as hell. AND, YET, I'M STILL WATCHING and adding to measurable buzz about it now by admitting it here so the monsters that allow this to continue? Will. Which means I can't really claim not to be one of them. And that? Also makes me pretty sad.

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I like how two seasons ago this show was pretending that the reason Mack performed with the older girls was because she was a valid and necessary contributor to the team, and not because having her wave around in the back brought the average age of the team down to compete in the lower age division. But now the moms are the ones pointing out that Abby should be doing that to stay out of the teen division. Please.

 

And Abby and/or producers must read the complaints against the show because the choreography has been stepped up a bit this season. I really did enjoy the girls' group routine, and thought they had a real chance of beating Studio Bleu.

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I don't think that dance was a last minute dance like Abby said.  I think she had that thing pre-planned well in advance and it was some of her "best work" because she knew she was going up against Studio Bleu.  I think the whole act of coming up with it last minute was just a defense mechanism in case she lost.  I really don't like Abby's choreography very much because I find it really prescribed and formulaic (maybe due to the fact that she can't demonstrate or experiment with her own movements, so she is forever stuck with only "traditional" moves) but this was one of my favorite dances.  I'm not buying that she came up with it then and there.

 

Here's a link of Maddie dancing to Alex Moffet's choreo (from Club Dance, where Kalani trains).  http://youtu.be/MJL5hUjnbOo?list=UUE07iGOc-SmVlXrROnaPuGw

The little girl she's dancing with is Brynn, who just won Mini Best Dancer at the Dance Awards and is pretty extraordinary.  Its so nice to see Maddie doing choreography that isn't just a bunch of dance moves frantically lumped together. 

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It is, but it's also obvious to me that she lacks the strength for moves that she should be able to handle and is struggling to be fluid instead of choppy.  I'm very glad she had the experience though and wish she could go permanently to a different dance school.

 

There is no way many of the dances happen as Abby describes I don't think.

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It is, but it's also obvious to me that she lacks the strength for moves that she should be able to handle and is struggling to be fluid instead of choppy.  I'm very glad she had the experience though and wish she could go permanently to a different dance school.

I agree.  It's clear Maddie is not as controlled and as fluid as Brynn. I suspect any of the others members of the ALDC would struggle more.  But I'd rather see her work on this kind of stuff then execute Abby's choreography for the billionth time!

Edited by sofiah
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I've posted this before @ TWOP, but why does Abby give the girls 3-7 DAYS to learn a routine that will compete against studios who've been working on their routines for months?  (Guess the answer has to be because now we know all the competitions she goes to are fake).  I wasn't a competitive dancer, but I was with a very well respected studio for 10 years. The owner/director/lead choreographer was amazing. Her annual recitals were legendary and so professionally done.  Many other studios used her dances for their own recitals. But she and her staff perfected every dance for the kids from Dec- June. It didn't matter if the class was full of 2 year olds or in high school. I don't think any kid ever felt the pressure to "be perfect", but we knew the steps and the music so well, there were no mistakes. That's how you encourage kids to keep going and find the passion in something. It's not a bad life lesson either...being prepared and understanding your topic can help you succeed.

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Cristi and Chloe spent most of the summer traveling all over the world doing meet and greets and they are usually selling out. I don't think we need to worry how she's going to turn out, and while I miss watching her dance, I will not miss her mother in the slightest.

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I've posted this before @ TWOP, but why does Abby give the girls 3-7 DAYS to learn a routine that will compete against studios who've been working on their routines for months?  (Guess the answer has to be because now we know all the competitions she goes to are fake).  I wasn't a competitive dancer, but I was with a very well respected studio for 10 years. The owner/director/lead choreographer was amazing. Her annual recitals were legendary and so professionally done.  Many other studios used her dances for their own recitals. But she and her staff perfected every dance for the kids from Dec- June. It didn't matter if the class was full of 2 year olds or in high school. I don't think any kid ever felt the pressure to "be perfect", but we knew the steps and the music so well, there were no mistakes. That's how you encourage kids to keep going and find the passion in something. It's not a bad life lesson either...being prepared and understanding your topic can help you succeed.

 

They don't learn the dances in 3-7 days, they just pretend to for the cameras. They learn the dances over the summer at their booty camp and practice them during their private lessons throughout the school year. Except for the new girls, who probably come with their dances already prepared and Abby just says its her choreography.

 

The stuff that they make the girls say about how their dances aren't complete is stupid. It's just for TV drama.

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I've been rewatching the first two seasons since they're on Amazon Prime, and it strikes me just how much more life all the girls had at the start of the show. They really seemed to enjoy being there most of the time, and to take Abby in stride. It's not just Chloe, although she's one of the most changed. Part of it, I know, is getting older, but I think they're all burned out and have been hurt, badly, by this experience. I really hope this is either the last season entirely, or the last season for this group of girls.

 

I know, it's really striking isn't it? That and sad.

 

I hope it's the last season entirely. I can forgive these Moms to some degree because I don't think they knew what they were getting into originally. And maybe no one did... maybe it just spiraled out of control.  But if they were to bring in a new group of girls, it would mean their parents KNEW and went forward with signing their kids' childhoods away anyway.  I feel kind of the same way with the new girls that have been coming in here and there on the recent episodes - their parents should know better. I'm happy for most of them that they've been gone almost as quickly as they arrived. I'm sure they're temporarily upset but that's nothing compared to what becoming a permanent fixture on the show would do to them.

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