“Dance Moms: Clash of the Dance Moms” Recap
The girls showed genuine emotion in their contemporary routine this week—and we loved it!
After a grueling week of Abby Lee Dance Company showcase prep and performances, Abby’s dream team was back and ready to compete—minus a few key members. The Hyland family is still M.I.A. this week, much to the team’s dismay and Abby’s delight. With plans to attend a new and highly-acclaimed competition and go head-to-head with Cathy and her fresh crew of MVPs, the stakes were higher than ever. Here are my top AWKWARD and AWESOME moments from this week.
AWKWARD: We’re back at the Candy Apple's Dance Center this week, but things aren’t exactly how we left them. While choreographer Anthony has stuck around, many of Cathy’s recruits have not. With Jaden and Zack inexplicably absent (not to mention old favorites Gino and Nick), we’re introduced to a new cast of talented dancers from around the country. Amongst them is none other than Lucas Triana, a super-flexible, strong and driven dancer who we first saw on "Dance Moms: Miami." I was thrilled to have a chance to see more of Lucas, but just really confused as to how Cathy can play this off. With Lucas came Mom Bridgette, whom Cathy claims to be “very good friends with on Facebook.” While the team is undeniably comprised of impressive talent, it’s pretty awkward that Cathy and crew keep shuffling their players around in hopes of defeating the invincible ALDC.
AWESOME: It’s a miracle—the moms are getting along! It seems that in times of need and turmoil, the moms make an unconquerable army. They really come together to face the Candy Apples and lobby for Kelly’s return. In Brooke’s absence, Abby calls in senior company dancer Payton, and with her comes Mom Leslie. In the past, the other moms have been far from thrilled to share the observation mezzanine with her, but this week they’re appreciative of her strong demeanor. Grateful to have another ally by their side on the upcoming trip, the moms have nothing but compliments for Payton, and they go pretty easy on Leslie as well. How refreshing!
AWKWARD: We may have gotten a break from the Pittsburgh mama drama this week, but that doesn’t mean there was any shortage of conflict. Although breaker Jalen and Dad Rick weren’t with the CADC this week, Cathy made sure to keep her team stocked with powerful and outspoken parents—and I don’t just mean the parents of the dancers. Cathy’s mother (reluctantly) agreed to tag along to Lancaster with the team, and choreographer Anthony’s mother came to support, too. The two remained silent until the inevitable post-awards showdown, when Anthony’s mother was far from hesitant to tell the ALDC how she felt. One set of moms is enough—let’s not bring in another! Christi said it best: “This is about dance! Are you people insane?!”
AWESOME: At this week's pyramid revealing, Abby told Nia once again that she wants more from her, a point to which Mom Holly argued could only be improved if Nia had more time in the studio with her teacher. Well, she instantly got her wish. Abby was disappointed in Maddie’s reluctance to perform a new solo last week, so she put Nia in her spot for a trio with Kendall and Chloe. She cut Nia no slack in rehearsals—and it certainly paid off. The girls looked beautiful onstage in a technical and stunning routine. Even Melissa remarked that Nia’s facials were “priceless.” The best part? Abby agreed! Go Nia!
AWKWARD: It seems that Yvette and Kristie Ray have a bit of unresolved tension from their time together on AUDC last season. As the two reunited, they instantly burst into an argument rehashing all kinds of things that had been said in the past. These two have each met their match—neither was willing to back down, especially in the defense of their daughters. Once the members of their respective teams pulled them apart, Kristie managed to get the last word by calling Yvette out on her Spanx being too tight (ouch!).
"Open Waters" was both technical and moving.
AWESOME: I loved the group number this week. Entitled “Open Waters,” the piece showcased technical excellence, strength and emotion—all the elements that make up a winning contemporary number. The girls looked so strong and mature, and the costumes, in combination with a sleek low-ponytail, made for a clean and professional look. Even with the challenge of working with a prop (and a new team member), they still managed to pull off a first place win (and reign supreme over the Candy Apple's crew!). Victory for the ALDC yet again!
Although the numbers looked great and the drama was scarce, the show really isn’t the same without the Hylands. The moment Abby pointed out what an asset Brooke’s unmatchable contortion work would have been to the group number, it became clearer than ever that the family actually isn’t replaceable. So, with Leslie and Payton determined to stay put, tension will most certainly be high at the ALDC next week.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Leslie’s like the boil on the butt of humanity.” –Mom Christi
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.
Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.