“Dance Moms: Liar Liar Dance Mom on Fire!” Recap
I know this show is called “Dance Moms,” but there’s nothing that upsets me more than an entire episode (like last night’s) focusing mainly on the moms being annoying. Silver lining: Mackenzie got a solo. Here are my top three AWESOME and oh-so-AWKWARD moments from the latest drama-filled installment.
AWKWARD The ridiculous process of casting the group routine “Voyage Home.” First, Abby announces that Brooke and Mackenzie are not in the dance. Brooke doesn’t really seem to care about not dancing (after all, she's having a really good hair day). But the fact that Mac is being punished for working with a faulty prop last week hurts my soul. Sophia’s still in the dance even though she’s missing all the rehearsals for it. Wait, how is Sophia supposed to learn this routine again? It doesn’t matter because she doesn’t show up for the competition anyway. I guess it all falls on Kendall to change up the formations on stage. That’s good, because she never crumbles under pressure…
AWESOME This group dance was supposed to be serious, teaching the girls about history and immigration, but then Abby clearly has no idea what immigration actually is, and instead explains that they’re basically dirty travelers from nowhere in particular going home. OK…Good thing the girls have some serious acting chops and were able to pull this thing together with very little background info. It was actually a beautiful piece. And sorry Brooke and Mac, I have to admit, it does look nice that the dancers were all relatively the same height. Abby says Kendall messed everything up, but I didn’t notice her mistake. And then they win first place overall. So take that, Abby.
AWKWARD Obviously Mom Melissa is not pleased about Maddie being downgraded to a duet, especially one with Kendall, who—while she’s a great little dancer—is not on the same level as Maddie at all. So Abby gets Melissa to admit she’s upset, then tells Mom Jill all about it. So the moms go at it over who lied the most. The best part is: Every single mom who recounted this conversation definitely lied about it. It’s as if they forget that everything they say is being filmed for national television. I wish they would just be able to re-watch old footage while taping. Then we could settle these arguments a lot more quickly and get back to the kiddos.
AWESOME Maddie and Kendall’s duet “Sugar and Spice.” Even though this routine is way too easy for Maddie, and Kendall gets so many corrections it seems inevitable she’ll mess up onstage, the girls totally pulled it off. What a cute number! And Kendall looked pretty darn good. First place!
AWKWARD The moms are going through Abby’s garage to find old dance stuff. Christi thinks she’s going to get scabies—but really there are only mice lurking behind all the boxes. Then they find weird photos of Abby with a black eye. Didn’t think that plot twist through, did you, Abby? Next week you’ll have to find a different way to put the moms to work in exchange for them giving you money. Wait, what?
AWESOME The two solos! Mackenzie’s routine is called “Lemonade,” and she proves that she can even spell l-e-m-o-n-a-d-e. She’s a child genius, ladies and gentleman! She was amazing onstage, and, as usual, that kissy face just kills me. Paige also rocked the stage this week with her solo, “I Wanna Dance.” I’d actually forgotten what Paige’s dancing looked like, since I think it’s been over a year since she actually did any on this show. With Maddie, Chloe and newcomer Sophia not competing solos, Paige gets the opportunity to really shine. And she surprised me! Nice going, Paige.
So what have we learned here today? The kids, in general, are AWESOME. The grown ups, however, make everything AWKWARD.
And now—the moment you’ve all been waiting for—the QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I don’t wake up amazing. It takes me hours to get this way!” —Abby
At least she’s modest.
Tune in next week for another episode and another recap. And don’t forget to let me know what you think!
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
I started dance classes at a young age. By the time I was 3, I was training at The Dance Club, and I grew up there. I started with the basics—ballet and jazz—and eventually added tap, tumbling, contemporary, and hip hop.
Early on, I did compete. I remember my first time: I did a trio at a small local competition, and it got first place. The trophy was as tall as I was, and I loved it. I attended conventions as a mini, and had the opportunity to take classes from Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Andy Pellick, and Joey Dowling-Fakhrieh. There was so much variety—I was in awe.
For more on choosing whether to compete or not, click here.
My mom was a dancer growing up, and she went on to become a dance teacher, so I've really grown up in the studio. I started classes when I was 2, and by the time I was 9, I was training at The Dance Club and knew I wanted to dedicate all my time to dance.
Daphne Lee is a queen, and not just in the "OMG Girl Boss Alert" sense of the word. She's an actual queen—a beauty queen. Crowned Miss Black USA in August, she's been doing double duty as she continues to dance with the Memphis based dance company, Collage Dance Collective. Lee's new title has given her the means to encourage other black girls and boys to pursue their dreams, while also pursuing dreams of her own. The scholarship money awarded with the pageant title will assist her as she earns a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Hollins University.
When a choreographer finds a composer whose music truly inspires her, it can feel like a match made in dance heaven. Some choreographers work with the same composers so frequently that they become known for their partnerships. New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck, for example, has tapped composer Sufjan Stevens numerous times (last spring, the two premiered The Decalogue at NYCB, to rave reviews); L.A. Dance Project's Benjamin Millepied's working relationship with composer Nico Muhly has spanned a decade and two continents; and when tap dancer Michelle Dorrance premiered the first-ever Works & Process Rotunda Project, a site-specific work for New York City's Guggenheim Museum, last year, percussionist Nicholas Van Young was by her side as an equal partner. Successful collaborations require compatibility between artists, direct and honest communication, and flexible, open minds. But when the stars align, working with a composer can be extremely rewarding.
For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.
Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.