Dance News

"Dance Moms: Maddie Has a Secret" Recap

The drama’s certainly heating up on Dance Moms. Last week, we had rumors of Maddie cheating, and the week before, two dancers pulled their solos. But this week topped all that: There was scheming, there was lying, there was even a broken bone! (OK, it was only a finger.) What were my top five moments? Read on to find out.

5. There’s no better way to start off an episode than hearing that Mackenzie's on top of the pyramid! Of course, she's been on top of my pyramid for weeks. Abby just took a little longer to catch on. This means she gets to do the “big girl dance.” Yippee!

4. Brooke shows amazing maturity in asking Abby to skip the competition to go to her first ever formal dance—the Eighth Grade Farewell Dance. Not only does Abby handle it very well, but then it was so great to see Brooke trying on dresses, posing for photos and just being a teenager. It’s easy to get caught up in dancing 24/7, but it’s important not to miss the milestones along the way.

3. As we’ve heard countless times, everyone's replaceable. Enter Payton. We hear that this 14-year-old has been bullying the younger girls, and then she’s cast as the huntress in a Hunger Games-like group routine. I see what you did there, Abby. She may have learned a little from the last time she embarrassed herself on national television by being bratty, but I’m still concerned about these bullying rumors. Her painted on abs were killer, though.

2. The group number ended up being pretty awesome. It’s the Hunger Games—how could they go wrong? As Nia’s mom Holly says, “Abby does weird well. The weirder the better.”

1. Maddie’s double competition heist! Since this competition was so huge, it was happening at two locations. And who better to snatch both Junior Miss Starpower titles than superstar Maddie? Oh Abby, you’re so sneaky. After some secret rehearsing, some sprinting from one venue to the next, and some excellent acting (What? I’m going to do a second solo?!) from everyone involved, she actually pulls it off! Two crowns, baby! Seriously, what a phenomenal performer. While I’m not a fan of how the grown ups acted, you’ve gotta be proud of the way this kid can dance.

What was your favorite moment? Let me know, and don't forget to check back here after every new episode for a recap.

Photo by Lee Gumbs, courtesy Taja Riley

Taja Riley's bold, full-out presence and unique ability to mix hard-hitting hip hop with smooth, sensual choreography paved the way for her success in the commercial industry. She's danced with music icons like Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars, and has assisted with choreography for Britney Spears' Femme Fatale tour, Demi Lovato's Skyscraper tour, and Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour. She also appeared in Beyoncé's groundbreaking visual album Lemonade. Raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Riley grew up training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy. Currently, she's on faculty at New York City Dance Alliance, where you can catch her touring the convention circuit. —Courtney Bowers

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A Nutcracker Christmas tells the story of a talented professional dancer, Lilly, whose supportive sister dies just as Lilly is about to perform the role of Clara in The Nutcracker with New York City Ballet. (Nit-picky fact-checking: In New York City Ballet's Nutcracker, she's known as Marie and danced by a child, but OK.) Lilly's boyfriend and dance partner, Mark, keeps her from performing in the show, which makes Lilly declare she'll never dance again. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Lilly's niece, Sadie, is about to dance Clara in a different company's Nutcracker—a company run by, of all people, Mark. And tons of drama ensues.

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Sophia Lucia showing off those banana feet (via @sophialucia5678)

You can catch A Nutcracker Christmas on December 10 at 8 pm. Get your slippers and hot cocoa ready.

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