"Dance Moms: No Room for Rotten Apples" Recap
Poor Nick always gets the worst costumes...
My thoughts on this week’s episode are best summed up by a tweet from the one-and-only Abby Lee Miller: “Snore snore bring on #ALDC!” With another hour filled with Candy Apples and "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" drama, we didn’t even catch a glimpse inside the walls of the Abby Lee Dance Company. Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments from this week.
AWKWARD: Instead of seeing Abby’s infamous pyramid, we’re introduced to Cathy’s “apple tree.” Different from her previous ranking system, each dancer’s face was represented by an apple on the tree—the higher the branch, the higher the ranking. Curiously enough, Nick was the tree-topper because of his noted stellar performance the week prior. Thanks to my Twitter research, I learned that Nick had a solo that we didn’t get to see—and that solo received the highest score of the whole competition!
AWESOME: Anthony standing his ground. From the start, I’ve thought Anthony and Cathy were a bit of an odd duo, in terms of both dance background and personality. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the two clash, but this time, Anthony wasn’t playing any games. He proudly rattled off his accomplishments—working with Beyoncé, Rihanna and more—and topped it of by calling Cathy’s comebacks corny. She responded to the situation by carefully weighing her options; after shelling out for a choreographer as coveted as Anthony, she wondered if she could have better spent the money on some new designer handbags. “Great choreographer, or new Louis?”
AWKWARD: Bunny cataloguing. I didn’t even know that was a thing, but apparently, it’s one of Cathy’s two favorite pastimes (the second being spending time with Vivi). Lucky for her, she was able to combine her two passions when she and Vivi took inventory of each statue and figurine of a bunny in their home as “one hoppy family.” Then, Cathy brought a real live bunny to the competition for luck. Whatever works!
AWESOME: Hadley and Nick’s duet. Although the clip of Abby calling Hadley road kill has somehow made its way into every recent episode of “Dance Moms,” Hadley certainly has improved since her "AUDC" days. The two did a contemporary tribal-themed duet, which was impressively technical and entertaining. With a difficult headpiece that caused a pre-performance mini-meltdown, Hadley wiped her tears and measured up to front-runner Nick. First place!
AWKWARD: This week’s Candy Apples group dance seemed eerily familiar to me—a sassy character jazz routine set to music by a theatrical cross-dresser, elaborately costumed and ending with a death drop. No, this isn’t ALDC's "My Pumps" (which, might I add, is my favorite group dance in the show’s history), but rather, “So Chic.” Similar in style from the start, I noticed parallels between the two numbers from the second it began…but was floored (no pun intended) by the ending pose. I can’t help but wonder how Shangela feels about all of this.
Check out this video of "My Pumps" and compare for yourself:
See what I mean?
AWESOME: Maddie’s solo. Although we barely got to see any ALDC this week, this glimmer of familiarity was much appreciated. A guest performance on a taping of "AUDC," Maddie’s routine was flawless as always. Faced with the challenges of dancing with a live musician and adjusting to camera angles, Maddie rose to the occasion and nailed every step. From the looks of it, the "AUDC" judges agreed! And who is that sitting at the judge’s table next to Season 1’s Richy Jackson? None other than Rachelle Rak, the Broadway superstar who guest choreographed for Abby earlier this season. Lucky for us, we’ll get to see more of her (and an encore of Maddie’s performance) within the next few months! (P.S. Is anyone else as curious as I am to see who the "AUDC" contestants will be this year?!?)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I’m not gonna have no girls lookin' like He-Man.” –Anthony, defending his belief that girls shouldn’t have to do push ups
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽