“Dance Moms: Rotten to the Core” Recap
Based on just the “coming up on ‘Dance Moms’ ” section at the beginning of this week's episode, it’s already clear that it's going to be a doozy. Sophia’s back (yay!), Cathy’s back (boo!) and there’s no Christi or Chloe in sight (uh oh). I’m already hooked. But things quickly go from intriguing to just plain hard to watch. Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments from the show.
AWESOME Nia is a survivor. OK, I know this wasn’t Nia’s best week; She spends most of the episode nursing a hurt foot and then Abby pulls her duet at the last minute. But we learn that she’s stronger than we ever knew. Mom Holly tells us that Nia has a neurological disorder that flares up when she’s stressed. (Maybe bringing her to Abby’s studio was a bad idea…) We see pictures of her in a wheelchair, and Holly says two years ago doctors thought she might not be able to walk again, let alone dance. Why haven’t we heard about this before?! I already loved Nia. (She’s smart, mature and generally avoids drama. Plus, “Laquifa” was the best “Dance Moms” solo ever. Period.) But now I love her even more!
AWKWARD The return of Sophia. Abby seems as surprised as anyone when our favorite high-pitched diva shows up to rehearsal. Of course, she’s thrilled and immediately gives her a solo. Then Sophia just disappears. Poof! Abby’s confused. I’m confused. The whole thing was one big ball of confusing. Just because you’re a big star, Sophia, does not mean you can just not show up to a competition. I have a feeling we won’t be seeing any more of her. I will miss her fouettés.
AWESOME Maddie gets a solo! It’s about time, Abby. She’s more than paid her dues. Obviously, Maddie rocked it. And Paige calls her “Mad Dog,” which is definitely the best nickname ever. I have to admit, I missed seeing Maddie wipe the floor with her competitors. High score to Mad Dog!
AWKWARD Cathy gives Gino a solo. I have no words. This dance was so boring that I’ve already forgotten what it looked like. Leave it to Cathy to make a super-talented kid completely forgettable. A well-deserved eighth place.
AWESOME The costumes for the group routine. Those girls could have just stood there in those cute puffy vests and snuggly hats and I would have awarded them first place. (Also, I’m so glad Abby decided against painting Paige blue…that would have been horrible.) Abby says she saw mistakes in the dance, but I didn’t see any. I thought they looked great! Apparently, though, the judges did see those mistakes and put them in third place. Robbed.
AWKWARD All things Cathy. I strongly dislike this woman. You know who else strongly dislikes her? Her daughter Vivi. As Cathy so astutely points out, Vivi is “not a woman of many words.” Still, she’s clearly embarrassed to be seen with her mother and makes the wise decision to opt out of being in her routine at the competition. (Smart move. Maybe I should give this kid more credit.) This group routine is essentially the same routine we saw last week. I was under whelmed. All that head spinning and high kicking certainly razzle dazzled the judges, though, because the Apple Cores (Since when are they called that?) snatched up a first place win. Cathy handles it terribly and makes Abby cry. Then Mom Melissa thinks Abby’s going to have a heart attack. (Well wouldn’t that be an interesting twist…) Basically, everybody crumbles and it’s all Cathy’s fault. Let’s not invite her back for a while please.
And now, the QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Abby giveth. Abby taketh away.” —Abby Lee Miller
Abby, please giveth us less drama and more dancing next week—and maybe you will taketh away a first place trophy.
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.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
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!
I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?
What do you get when you combine a Beyoncé anthem, fierce girls from all over the world, and choreography by legends like Ellenore Scott and Lamar Lee? You get the epic music video below. The viral video features little girls who live everywhere from Tanzania to Washington D.C. dancing and lip-syncing to Queen Bey's song "Freedom," and the result is electrifying. These littles can dance—and they bring a determination and enthusiasm to their movement that's truly inspiring.