If you're a "Dance Moms" fanatic, you might be feeling a little blue today. The Season 5 midseason finale aired last night, and although there'll be more mom madness to come, you'll have to wait a little while for the rest. Luckily though, the true stars of the shows—the dancers—are seemingly everywhere these days. Chloe Lukasiak recently teamed up with dance video maven Kyle Hanagami and singer Jess Godwin. And just last night, Maddie Ziegler performed on "Dancing with the Stars," augmenting Josh Groban's sweet yet snoozy rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
For those of you on Team Nia Sioux Frazier, the teen recently debuted her first single, "Star in Your Own Life," complete with a pretty fab music video choreographed by Mikey Minden. I caught up with Nia Sioux to ask about the show and her burgeoning singing career.
Nia Sioux Frazier, age 13 going on 14 (on June 20!) going on 26 (Photo by David Hofmann, aka @sharkcookie)
Dance Spirit: With more than 1.6 million Instagram followers, and hundreds of thousands on Twitter, you're becoming quite the celebrity.
Nia Sioux Frazier: Well, I don't really think of myself as a celebrity—I think it's just being well-known. But that's been my dream since I was little, and it's incredible how my dream is coming true.
DS: Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
NSF: Beyoncé and Zendaya, all of my friends from school and my dad. He posts funny things about my family.
DS: What's the best part about being on "Dance Moms"?
NSF: Getting to perform as much as we do. And also having so many fans. It's amazing to think about how many people are out there supporting me.
DS: What's been challenging?
NSF: Not getting to see my family that much. Since I'm in L.A. now, I'm away from my dad, my brothers and my dogs. I miss my friends back at home, too. But we try to keep in touch with Skype and FaceTime.
DS: What do you love about singing?
NSF: It makes me feel good. I love hearing something on the radio and singing along—it makes me feel like I can just be me. I love when the music gets in me and I can just flow with it. It's similar to the feeling I get when I'm dancing.
Headed for pop-star stardom (a still from "Star in Your Own Life")
DS: Is there a message behind "Star in Your Own Life"?
NSF: It's about self-confidence. You're already a star, and no one can take that away from you. Know your own worth and be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
DS: What are your goals for the future?
NSF: To be myself and to keep inspiring others to be who they are. I'd love to be on Broadway, in movies or on Disney or Nick. I'd love to have my own reality show. But my dream job is just to perform. That's what I love.
Before a performance at the Reality Wanted Awards, which we'll see on "Raising Asia"
(photo by Adam Taylor)
Watch out, Beyoncé. There's an 8-year-old (soon to be 9!) triple threat blazing trails in the entertainment industry, and nothing can stop her.
You may remember Asia Monet Ray as a member of the Abby Lee Dance Company on "Dance Moms," or from her butt-kicking appearance on "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition." But starting this week, she's being reintroduced on Lifetime without the wrath of Abby and those Pittsburgh mommies. Asia's new show, "Raising Asia," premieres Tuesday at 10 pm EST, and if the trailer (see below) is any indication, we have 14 episodes—in seven weeks—of amazingness coming our way. Not only is she the cutest ever, but Asia's also got the wit, sass and determination it takes to be a superstar. I caught up with this pint-sized pirouetter to get the scoop on her new show.
What do you love most about "Raising Asia"?
It's awesome because I get to be with my family. I think it's the most time I've spent at my house in years! Everyone will see the work that goes into being a dancer, a singer and an actress—a triple threat, a mega star, a pop star! I'm really excited to see myself on TV again, even though we'll have to TiVo it, because the show's on past my bedtime. And everyone is going to love my little sister. She's really funny.
What was the craziest thing that happened on camera?
My dad and I were hanging out at a place that had mini golf and a go-kart raceway. We were racing, and I told him I was going to beat him. He ended up winning, but when the attendants yelled "Stop!" I accidentally pressed both the brakes and the go pedals, and I bumped right into a parked car. I was OK—I had my seat belt on. But I'm glad no one was in the parked car! That would have been bad, because I think I broke it.
Asia being Asia!
(photo via iamasiamonet.com)
Do you train at a studio?
My schedule is so hectic that I need to study privately. And I'm not competing. I work with choreographers who travel with me and can get me into a studio if we need it.
What's your favorite dance style?
Jazz and hip hop—I was born to be sassy and I can express myself in those styles. But I'm getting a little more used to lyrical.
What's your favorite food?
I love hamburger patties. I also love chicken, brown rice, edamame, miso soup and shaved ice from Icy-licious.
What's one accessory you can't live without?
Lip gloss—and a mirror.
Cats or Dogs?
Dogs, dogs, dogs! My mom will not let me have a dog, even though I've been asking for one basically since I was born. She says it will be too much work; we're already boarding a bird and a fish every time we travel, and we'd have to board the dog, too. I don't think a dog would want to watch me dance and sing all day—she'd want me to play with her, and she'd probably feel really left out and sad when I couldn't. If I ever get one, though, I'd like a teacup Morkie. And she'd have to be a girl dog, because I get too angry with boys—they make messes. I can dress up a girl dog and put nail polish on her little claws. I also like pugs and miniature bull dogs. I love their little front teeth that make them look so angry—but they're so cute!
Want more? Visit her new website iamasiamonet.com to see photos, read Asia's blog, purchase her upcoming debut album and find out where she'll be next.
In the two months since the Season 3 finale of "Dance Moms," fans have been asking: will Maddie, Chloe, Kendall and the rest of our favorite ALDC dancers return for a fourth season?
The answer is yes folks. Lifetime announced that Season 4 will premiere Wednesday, January 1 at 9/8c, with “Dance Moms Special: Guess Who’s Coming to the Dance?” airing before the premiere at 8/7c. The rest of the episodes are scheduled to air at the normal time--Tuesdays at 9/8c.
Want to get inside "Dance Moms"? You have a few options:
1. Find out what happened when DS editor Rachel was featured as a special guest on the show...
Rachel on set with the ALDC kids! (Photo by Nate Powers)
...and read the resulting article.
2. Audition to be a dancer on the show! There are still two auditions left, in Atlanta, GA (Nov. 8) and in NYC (Nov. 23). Click here to learn more.
3. Check out our "Win It!" page, where we're giving away a copy of The Best of Dance Moms: The Championship Dances, which features full-length, unedited competition routines...
...and an autographed photo of Maddie Ziegler + a "Team Maddie" bracelet.
Believe it or not, Dance Spirit editors get star struck too. And that’s exactly what happened when Maddie and Chloe from “Dance Moms” visited our office on Friday. We were totally taken aback by how sincere and mature these little dancers were. And despite their constant competition on the show, they’re clearly close friends in real life. After all, only BFFs could travel the country rocking matching pink outfits.
They were here to show off their new line of jewelry for Glitzy Girl—bracelets with removable, collectible charms that have fun phrases on them. Some of Maddie and Chloe’s favorites said “Team Chloe”, “Team Maddie”, “Black Swan/White Swan” and “Werk!” So cute! Check them out at www.theglitzygirl.com.
While in NYC, the girls also hosted a fashion show and meet-and-greet at the Westchester Mall to support the Anti-Bullying Pledge (www.antibullyingpledge.com). They told us that they’d choreographed their own routine for the show—in the airport! We love to see celebrity kids using their fame and talent for good. Way to go, girls!
Here’s a look at their visit to the DS office:
Victor Smalley with students Sammy Small (standing) and Hannah Epstein on “Dance Moms: Miami.” (Scott Gries/courtesy A&E Television Networks, LLC)
“I’m exactly the same in real life as I am on the show,” says Victor Smalley of “Dance Moms: Miami.” “For me, it’s all about the kids and showcasing their talents.” While his students certainly have star potential, it’s Smalley, co-owner of Stars Dance Studio, who’s the face of the show. You probably remember him from the Top 20 of “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 6. But after his “SYTYCD” days were up, Smalley decided to focus on teaching and returned to Stars, which he co-founded with Angel DeArmas Salabert in 2007. Now, Smalley trains students who consistently earn top titles on the competition scene, and he also travels the country giving master classes. Want to know more about this multitalented reality star? Read on for The Dirt.
Most-played song on your iPod: “All Alright” by Sigur Ros
Must-see TV show: “Vampire Diaries”
Favorite movie: Moulin Rouge!
Biggest guilty pleasure: 5-hour ENERGY... I can’t resist
Favorite food: Sushi
One thing most people don’t know about you: I love to paint.
If you weren’t a dancer/studio owner, what would you be? A millionaire
One thing you can’t live without: Angel, my best friend
Favorite city in the world: NYC
Who is your dance crush? Jordan Casanova
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? A supermodel
What’s the strangest thing in your dance bag? It is my dance bag, because it’s Louis Vuitton.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Running my own dance company and funding kids who can’t afford to dance.
Last week we got to see another side of the Abby Lee Dance Company—the recital side. We also got to see the hip-hop side, which I’d be more than happy to never see again. (That hip hop looked a whole lot like lyrical...) This week, thank goodness, the dancers got back to what they do best: competitions and contemporary dance. What were the top five moments? Read on to find out.
5. All my favorites got a solo—and they totally nailed them! Chloe was rewarded for her good performance last week with a cool solo and an even cooler costume. She didn’t perform her best, but some of her turn sequences were still unreal. Nia’s routine blew her previous attempts at solo-dom out of the water. She danced beautifully to scatting by Josephine Baker, and handled the maturity of the piece like a pro. While Mackenzie’s solo only had the emotional maturity of, well, a 6-year-old, she still steals my heart every time. I’ve never enjoyed pursed lips and shimmying shoulders more. Everyone was in the top ten!
4. Paige can dance again! That boot came off just in time, because seeing her pouty face while sitting on the sidelines was getting too depressing.
3. Enter Kaya and Nicaya. Gotta love a mother/daughter pair with rhyming names, right? Nicaya, while not a great acrobat or speller, seemed to have decent technique, and just enough microphone-stealing “divatude” (her word, not mine) to stir up the pot. And her mom was tricky—she had the insult-the-moms-but-suck-up-to-Abby drill down to a science—until the end of the episode when she blew her cover and freaked out at everyone. Will she be back next week? My guess is absolutely (though she wasn't in the preview). Silver lining: When Kaya referred to the Hyland sisters as “Broke-Back Brooke and Peg-Leg Paige,” I died laughing.
2. Speaking of the Hylands, Brooke and Paige had the cutest sister moment ever (something to strive for, Maddie and Mackenzie) when they filmed a YouTube video of Brooke singing her original “Summer Love Song” and Paige backing her up with strange hand movements. My guess is that vid went viral. (Update: I just tried to find it and couldn’t, so I guess not.)
1. This week’s group number was a thinker. “I Can See The Kite Flying” focused on an insane asylum (I won’t go into what this could be a metaphor for). Despite not grasping the concept at all, the kids did a convincing job at faking it. The choreography was unique and interesting, and Abby didn’t hate on anyone for messing up (always a plus). We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—Abby does weird well.
Do you love when Abby’s choreography gets dark and twisted? Do you want to see the return of Kaya and Nicaya? Are you as obsessed as I am with Mackenzie’s back walkovers? Let me know what you think, and tune in next week for another recap.
Some fun times on "Dance Moms" this week— and some not so fun times. Payton’s back (ugh, so much unnecessary fighting); Kelly had a birthday party, but I don’t want to talk about it; And the girls travel to Starbound in Atlanta, GA (the competition that brought on Abby Lee’s breakdown last season). Bring on the drama! Here are my top five moments:
5. Chloe was on top of the pyramid! I know this shouldn’t come as a shock since she’s a phenomenal dancer and Maddie didn’t even do a solo last week, but I just like her a lot. This girl doesn’t get enough credit; I’m continuously pleasantly surprised at how little her mother has rubbed off on her.
4. The girls got to audition for “Drop Dead Diva”! A fantastic show that just happens to be on the same channel, Lifetime, as “Dance Moms.” Not-so-subtle advertising? I think so. Clearly, Abby’s girls will beat out those Candy Apples for the part. After all, Vivi couldn’t even pronounce the word “choreographer.” Good thing she’s a great dancer. Oh wait… poor girl.
3. The underdogs unite! Paige, Nia and Mackenzie came together for a trio. And, honestly, it was kind of a mess. Mackenzie missed her entrance, Nia fell on her butt, and no one was dancing in synch. But their moping conversation afterwards about how much trouble they were going to be in was oh-so-cute. It may not have scored high with Abby, but it kept me smiling.
2. Can Chloe be on this list twice? Good, because she is. Chloe’s solo “Trouble” was so amazing! While surprising Abby by skipping rehearsal for a school field trip was a little too sneaky for my tastes, she clearly put in the work on her own, and her routine was flawless. Got to be honest: I liked it better than Maddie’s, and I thought Chloe deserved a higher title.
1. This group number was the best one yet! I even got over my sadness that Mackenzie wasn’t in it. “All Kids Go” had awesome costumes, choreography that was different than Abby’s usual and every dancer looked flawless. I just wish we could have seen the whole thing. First place!
Will Chloe stay on top of the pyramid? Will Payton stay on the team? Who will get the part on TV? So much excitement coming up next week! Don't miss our recap right here.
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.