Dance News

On set with all the ALDC kids! (Photo by Nate Powers)

Last night’s “Dance Moms” episode featured a very special guest: Dance Spirit! So instead of our usual recaps, I’m going to give you a rundown of five things you didn’t see on TV—but I did.

1. You know those moments when the kids and moms are speaking directly to the camera about what’s happening? That’s called an “On the Fly” or “OTF.” And though it may appear that they’re done against a wall of brightly colored costumes, they’re not. They’re actually filmed outside the studio on the grass. And they really are done on the fly! Cast members get almost no warning before they’re called away to share their thoughts.

2. Those plot twists are planned—but not everyone is in on them. When Jill came for a “surprise” visit to our photo shoot? The only one who was shocked was Melissa. Jill and Kendall were waiting outside the house for more than an hour before entering, hanging out with the crew. The producers had cooked up the whole thing. And yes, even I knew it was coming.

3. The kids are generally nowhere near the mama drama. And that’s a good thing. Maddie told me that as soon as the fury begins, one of the moms will whisk the children out of the room. And remember that scene in last night’s episode where Abby calls Jill down to yell about Kendall? It seems like Kendall is right there, hearing it all, but really Gianna had moved Kendall and Maddie into a corner to run the choreography—and stay far away from the mayhem. Of course, they’ll see it later on TV… but it’s the thought that counts.

4. This show has really good editors. After all, they have to cut a full week of footage into one hour. They can also make it look like you're reacting to anything that's said in whatever way they want. How do I feel about that?

5. Beyond all the fancy camera work and editing, some of it actually is real. I saw real emotion, real hard work and real smiles from all the kids on set. And we really were there to capture a day in the life of Maddie for our November issue. “Why just Maddie?” you ask? It seems a lot of the dance moms had the same question. We chose Maddie because we see some serious potential in her. If she stays in class (which she promises me she's doing), she has the skills and the commitment to make it in the dance world when her time on “Dance Moms” is a distant memory.

Want more behind-the-scenes details from the show? Maddie spills it all in our November issue. Get excited!

Dance News

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.

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