Dance News

The dog that started it all.

As expected, this week’s episode was more AWKWARD than it was AWESOME. But it did have a few shining moments. Here are the highlights:

AWKWARD Of course, the death of Abby’s dog, Broadway Baby, is no fun for anyone (except we do get to see some super-cute clips of Baby's smiley, chubby face, which is precious). When Abby shares the news, everyone is very depressed, but it isn’t until little Mackenzie’s eyes start to water that I lose it. Abby tries (and fails) to put on a brave face: The show must go on! Or at least that’s the plan…Instead, Abby goes missing for a while and spends most of her onscreen time in hysterics.

AWKWARD I’m wondering who gave the moms the idea that changing the group routine’s music and choreography behind Abby’s back was not only a good idea, but a respectful way to honor her dead dog. (My guess is the producers.) Abby’s original idea is a graceful, ballet-based piece, “My Dream Will Be Your Dream” about a peasant girl who’s sick. But while Abby is MIA in mourning, the moms change the music to an upbeat jazz piece about sunshine, or something. Abby gets mad. Shocking! But it’s too late now, so the girls just improv the final routine. Good thing the ALDC is good at fouettés…First place!

AWKWARD The self-titled "Black Patsy" aka Kaya and daughter Nicaya will be at this competition. Good, because it wasn’t already hard enough to keep track of all ALDC’s enemies. I honestly barely remembered this one-episode-wonder. Then she appears, and I realize I blocked her from my memory for a reason. Nicaya’s solo is mediocre at best, but that’s the least of our problems. Kaya gets in everyone’s face right off the bat, and eventually Mom Jill loses it, too. But it’s Kaya who gets shown the door. The competition kicks her out! I'm glad this show finally acknowledges that mothers screaming at each other is not normal or accepted in the competition world.

Maddie, there's something on your costume.

AWESOME Maddie’s solo (duh). While that costume with a strange bloody heart on it is not my favorite, “Showing You Your Heart” is typical Maddie greatness. Then everything hits the fan because the announcer says Maddie’s dance is dedicated to Broadway Baby. The rest of the moms are bitter because their plan to honor Abby’s dead dog was an epic fail and Melissa actually did things right. How dare she! Gotta say, I rarely take sides with these moms, but I’m on Team Melissa with this one. The tribute was sweet. And Maddie is definitely holding onto that top pyramid spot.

AWESOME I love when Nia gets a solo! This one, “Breakin’ My Heart,” is perfect for her—jazzy and fun, with a super cute costume (Go Mom Holly!). Third place to Nia!

AWESOME Mom Christi and Mom Kelly are friends again. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I’m just glad we can leave that silly fight behind us next week, and move on to what actually looks like a great episode. Why? Because Abby’s going speed dating!

And now (drum roll please), the QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“She kept me sane.” —Abby on Broadway Baby

That was sane?!?!

That’s all for this week. See you next week with the results of Abby’s dating experiment. Until then, let me know what you thought of the most recent episode in the comments!

 

 

 

Dance News

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.

 

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