"Dance Moms: Gone, Abby Gone" Recap

There are a lot of kids on that stage—but it works.

This week, something major was missing at the ALDC—the “AL,” to be exact. Abby Lee’s absence meant no pyramid, no assignments and a whole lot of confusion. The girls and moms found both pros and cons of living life without Abby. Here are my top AWKWARD and AWESOME moments from this week.

AWKWARD: Although the moms had some reasons to celebrate in Abby’s absence, it became very apparent that her presence is necessary at the studio. With Gianna so stressed that she was driven to tears, the moms felt helpless as they tried relentlessly to get ahold of their fearless leader. This meant constant phone calls and text messages, and when Abby did respond, her demeanor was less than favorable. Not to mention, all of these calls were on speakerphone and texts were read aloud, which created an unnecessary amount of tension.

AWESOME: While we did see Gianna in one minuscule moment of weakness, something needs to be said about her starring role in this episode. Can we just take a minute to think about the fact that she has been choreographing the girls’ routines since episode 1, and she’s only now getting interview time? She went above and beyond this week, taking charge of a team that truly needed leadership, keeping them motivated and creating amazing pieces. With partner-in-crime James, another top teacher at the ALDC, she choreographed all 4 numbers without so much as a phone call from Abby. It’s clear that she’s dedicated to the girls, and the girls admire and adore her. If Lifetime wants to give Gia her own spinoff show, I’ll be watching!

AWKWARD: When Melissa called to deliver the news of the winning group dance, Abby announced that she’d only be back when the Hylands were gone—on speakerphone, of course. We’ve seen Abby’s close relationship with Brooke in previous seasons, and seeing how these remarks affected her was seriously heartbreaking. Watching Brooke dissolve into tears while Kelly and Melissa reassured her that Abby loved her was really the worst. Kelly mentioned that the relationship her daughters have with Abby wouldn’t be the same after this week—let’s hope that isn't true.

AWESOME: It may have been horrible to see Brooke so sad, but she certainly channeled that emotion into her performance. It seemed unlike Brooke to ask for a solo initially, but her insistence on this opportunity to dance and prove her commitment to the team was amazing. After allegedly learning her dance in a mere 15 minutes, she performed beautifully and earned 4th place—without a costume! What’s more, Brooke’s solo music was her own single, now available on her album on iTunes! 

AWKWARD: Brooke and Paige are officially back, but what does this mean for Leslie and Payton? With Leslie furious that Brooke was doing a solo and Payton wasn’t, fighting ensued in the observation mezzanine and continued throughout the weekend. With colorful insults being thrown constantly, Leslie seemed incredibly nervous that her time with the team could be coming to a close. But with a group dance of nine that took first place, there could be a chance that every team member will stay!

AWESOME: We know that Abby isn’t too thrilled about the girls’ promotional work with their fans, but what the Ziegler girls were a part of this week is nothing to criticize. To support The Starlight Foundation, Melissa helped a little girl, Hannah, achieve her dream of meeting Maddie and watching her perform. Serving as inspirations for one another, Maddie and Hannah spent time together throughout the episode, concluding with Maddie dedicating her (flawless) solo to her as well as the gift of her (gigantic) first place trophy. It was so great to see what an amazing impact the girls can have on their fans, especially for such a great cause.

And now, the QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“I walk in the studio and Gia’s at the front desk, and I just assumed Abby’s at a headband sale somewhere.” —Mom Christi

Next week, the Candy Apples will be back for their revenge—but will Abby be there to lead her team? What do you think?

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Getty Images

Dancers are naturally "in their heads" all the time—but not always in productive ways. Long days of receiving and applying corrections, taking class, and performing can get to even the most composed individuals. What should you do when you feel like your mind is just as busy as your rehearsal schedule? Try meditation. Dance Spirit turned to Adreanna Limbach, a head teacher at NYC-based meditation studio MNDFL, for a breakdown of this highly beneficial practice.

Keep Reading Show less
Mind
Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.

But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.

Keep Reading Show less
Competition

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways