Dance News

What happened on this week’s episode of “Dance Moms”? As expected, it was an emotional rollercoaster. Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments from the show.

AWKWARD As usual, pyramid time tops the awkward list. We knew things would be bad after the team landed in fourth place last week. First of all, Maddie and Mackenzie are both on the bottom. This has never happened in “Dance Moms” history, and I’m just shocked Mom Melissa’s head didn’t explode. Obviously, Paige and Nia join them in the last row. Then come Kendall and Chloe in the middle. But who’s on top? Brooke? Sophia? Drum roll please…. It’s nobody. So Brooke’s not on the team but she still gets to dance, and we’re apparently ignoring the fact that Sophia ever existed at all. This all makes perfect sense.

AWESOME Kendall saves the day! Normally I’d be annoyed that Mom Jill is going out of her way to suck up to Abby (and Abby’s dog), but compared to the old, horrible Jill, I’ll take it. Sure, there’s an annoying moment involving costumes (AKA Jill tries to get the moms to abandon ship again and they all ignore her. Then, I laugh.), but it blows over pretty quickly. And Kendall kills it onstage! Her costume is sassy, her acting is spot-on and her technique is surprisingly good. Looks like somebody’s been going to class. She beats out superstar Chloe for third place, and even Abby’s impressed. Now that’s what I call making a comeback.

AWKWARD The other solos. Nia does a lyrical routine, because Nia’s so good at lyrical. Wait, nope. Come on, Abby. Give her something fun! Then Chloe rubs some dirt on her face to be a rag doll. Not her best. Still, I expect the judges will at least like them a little. What?! They didn’t even place!? This is crazy pants.

AWESOME This group number showcases exactly the kind of choreography that makes me love Abby. It’s cute. It’s fun. It has a prop that makes it near impossible. “Drop your hat and you’re off the team,” warns Abby. And we know she’s serious. The day of competition arrives and I’ve never been so nervous to watch these girls perform. Please don’t drop a hat. Please don’t drop a hat. Please don’t drop a hat. OK, moment of truth: Chloe drops a hat. Uh oh. Will Abby care that she handled it really well? Will they still win? Chloe and Mom Christi aren’t about to wait around to find out, and they’re out the door within seconds of Abby erupting backstage. Things get even more awkward when Christi yells at all the fans in the hallway. The big question is: Will they be back next week?

AWKWARD Ugh, the Candy Apples are back. Cathy does a silly half-pyramid with “her” new all-boys team. Let’s get one thing straight: Cathy did not train these boys. Cathy did not choreograph this dance. Cathy is the worst. She should not be allowed to take credit for how awesome they are.

AWESOME “Cathy’s” new all-boys team. I really, really wanted to hate them. But when you handpick four of the best boys from across the country, I guess they turn out to be pretty awesome. So who are they? We remember Zack, 13, from “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.” He has amazing technique and is super sweet. I hope Cathy doesn’t ruin him. We’ve also seen Jalen, 11, before, on “Ellen” and as a member of Super Cr3w from “America’s Best Dance Crew.” And Gino, you look familiar, too! Yup, we saw you on “America’s Got Talent.” Brandon, 13, is insanely well trained and has even snagged awards at Youth America Grand Prix. Not surprisingly, the crowd goes wild when these boys hit the stage. Not fair.

So what are the results? One tenth of a point separates the two teams—and Abby wins!!! Hooray! Hopefully she’ll be in better spirits next week. Tune in to find out and check back here for another recap. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Health & Body

Regardless of who you are, it takes a lot of energy to keep jetés soaring and kicks high-flying, but it takes even more fuel if you’re a teenage male. Between the ages of 13 and 17, boys gain roughly 37 pounds, mostly in muscle. (Teenage girls experience growth spurts, too, but most of their weight gain is in essential body fat, with some muscle.) In order to sustain the high metabolism required for this growth, not to mention long days in the studio, what should an adolescent male dancer eat to stay healthy and strong?


The Food Guide Pyramid, found on most food labels, is a great way to shape eating habits, but is based on a 2,200-calorie diet. The average teenage boy needs upwards of 2,700-3,000 calories, so male dancers should eat much more than the recommended daily servings.


If a dancer’s protein intake is too low, growth rate will slow, energy will drop and the immune system will weaken. (Low levels of iron, found abundantly in protein, make the body less able to deliver oxygen to cells.) Male dancers don’t need to add powders and supplements to their diets if they eat protein with every meal and snack. The best iron sources are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts and soy, but iron can also be found in dried fruit,

fortified cereals and spinach.


During adolescence, 45 percent of the body’s skeletal mass is developed, requiring 1,200-1,500 milligrams of calcium per day. The best source is non- or low-fat dairy, such as milk or yogurt, which both have 300 milligrams in a single cup. Other calcium sources: broccoli, almonds, tofu and calcium-fortified orange juice. Note: Soda and salt interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.


Essential for growth and sexual maturation, zinc is found in fortified cereals, wheat germ, nuts, beans and lean meats such as roast beef or turkey. While low levels of zinc can worsen acne, too much zinc can depress the immune system and lead to copper deficiency, which raises cholesterol and affects heart function. Note: No one should consume more than 30 milligrams of zinc per day.

Other Vitamins

Teenagers need significant amounts of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin to accommodate higher energy levels. Other B vitamins, such as B6, B12 and folate, aid in tissue building; vitamin D helps skeletal growth; and vitamins A, C and E promote new cell growth. All of these will be consumed in adequate quantities simply by eating a well-balanced diet.


Fat should not be eliminated from a teen diet, though high-fat meats and cheeses should be consumed sparingly and fried foods avoided altogether because they are too high in saturated fat. The best fat sources are avocados, nuts, fish and olive oil; they won’t raise cholesterol and are good for reducing inflammation. (For more on fat, see “The Skinny On Fats” in DS January 2005.)


Adolescents are at a high risk for dehydration because they heat up quickly. Active male dancers should drink between 10 and 12 eight-ounce glasses per day, regardless of thirst.


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