In the episode entitled "Liar, Liar Dance Mom on Fire", the war of words grew to such an extent between Abby and the Dance Moms that Christi got slammed for using the word "amazing" too much.
The sides were drawn over Abby's seeming need to criticize the dancers despite them winning awards. Is she thinking another walk out is in the cards?
She demands perfection, constant attention to detail and willingness to work seven days a week. The fact that her dancers top others at competitions has more to do, in Abby's opinion, with the level of talent on the competing dance teams, not that her own girls are so "amazing". If the girls start believing they are great, they are less likely to work hard.
The Moms' point
Stop the tirades each day and every day in the week leading up to the competition. Don't berate the little ones just prior to going on stage. Most importantly, give credit where it's due even if you don't want to. If competition judges award prizes to their daughters despite a lack of perfection, at least acknowledge that.
Is there a middle ground somewhere?
It is doubtful. If the kids keep dancing the way they do and continue winning prizes, it's hard to see how the moms will back down.
They are mothers first and Dance Moms second, at least that is what they like to say.
Mothers want to protect their children from undue harshness and praise them for good efforts that produce good results. They are not obsessed with perfection since the kids haven't reached the pro level where rejection is the norm, no matter how good a dancer is.
Abby has always used that argument when she goes on her tangents. During her stint in Los Angeles this past summer for her Ultimate Dance Competition, she often criticized the dancers by telling them she was preparing them for what they'll face when they turn professional. Hard to look at her yelling at a ten year-old and take that seriously.
Abby has lost her way. She began this behavior a couple of episodes ago after the moms staged a walk out. She emphasized to the dancers that they have to conduct themselves like the national champions they are.
The screaming little girls in the audiences at competitions are thrilled to see the Abby Lee company because they are stars.
Yet, Abby uses the same logic to get them to rededicate themselves to perfection.
Since they have a national championship pedigree to uphold, resting on their laurels is unacceptable. It is this point that Abby takes to extremes when she berates the dancers for mistakes. She fears they will get inflated egos and believe they deserve prizes for less than perfect performances. It is what she thinks led to the walk out.
Abby's win-win philosophy
After the immigrant-themed group dance placed first, despite mistakes she found glaring, Abby faced the camera and said:
"The group dance was a success. Was it amazing Christi? No, it isn't your place to say that -- certainly not. But they won and it will go down in the history books as another victory for the Abby Lee Dance Company."
In this way she reminded everyone that despite mistakes and lack of perfection, her dancers' success reflects only on her since she chooses them, trains them and presents them to the world. It is a tactic used by insecure people. Despite all her bluster, it looks like Miller falls into that category.
Difficult to see how there is a middle ground here. What has to happen, in your opinion for this heightened nastiness to cease? Can Abby stroke the kids a bit and still get them to try hard?
Lifetime airs new episodes of Dance Moms each Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET Image: Lifetime/Dance Moms