Recently, I wrote an article about Dance Moms that proved that Abby was capable of doing dances like the OG’s did in last week’s show. I in no way condone the dance but my credibility has been called into account. And, while I don’t have children, I have taken dance and also have friends who teach. Let me say the following:
As the teachers say, times have changed. Dance has changed and some of the reasons are connected with Dance Moms. The first few years, Abby’s routines were more legit but, let’s face it. She pushed the line even the year before Dance Moms premiered as the clips last week showed.
As a person who ATTENDS and LOVES musical theater, I attend when I can. I have attended both professional versions, college versions, and high school versions. Because the college versions sometimes includes home school students, theater students can be 16 or 17 during their first year and get starring roles. And yes, I have seen a 16 year old in A Chorus Line singing “Tits and Ass” (excuse the reference folks). So don’t say that young girls don’t perform that type of routine.
As for the “professionalism” of Abby Lee Dancers, well I know of at least one university who would love to have Nia on their “dance team.” The reason: Her videos show her as being a hard worker who can do the fast choreography. So, don’t judge Nia, Kalani, Camryn, Chloe, or Kendall on their looks, their weight, their body type or their skill. They face enough judgement in the work place and should not have to face it here from people who bully young girls because of a television show.
Now on to the moms and why they have allowed their girls to do the show. The program Dance Moms was originally thought to be a documentary on the world of dancers and their moms. Rumors have it that Christi brought the studio to the attention of the producers who decided to use it. In fact Holly stated in an interview that first year that she didn’t think they would make the show much less make it past the first few weeks. To be on the show, all moms had to sign contracts which made them have to do what production told them to do. That meant they all had to learn a new dance for the week, the teacher arranged for choreography and costumes (which the moms paid for) and they couldn’t easily break their contract or face legal issues.
Now on to how much it costs to be a dancer. When I was young and danced, my dad worked two jobs so my sister and I could have the opportunity. So it was expensive then. At the Abby Lee studio, the rates are posted on their website for 2015-2016. Basically, all students must pay a $35.00 registration fee for the year. If they are registered, the fee for a 30 minute session is $35 and 60 minutes runs $65. All must pay for a performance packet monthly from November to March. While no monetary amount is given, the packet includes costumes, tights, earrings, head pieces, props. Notice what isn’t listed — travel and hotel bills. Also, the team information are found here. Please note that one class doesn’t cut it and we don’t know how much the weekend rehearsals are. Quoting from their website
Required Classes are Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Acro/Gym, Hip Hop, Legs & Feet, Jumps & turns.
So basically, that is at least nine classes. Let’s say the classes run the minimum time of 30 minutes. Parents pay $35.00, then $315.00 a week but I don’t think that is what it takes to make the Elite team. Let’s go with just the $315 a week for 12 months and the cost for dance lessons (no performance packets) alone are $16,380 a year.
And just for the record: I have written for several different websites on Dance Moms and I have one rule. I never comment on a girl unless said girl does something really obnoxious. I will comment on the moms. The way I see it is this. The original moms were trying to get the story across of moms and daughters sharing an experience. The show took off. Business opportunity for Abby and dance success for her star pupils came into play. Enough said and only one name called here.