I have a problem with these mothers and the teacher arguing so much and so vocally in front of the children. When children are crying and looking scared, than there is a big issue. I also have a problem with extra activities taking precedence over education, and being shoved on kids so much that they think it is everything. Maddie at eight should not be so much worried about winning upon meeting Juliana. They should be bonding over their love for dance.
I was also a little unsettled by Nia's mother's breakdown in front of her. I believe kids should know their parents are human, but that was a little much for her to have to deal with.
My main problem is with the drinking of alcohol when the mothers are with the girls. Now, I enjoy a glass of wine as much as the next person, but I don't believe in indulging when I am at a children's function. The alcohol had no business at Abby's house during the cookout/pool party; this party was about the girls having a good time. Tacky, tacky, tacky.
"...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer
When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, you know which one you hit by the one that yelps!
I agree on the alcohol. Makes me wonder if they wanted to liquor them up so they had a fight here at the swimming pool of all things.
While I did find the watermelon thing funny... WHY was Abby stupid here and do it? Watermelons are hard enough that if pushed underwater deep enough and popped up, it can break teeth, injure joints (which almost happened), even knock someone out and in water, that is not good. It really needs to stop.
I'm watching the current episode right now. Why is it the girls always seem so much more mature than the mothers or Abby? In tonight's episode, in particular, Abby is coming off as particularly delusional and mean-spirited. There is absolutely no possible reason that justifies Abby posting a photograph of Vivi on her precious pyramid with a red circle with a diagonal stripe through it because her mother has yanked her from the studio. She did have to explain her absence, particularly to her duet partner, but she could have simply said her mother decided to return with her to her own dance studio and leave it at that. It's also ridiculous that Abby seems to think that the moms out to hand their kids over to her to mold their daughters into dancers via whatever methods Abby deems necessary. They still have to be thinking about their daughters' overall welfare. If they think Abby's methods aren't right for their daughters, are stressing them out, are supporting stereotypes they find distasteful etc., they have a right to be concerned. Not that I'm defending the moms, whose behavior can be awful as well, but Abby seems to think everything is their fault and nothing is her fault--and she sat there shoveling in ice cream with the girls (which she certainly does not need) and saying terrible things about their mothers' behavior (even if sometimes their mothers do behave badly). That's really not what any teacher of anything should do.
I also can't stand it when Abby's voice gets increasingly loud and hoarse. I can't imagine what it's like for those little girls to hear her rasping at them. Yet they're the ones who, despite their teacher and their mothers, seem the most grounded. The kids knew it was stupid for Abby to go on and on about competitions, even when they were supposed to just be enjoying their ice cream sundaes. And I loved the little girl who was fine about being on the bottom of the pyramid, because she'd rather go to the pool than practice a solo anyway. I do feel for Brooke, however. It's pretty clear she'd rather try out for cheerleader and be with her friends her own age who are on the squad than be the "role model" for a bunch of little girls who are clearly quite a bit younger than she is. Maybe it doesn't seem that way to Abby, but at Brooke's age, three or four years difference in age can seem like a lifetime and developmentally it is--a ten year old is in the fourth or fifth grade while a fourteen year old is a high school freshman. That's a big difference.
Incidentally, I agree that if they checked to see what all these girls were doing in fifteen years, most of them wouldn't be involved in dance at all anymore--and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Abby were dead by that time either. She's very heavy, she has obvious anger management issues, and I'm thinking her blood pressure probably isn't low normal either. She's a heart attack waiting to happen. I can't see this show helping her studio much either. She's coming off as someone who would do anything to save her studio--including pitting little girls against each other and against their mothers while complaining loudly and continually whenever things don't go her way. I wouldn't want a kid of mine being taught anything by someone like that.
And now she's telling everyone she's had it, she's disappointed with all of them, it's her reputation on the line, and she's not going down with them. Uh, I'm sure that's really going to improve the girls' performance, and is it completely impossible that maybe your choreography has something to do with it? I haven't been overly impressed by several of the group numbers, including this week's "Sinful," and I guess the judges may be feeling the same way. I felt particularly sorry for Chloe, who seemed to do her solo well enough. If she didn't place in the top ten, maybe there were other factors involved--and it's one performance, and Abby's writing her off. That was her chance, she didn't succeed, so no more complaining. Yeesh.
Last edited by Tilden; 09-08-2011 at 12:07 AM.
Seriously, if I were anywhere near Abby I'd give her these facts (and some of these are my own comments on tonight's ep, so hence the odd stream-of-consciousness rambling):
1. This is a competition, and for fun. You keep making it a "You are nobody unless you're first" is destroying everyone, and I think even Maddie (which I think is going to happen next week).
2. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN EVERY COMPETITION. It's impossible, and honestly, unfair to the girls to expect it.
3. Don't punish the girls for what the mothers say and DO NOT SAY that you're doing such and such because of the mother and say you expect them to "put up or shut up" essentially because their mother said that it is unfair for a child to be moved up into another age level to compete (which I really think is one of the reason for this incident with Chloe).
4. If Abby makes the clothing - GET the right sizes. This could be producer manufacturing, but if so (and I have to admit I'm doubtful) Abby must know or should know that she'd be blamed and should've yelled at the production to stop doing this stuff to cause drama. Do not get mad at a mom who is concerned about her daughter's confidence and looks (baggy outfits can be seen as the child not getting enough nutrition, and ironically can turn unwanton people on too).
5. Seriously the issue with Melissa - Melissa is RIGHT Abby. She pays you for your time (and even works slave labor as a receptionist to pay for her daughters to go to your school), so yeah, she has the right to say something. Sorry, you invade their private time, it goes both ways.
6. Abby honestly, do NOT pit daughters against their mothers. I honestly think the reason for the incident tonight is that you're constantly telling these girls to tell the mothers to stop complaining about things and the like.
7. Don't act smug that a girl doesn't do well and this "that'll teach the mom to mess with me" attitude. Listen, I'm someone with ZERO solo dance knowledge (and I mean ballet, tap, contemporary, etc.) who placed three times in top 10 in dancing contests against people who had LOTS of individual practice.
Why you may be asking yourself? - because I danced for the ENJOYMENT of it. Yeah, I didnt' get a big trophy but I had bragging rights to say I advanced from a semifinal to final against people with years of practice and got a fifth place ranking out of three of the judges (yeah, I finished 6/6, but the other acts were outstanding that even if I had years of experience I think I'd lost).
Makes me wonder if any of the dancers here would win more often if allowed to dance for the enjoyement.
8. Nia honestly looked like the ONLY one who danced who had fun.
9. Brooke did VERY WELL with a dislocated shoulder. I actually enjoyed that dance a bit, but had to feel horrible for her. (BTW, I also felt that the other teacher tonight gave a HORRIBLE comment to say pop it back in and continue. Yes, I know that this does happen in real life, but in the case of a child, this could be career ending at a young age and lead to arthritis).
10. Honestly, if this show doesn't kill Abby's studio, I don't know what will.
11. In regard to 10, to all dance studios there, take a lesson from Abby's studio. If you're someone who teaches kids to have fun win or lose and doesn't treat them like a taskmaster, please continue it. I do know of some who are like this and honestly, they've won awards CONSTANTLY.
If you're like Abby... please, change your tone. Even if you are excellent at it and get results, long term the stress of being perfect will harm you as well.
12. I am by NO means supporting Cathy and her attitude... HOWEVER, I would not be against her showing up Abby next week. IF this doesn't change Abby's attitude about how she treats dancers I don't know what will.
Either that, or ... Cathy also does bad and they both look like the fools they already do to the general public.
Sorry... this show seriously disturbs me, and I really hope that parents and studios are taking lessons from this and learning to either fix them if they are bad like this or continuing the good stuff they've been doing.
I want to say something else - no I don't have kids, but if I did and I had a teacher like this, I'd be canceling my daughter/son's dance lessons and walking away at the end of the month. She is absolutely horrid to kids.
Part of growing up is learning you will not always win, and placing low is usually an advantage because it allows you to grow. I adore Maddie; however, because she hasn't lost, she hasn't IMHO worked nearly as hard as say Nia. This will harm her long term and as I mentioned earlier, I fear that next week she's being set up for failure and she'll get Abby's wrath. (Well, unless she is Abby's annointed one and we'll see her humanity and "you'll do better next time" bit).
Do not get this - as Abby has - confused with not trying hard enough and just laughing off a no place. That does irritate me - you lose, you lose because you tried and failed NOT because you gave a half hearted effort. NONE of these girls makes me feel that way, especially after Brooke continued to dance in spite of the dislocated shoulder (which BTW, I don't think factored into her winning third negatively).
That said = Abby doesn't want effort she wants first place trophies.
And that alone is why I feel that once this show is over, her place will be going bankrupt.
Very rarely do I feel these mothers are in the wrong with their comments to Abby. Sometimes narcissists and sometimes incorrect in their assessments of their children's dances yes, but NOT on Abby. In fact, I think that "Minister" gal may be right upon rewatching that episode in her claims to Abby.
If Abby's dance studio goes out of business, she really will have no one to blame but herself. She agreed to the show and what she's now claiming were requirements of the show (the pyramid bit and the new routines for every competition) that she knew were inappropriate. I realize she's trying to save her business, but what's the point of trying to save a business that's now been publicly trashed? And what kind of a teacher puts her students through what she's publicly put them through in order to save her studio? I would think her televised behavior would drive away potential students, particularly since she's winning less and less as the series goes on, so she can't even claim that her wins justify her means, so to speak.
About those ill-fitting costumes--there really is no excuse for Abby's students consistently getting last minute costumes and props. Sure that can happen sometimes due to a snafu: a costume gets lost in the mail or rips during the final rehearsal. A prop breaks or gets left behind accidentally. But it seems to be a habit with Abby. All that does is contribute to a performer's nerves. I'd also add that, depending on the costume, an ill-fitting costume could be dangerous for the dancer if it causes her to trip or if she gets caught in it accidentally during a move. And, of course, it looks bad, which doesn't help in the judging process, because it may actually distract from the quality of her lines.
Oh, and I thought it was awful that Abby, who's obviously overweight herself, should assign the sin of "gluttony" to a very thin little girl, who immediately took it personally. Heck, I don't know very many grown women who would take that kindly. Ditto giving Brooke "sloth" and telling her it was like how she was throwing her talent away by being lazy or assigning "envy" to Chloe, which Chloe took to meaning that Abby was saying she was jealous of Maddie. The whole "sinful" idea may have played against the girls anyway. These are young girls. How much do they know about any of the seven deadly sins? Moreover, who wants to see ten year olds interpreting sins? Even if Las Vegas is "sin city," that doesn't mean it has to be the theme of the week. For heaven's sake, she choreographed that ridiculous garter stocking number for the middle of Amish country. If she feels she has to choreograph around what an area is known for, why was that the choice for that competition?
The mothers aren't any prizes either, but from time to time we see them show some genuine concern about the girls and their relationships with them. Maybe not all of them, but some of them. Abby seems far more concerned with her own reputation than with her students, despite the fact that her reputation is built on her students.
Speaking of which, the next time Abby rasps on about what's required to get to Broadway or to become a showgirl, I wish someone would ask Abby which shows she's been in in NYC or Las Vegas. The way she goes on about Broadway, you'd think she was Bernadette Peters or Kristen Chenowith.
Isn't Melissa the one responsible for costumes & music. What I dislike about that woman is telling her to stop crying & act like a grown-up. She's 8 Melissa...shie is a child.
This show is even more disturbing tha Toddlers but I still watch it. What I want to understand is how these parents can afford these lessons, new costumes every week & travel expenses. I have yet to see a father but then I could have missed that part. What about school....one mother did mention they take their children out of school frequently show how was she supposed to know the meaning of a certain word. Dancing is more important than education...this coming from a mother who has a PhD.
Some people dream of having a big swimming pool - with me it's closets."