I think that the changes Lifetime has made to the way Abby probably normally does things is what is going to cause her problems. The pyramid and making the girls learn new numbers each week are both ridiculous. I don't know if she's being encouraged to talk smack abut the mother's in front of the girls but, either way, that's totally out of bounds. Those girls should be allowed to have fun and do their best. They should not have to be involved with this adult drama.
I competed in events in Vegas and we never tailored the routines to the location. One routine had costumes that were sort of "show girl-ish" with feather headpieces, but we performed that routine for MONTHS at various events. We knew that routine so well that one of the competitors from another studio said something like (when we all were swimming at the hotel pool) "Oh, you guys are the perfect ones." We performed that routine so many times that I STILL know it, nearly 30 years later!
Anyone who expects these children to keep up such a demanding schedule is kidding themselves.
Just like with Little League, most of these dancers won't have professional careers. The most important thing any dance studio can do is make sure the kids have fun! Of course you teach them good technique and challenge them, but if they aren't having fun, why would they want to do it? The first studio I went to was VERY competitive and, although I stayed there for tap, I went to another studio for ballet and jazz. That studio was all about fun and wasn't so concerned with competitions. When they inevitably got too obsessed with winning and competitions, I left. I was always in the top groups, but it wasn't fun any more. It went from being a fun, family-feeling to being a cut-throat, pressure-filled place. The change at that studio alienated a lot of really talented dancers, including some who could have had a professional career. I probably would have danced for many more years if overly ambitious adults hadn't ruined it for me.
I felt bad for Chloe and KNEW her mother would find something else to bitch about, even if Maddie wasn't in the mix. I also felt for Maddie, who absolutely should have competed in Vegas.
I have to wonder why, if Paige didn't have her costume yet, her mother didn't do something sooner. If it was my kid, I would have had a back-up costume ready to go, just in case. Lord knows, that kid's probably got a dozen costumes that would have worked just fine.
ETA: as for Cathy's studio, does anyone believe that Vivi was one of the top 3 dancers at that studio? She's a cute kid but, sorry, she is not a dancer. I think she'd be much happier if her mother let her quit dance and quit pushing her.