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Thread: Dance Moms on Lifetime

  1. #951
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    In the last couple of episodes, Abby's attitude toward and about Maddie seems to have gone way over the top to the point where I think it could easily cause Maddie problems. Thus far, the girls have all seemed to get along pretty well, certainly much better than the mothers and haven't been seen to be resentful of her success or Abby's open preference for her--or at least not the extent that I could see Abby's attitude affecting how the other girls might feel about Maddie being, for lack of a better term, teacher's pet.

    But when she had special music--really just Roxy from Chicago--rewritten so Maddy was dancing a piece to lyrics about how exceptional she is? Aside from the fact that I'm not sure if it's even acceptable to change music like that in terms of copyright, even though Maddy had nothing to do with making the music choices, I can imagine that might look egotistical to judges and other competitors, including the girls on her own team (though they'd likely blame Abby more for it). I know she won anyway, but geez...couldn't she have just danced to the original words and had just as effective a program without the overtones of self-aggrandizement (or teacher-aggrandizement, in this case, though the judges and audience may not have realized that)? Now, in this last episode, Abby took Maddy aside right before the performance and whispered to her, in a tone of voice clearly loud enough to be overheard by the girls, given the look on Nia's face, how Maddy was carrying the team, but Abby was out there looking for other girls who would be as dedicated and talented as Maddy to support her. Maddy didn't look especially happy about that conversation, and I can see why. As Abby pointed out earlier, Maddy has no school friends to distract her from being in the studio at 9:30 in toe shoes, likely because a season or so ago, her mom started home-schooling Maddy and her sister so they could focus on dance (as I recall, Maddy was fine with that, Mackenzie less so). Whatever her reasons--whether it's to motivate the other girls to keep up or lose their places on the team or to keep Maddy focused on dance and on Abby's studio by praising her--Abby being that blatant about her belief that Maddy is so superior could easily cause the other girls to start feeling as if it doesn't matter what they do, Maddy will always be on the top of that stupid pyramid, and the rest of them will just be dust under her feet. Eventually, that's quite likely to make the other girls bond more tightly to each other than to Maddy, and if Maddy has no school friends left to speak of, then it starts to separate her from the dance friends she has, the only peer group she appears to have left. However much Abby loves Maddy, Maddy needs girls her own age as friends too. Heck, at this point, it could start affecting how Mackenzie feels about her sister, since even her mom has said that she wished she could put some of Maddy's competitive fire into Mackenzie and that Mackenzie isn't at the same level Maddy was at her age. Well, so what? Maybe Mackenzie isn't as driven about dance as Maddy is, because there are other things she'd like to do too, things that she might even be better at than Maddy is. Not everyone needs to be a professional dancer.

    I just wonder not only about how this makes the rest of the girls feel but how damaging this could be to Maddy herself if she ends up alone and so totally focused on dance at such a young age. A dancer's future is always so uncertain and a dancer's career is so short. She needs to have something else in her life too. If she doesn't, what happens if, God forbid, she suffers an injury and is no longer the dancer she once was? Or what happens if, in her auditions, Abby does find seven more Maddys, or even one more, and suddenly Maddy isn't the sole focus of Abby's attention and praise anymore and has to compete for it like the rest of the girls...and the new girl wins that competition? Or Abby lets Maddy think she has to "motivate" her, the way she's trying to motivate Kendall and Chloe by pitting them against one another? No matter how talented Maddy is, she's still just a little girl, and the games Abby is playing with her, and all the girls, just to make sure her studio is successful at competitions can't be good for her long term emotional health.
    combatcutie, mom2, famita and 4 others like this.

  2. #952
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    Tilden, I love how you make us think....

  3. #953
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    I get the impression that Maddie is the child that Abby never had.
    mom2 and StaticFlow like this.
    "...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

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  4. #954
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by prhoshay View Post
    I get the impression that Maddie is the child that Abby never had.
    Abby does seem unnaturally attached to Maddy. Sometimes I think Abby looks at her and thinks that Maddy is somehow Abby herself--or what Abby has always wanted to be--and if Maddy succeeds, somehow it represents Abby herself succeeding and not just as a teacher.

    I also noticed that on the Christmas special (or whatever they called it) that when Abby played Santa and gave gifts to all the girls, everyone else got things that dealt with their other interests beyond dance. Nia got a lot of baking supplies, because Abby said she was sweet and made her a wonderful cake. Chloe loves to read, so she got a library full of books. Brooke got items relating to her interest in music. But when it came to Maddy, she got dance supplies. The message as pretty clear: Abby was emphasizing how focused Maddy is on dance, to the exclusion of all else, and that Maddy is her little dancer--the rest of them aren't. Oh, yeah, and Mackenzie got a puppy (cleared first, I hope, with her parents). Not related to dance, but everyone knows how Abby felt about her dog, so that sort of placed extra emphasis on those two girls, her favorite mom's kids, as being special. Maybe that wasn't the conscious intention, but it was pretty clear to me as a viewer, and it made me kind of sad that Abby could think of other interests the other girls had (or their parents could supply her with that information), but when it comes to Maddy, it's nothing but dance. I know kids her age can be obsessive about a particular interest, but when the gift came from Abby, when the other girls got gifts unrelated to dance, it made me shudder a bit, knowing how much pressure Abby already puts on those girls to establish her reputation. It was like telling Maddy, once again, that it's all about her but that all that praise comes at the cost of a lot of pressure being put on her to be the best continually, which just isn't possible for anyone. Nor is it healthy for Maddy to feel responsible for pleasing "Miss Abby" like that, as if Abby's happiness and well-being is dependent upon her and her performance.

  5. #955
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    Now, I am the person who believes in giving people gifts that speak to their known interests. Those are, usually, the best kinds of gifts. Maddie strikes me as having a people-pleaser personality, especially when it comes to Abby. She'll either grow out of it, or she won't
    "...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

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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    I was pleasantly surprised that Abby DID get the girls all gifts related to their own interests. MacKenzie's reaction to the puppy made me cry. It was so sweet. I don't think Maddie has other interests. I thought it was a great gift.

    I've known kids like Maddie, who had a singular focus, even at a young age. I only hope that she doesn't come to regret it later. If she sticks with dance, I think she'll have a wonderful career. She's very special.

    I was pleased to see Chloe do well at the competition. It doesn't matter what Jill says, Chloe is just a better dancer than Kendall. She has better technique, probably because she was taught by Abby and Kendall wasn't. Now that it looks like Peyton is gone (AGAIN), Jill goes back to being the most annoying mom. I don't understand what was stopping her from going down to the classroom and taking video of Kendall's routine like Cathie did with Chloe.

    I just realized we haven't seen Cathy's miserable kid in a while. I wonder what she's doing now. Hopefully something that makes her happier. She always looked like she'd rather be anywhere else.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

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  7. #957
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    I think the girls were happy getting gifts that showed that Abby actually had each of them in mind. There is nothing worse that "one size fits all" gifts. We had to endure that in my family, and it stank.
    "...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!

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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    I was pretty shocked that Abby seemed to actually KNOW about the girls enough to get them gifts like that. Or, maybe I should just be cynical and think that someone else picked all that stuff out for her.

    All the yelling and everything aside, I think she does care about the girls. I think if the moms kept their mouths shut AND the girls took the corrections that were given, we'd see less yelling from Abby. I'm not saying her reaction is acceptable, but I think I'D be annoyed with Nia after all this time. How many years has she been told to point her feet AND not sickle her feet? I think she's a great kid, but even I'm sitting at home shouting, "Point your feet!!!" And Kendall! After all this time, that kid still hasn't toughened up enough to not cry all the time.

    UGH. I hate that I'm starting to sympathize with Abby

    I don't like how she blatantly plays favorites....or maybe it's the blatant dislike/bashing that I don't like. I mean, I get why she loves Maddie. She's a great dancer and she works her butt off AND her mother generally keeps her mouth shut. I just wish she could learn how to praise Maddie without bashing other kids. I really do feel for Brooke and Paige, in particular. Sounds like that's going to get a lot worse.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  9. #959
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I was pleasantly surprised that Abby DID get the girls all gifts related to their own interests. MacKenzie's reaction to the puppy made me cry. It was so sweet. I don't think Maddie has other interests. I thought it was a great gift.

    I've known kids like Maddie, who had a singular focus, even at a young age. I only hope that she doesn't come to regret it later. If she sticks with dance, I think she'll have a wonderful career. She's very special.

    I was pleased to see Chloe do well at the competition. It doesn't matter what Jill says, Chloe is just a better dancer than Kendall. She has better technique, probably because she was taught by Abby and Kendall wasn't. Now that it looks like Peyton is gone (AGAIN), Jill goes back to being the most annoying mom. I don't understand what was stopping her from going down to the classroom and taking video of Kendall's routine like Cathie did with Chloe.

    I just realized we haven't seen Cathy's miserable kid in a while. I wonder what she's doing now. Hopefully something that makes her happier. She always looked like she'd rather be anywhere else.
    The fact that Maddy doesn't seem to have any other interests worries me, particularly since she's also now being home-schooled by her mom, who's made it very clear that she thinks dance comes first. First, if, God forbid, something happens and Maddie doesn't make it as a professional dancer or doesn't have a lifelong career in dance as a teacher/choreographer after she no longer dances herself, what is she going to have to fall back on? Second, I really do believe that all artists of all types can benefit from having other interests that allow them to see the world from a wider viewpoint than just that of their own disciplines. I know an art professor, for instance, who insists that his best sculpture students have ended up also being double majors in English, and when I asked one of his students whom I knew fell into that category what she thought the blend of the two did for her, she said it was the fact that they used different parts of her brain, so to speak, and that as a result, her lit background fed her art and her art background made her see literature differently than some of her English major friends did. I realize Maddie isn't a college student yet, but even at her age, what she knows beyond dance may make her a better dancer just as dance may make her appreciate other things some girls her age don't see.

    As for Vivi, I really hope she's been allowed to find an interest of her own. I don't think she ever wanted to be a dancer so much as she wanted to please her mother. Or she just wasn't given a choice. I really felt for her when Cathy was pretending to ask her advice about the dancers and her ideas about new teams--I think even Vivi understood her mom was just humoring her, since she was no longer going to let her dance with the team, because she couldn't keep up.

    I also hope they got Vivi to an allergist. I remember one episode in which Cathy wondered aloud about all her "colds" and what they were discussing sounded an awful lot to me like recurring allergy attacks/sinus infections--or at least those were the symptoms I kept having that eventually drove me to an allergist. I was very happy I went too, as it helped get a recurring problem under control quickly. Poor Vivi looked so miserable, sniffling like that, when perhaps all she needed was a decent antihistamine on a regular basis.

  10. #960
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    Re: Dance Moms on Lifetime

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I was pretty shocked that Abby seemed to actually KNOW about the girls enough to get them gifts like that. Or, maybe I should just be cynical and think that someone else picked all that stuff out for her.

    All the yelling and everything aside, I think she does care about the girls. I think if the moms kept their mouths shut AND the girls took the corrections that were given, we'd see less yelling from Abby. I'm not saying her reaction is acceptable, but I think I'D be annoyed with Nia after all this time. How many years has she been told to point her feet AND not sickle her feet? I think she's a great kid, but even I'm sitting at home shouting, "Point your feet!!!" And Kendall! After all this time, that kid still hasn't toughened up enough to not cry all the time.

    UGH. I hate that I'm starting to sympathize with Abby

    I don't like how she blatantly plays favorites....or maybe it's the blatant dislike/bashing that I don't like. I mean, I get why she loves Maddie. She's a great dancer and she works her butt off AND her mother generally keeps her mouth shut. I just wish she could learn how to praise Maddie without bashing other kids. I really do feel for Brooke and Paige, in particular. Sounds like that's going to get a lot worse.
    I'm wondering if Nia is getting to the point where she's considering whether she wants to continue with Abby. I notice that during pyramids, she stands kind of like a soldier, obviously holding in any emotional reaction one way or the other. Or it could be that she gets that she's not really progressing at the same rate anymore and isn't going to make it as a professional dancer--though maybe she's never been entirely set on that goal anyway. What's fortunate for Nia is that if she decides she doesn't want any kind of profession in the public eye--not dancing or acting or singing or modeling--I'm sure Holly will be okay with that and encourage her to pursue a career that does interest her. While Holly does enjoy watching Nia dance, I'm fairly confident that she's not looking to live through her child or find her own success in her child's success. If Nia decided she found more joy and fulfillment doing something else, Holly would likely be okay with her moving on (and I'm pretty darn sure Holly would be okay with no longer being on the show--she often looks vastly uncomfortable when fights break out between the moms and tries to disassociate herself from the worst of the arguing).

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