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.