|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||198 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Collins Avenue Entertainment|
|Original release||July 13, 2011– present|
Dance Moms is an American reality television series that debuted on Lifetime on July 13, 2011. Created by Collins Avenue Productions, the show follows the early training and careers of children in dance and show business under the tutelage of Abby Lee Miller, as well as the interactions of the instructor and the dancers with their sometimes bickering mothers. Cheryl Burke will replace Abby Lee Miller in the second half of Season 7.
Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles, California, the show is primarily filmed at the Abby Lee Dance Company studios.
Primarily set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later in Los Angeles, California, the show follows the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition Team of mostly preteen girls as they travel week-to-week to various dance competitions, winning awards and preparing for Nationals, while at the same time being prepared by Abby Lee Miller to be "professional, employable working dancers." The series depicts the doting mothers as rivals of each other on behalf of their own daughters, often arguing with Miller and each other, and sometimes closing ranks against rival teams. Dance performances are creatively conceptualized by Miller and her dance instructors, with input from the show's producers, while choreography is done by Miller, her staff, and occasionally a guest choreographer. Various rival dance teams spur the team's competitiveness. The show's success is often credited to the drama and conflict among Miller and the moms, along with the weekly dances and the close relationships among the girls as viewers watch them grow up and improve their skills.
The show features Miller as a strict dance team coach who, over the series, relies more and more on criticism, sometimes personal, to motivate the girls, with an emphasis on hard work and competition against teammates. Every week on the show, Miller uses a pyramid of individual headshots and gives feedback to each girl about her ranking, previous week's performance, attitude, effort, and the behavior of the girl herself and her mother. Miller had never used a pyramid in her studio prior to Dance Moms, and when once asked about it, Miller stated, "I've never done that in my life. That has nothing to do with me. That's the show; they came up with that whole process."
In season 5, Miller relocated the team to Los Angeles to help build her reputation on the west coast, and while the team continued weekly competitions, the focus has shifted somewhat to include preparation for acting and music business careers.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||July 13, 2011||October 12, 2011|
|2||30[a]||January 10, 2012||September 25, 2012|
|3||39[b]||January 1, 2013||September 17, 2013|
|4||34||January 1, 2014||October 14, 2014|
|5||34||January 6, 2015||August 18, 2015|
|6||34||January 5, 2016||November 22, 2016|
|7||TBA||November 29, 2016||TBA|
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Outcome||Ref.|
|2012||2012 Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Reality Show||Dance Moms||Nominated|
|2013||2013 Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Reality Show||Dance Moms||Nominated|
|Choice TV: Female Reality Star||Abby Lee Miller||Nominated|
|BMI Film & TV Awards||BMI Cable Award||Craig Owens||Won|
|2014||2014 Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Reality Show||Dance Moms||Nominated|
|Choice TV: Reality Personality (Female)||Abby Lee Miller||Nominated|
|2015||2015 Kids' Choice Awards||Nickelodeon: Favorite Reality Show||Dance Moms||Won|
|2015 Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Reality Show||Nominated|
|2016||2016 Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Talent Competition||Nominated|||
Several episodes featured controversial costume choices made by Miller, some of which were criticized by the moms, particularly Lukasiak and Frazier. Due to heavy criticism, the season 2 episode "Topless Showgirls", which aired on March 6, 2012, has been removed from rotation. The episode features the young dancers performing a burlesque-style routine and wearing sequined, flesh-toned bra tops and tights in an effort to make them appear nude. Miller defends her costume choice saying, "Everyone in the industry knows the girls are completely covered and everything's harmless." Lifetime confirmed pulling the episode. The episode is not included on the season's DVD.
Kelly Hyland was arrested in early January 2014 on charges of assaulting Miller during a dispute backstage at a dance competition held in New York City during filming for the show's fourth season in November 2013. Hyland appeared in court with Miller on January 21, 2014 and pleaded "not guilty". A hearing was scheduled for March but adjourned to May 5, 2014. Legal expert Rosemarie Arnold opined that because the episode aired on TV, Hyland's defense that the alleged assault was scripted was viable. On a January 29 appearance on The View, Miller announced that Hyland and her daughters Brooke and Paige are no longer contracted with and would no longer appear on Dance Moms. The episode featuring the incident between Hyland and Miller aired on February 11, 2014. After the final episode of season 4, Christi and Chloe Lukasiak also left Dance Moms because of continuing insults and dismissive treatment toward Chloe. In October 2014, then-13-year-old Paige Hyland sued Miller, but Hyland's lawsuit was dismissed.
On October 13, 2015, Abby Lee Miller was indicted in Pittsburgh on charges of concealing her income from her performances on the show in 2012 and 2013. She was charged with bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations in hiding some $755,000. In June 2016, Miller pled guilty to the charges, and entered a plea deal with the IRS. In May 2017, Miller was sentenced to one year and a day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.
A sister program titled Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition followed Miller and other dance professionals judging twelve young dancers aged 6–13 years on different styles of dance, hoping to find the most versatile dancer of the group. The series premiered on October 9, 2012 and ran for two seasons.
In 2014, Miller hosted another sister program titled Abby's Studio Rescue that followed Miller as she visited dance studios across the country to assist them to improve their choreography, studio decor, staff and other aspects. It premiered on June 24, 2014.
In July 2014, another spin-off titled Raising Asia starred Asia Monet Ray, a guest team member for several episodes of season 3 of Dance Moms. The show followed Ray, her model mom, bodybuilder dad and younger sister Bella Blu, helping Asia to pursue her dreams of fame in show business.
A British version of Dance Moms titled Dance Mums premiered on October 20, 2014 and ran for two seasons. Jennifer Ellison hosted the series, set at her Liverpool dance school, Jelli Studios. Dance Mums was produced by Shiver Productions.
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