Dance Moms
  • Abby Lee Miller
  • Gianna Martello
  • Maddie Ziegler
  • Mackenzie Ziegler
  • Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni
  • Chloe Lukasiak
  • Christi Lukasiak
  • Nia Sioux
  • Holly Frazier
  • Brooke Hyland
  • Paige Hyland
  • Kelly Hyland
  • Vivi-Anne Stein
  • Cathy Nesbitt-Stein
  • Kendall Vertes
  • Jill Vertes
  • Payton Ackerman
  • Leslie Ackerman
  • Asia Monet Ray
  • Kristi Ray
  • Kalani Hilliker
  • Kira Girard
  • JoJo Siwa
  • Jessalynn Siwa
  • Brynn Rumfallo
  • Ashlee Allen
  • Elliana Walmsley
  • Yolanda Walmsley
  • Ava Cota
  • Jeanette Cota
  • Lilliana Ketchman
  • Stacey Ketchman
  • Camryn Bridges
  • Camille Bridges
  • Maesi Caes
  • Jamie Caes
  • Laurieann Gibson
  • Cheryl Burke
  • Brady Farrar
  • Tricia Farrar
  • GiaNina Paolantonio
  • Joanne Palantonio
  • Sarah Georgiana
  • Michelle Georgiana
  • Pressley Hosbach
  • Ashley Hosbach
  • Hannah Grace Colin
  • Ann Colin
  • Savannah Kristich
  • Erin Kristich
  • Kamryn Smith
  • Adriana Smith
  • Paris Moore
  • Lakisha Samuels
Theme music composerWe3Kings[1]
Opening theme"Living on the Dance Floor" performed by Nikko Lowe
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes224 (including 10 specials) (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Jeff Collins
  • Bryan Stinson
  • John R Corella
  • Kimberly Chessler
  • Michael Hammond
  • Robert Caplain
  • Scott Shatsky
  • Lindsay Weiglein
  • Tessa Khalaief
  • Rae Shapiro
Running time42 minutes
Production companyCollins Avenue Entertainment
Original networkLifetime
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseJuly 13, 2011 (2011-07-13) –
September 10, 2019 (2019-09-10)

Dance Moms was an American reality television series that debuted on Lifetime on July 13, 2011. Created by Collins Avenue Productions, the show follows the training and careers of children in dance and show business under the tutelage of Abby Lee Miller as well as the relationships between Miller, the dancers, and their often bickering mothers. Set originally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later in Los Angeles, California, the show is primarily filmed at the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) studios. The show follows the girls on the ALDC Junior Elite Competition Team as they learn their dances and then compete with them at dance competitions all across the country. The show aired continuously from July 13, 2011 until it ended on September 10, 2019 as many of the children on the show grew up and parted ways with the dance company.


Primarily set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later in Los Angeles, California, Dance Moms originally followed the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition Team of dancers ages six to thirteen as they traveled 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 depicted the doting mothers as rivals of each other on behalf of their daughters, often arguing with Miller and each other, and sometimes closing ranks against rival teams. Dance performances were creatively conceptualized by Miller and her dance instructors, with input from the show's producers, while the choreography was done by Miller, her staff, and occasionally a guest choreographer. Various rival dance teams spurred the team's competitiveness. The show's success was 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 watched them grow up and improve their skills.

The show features Miller as an extremely strict dance team coach who, over the series, relied 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 used a pyramid of individual headshots and gave feedback to each girl about her ranking; previous week's performance; attitude; effort; the behavior of the girl herself; and the behavior of 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."[2]

In season 5, Miller relocated the team to Los Angeles to help build her reputation in the West Coast, and while the team continued weekly competitions, the focus shifted somewhat to include preparation for careers in the acting and music businesses.

During the second half of season 7, several dancers and their mothers left the ALDC to form "The Irreplaceables." Abby left the show several episodes later, followed by the remaining ALDC dancers and mothers.

In July 2018, Miller announced her return for season 8 of Dance Moms.[3] Executive producer Bryan Stinson announced the show would be casting a whole new team, with final callbacks being in September 2018.[4] On January 12, a new team was selected, consisting of eight dancers.[5] A promo for the new season was released in February, revealing that the show would be set around Miller's diagnosis of Burkitt's Lymphoma while returning "back to her roots" with a new team.[6] The season is set in Pittsburgh, in the same studio where the show began in 2011. Season 8 premiered on Lifetime on June 4, 2019.[7]


Abby Lee Dance Company

Seasons 1–7 cast

Dance Moms at the May 2015 opening of ALDC-LA in Santa Monica, California, season 5. From left: Holly, Kira Girard, Melissa, Jill Vertes and Jessalynn Siwa.

Season 8 cast

Moms Dancers Appearances
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni Maddie & Mackenzie Ziegler Main
Christi Lukasiak Chloe Lukasiak Main Main[a]
Holly Hatcher-Frazier Nia Sioux Main
Kelly Hyland Brooke & Paige Hyland Main Main[b]
Cathy Nesbitt-Stein Vivi-Anne Stein Main Recurring Recurring
Jill Vertes Kendall Vertes Main
Kristie Ray Asia Monet Ray Main
Kira Girard Kalani Hilliker Recurring Main
Jessalynn Siwa JoJo Siwa Main Guest
Ashlee Allen Brynn Rumfallo Recurring Main
Yolanda Walmsley Elliana Walmsley Recurring Main Recurring
Stacey Ketchman Lilliana Ketchman Recurring Main
Camille Bridges Camryn Bridges Main
Jaime Caes Maesi Caes Main Guest
Tricia Farrar Brady Farrar Main
Ann Colin Hannah Colin Main
Joanne Paolantonio GiaNina Paolantonio Main
Michelle Georgiana Sarah Georgiana Main
Ashley Hosbach Pressley Hosbach Main
Erin Kristich Savannah Kristich Main
Lakisha Samuels Paris Moore Main

"The Irreplaceables"

Rival studios


Main article: List of Dance Moms episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113July 13, 2011 (2011-07-13)October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12)
228[c]January 10, 2012 (2012-01-10)September 25, 2012 (2012-09-25)
339[d]January 1, 2013 (2013-01-01)September 17, 2013 (2013-09-17)
432[e]January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01)October 14, 2014 (2014-10-14)
532[f]January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06)August 18, 2015 (2015-08-18)
633[g]January 5, 2016 (2016-01-05)November 22, 2016 (2016-11-22)
729[h]November 29, 2016 (2016-11-29)October 24, 2017 (2017-10-24)
818[i]June 4, 2019 (2019-06-04)September 10, 2019 (2019-09-10)
  1. ^ The Lukasiaks made a Guest appearance in episode 13 and 14
  2. ^ The Hylands left the show in episode 7 after a physical altercation with Abby and Kelly
  3. ^ Season 2 also included two special episodes (first, second) that were not allocated episode numbers by Lifetime.
  4. ^ Season 3 also included one special episode that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.
  5. ^ Season 4 also included two special episodes (first, second) that were not allocated episode numbers by Lifetime.
  6. ^ Season 5 also included two special episodes (first, second) that were not allocated episode numbers by Lifetime.
  7. ^ Season 6 also included one special episode that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.
  8. ^ Season 7 also included one special episode that was not allocated an episode number by Lifetime.
  9. ^ Season 8 also included three special episodes (first, second, third) that were not allocated episode numbers by Lifetime.

Awards and nominations

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 Nominated
2014 2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Reality Show 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 [33]
2017 2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Reality TV Show Nominated [34]

Controversy and criticism

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.[35][36] The episode is not included on the season's DVD.[37]

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 and that the producers deliberately incited her to strike Miller was viable.[38] On a January 29 appearance on The View, Miller announced that Hyland and her daughters Brooke and Paige Hyland were no longer contracted with and would no longer appear on Dance Moms.[39] After the final episode of season 4, Christi and Chloe Lukasiak also left Dance Moms.[40]

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.[41][42] In June 2016, Miller pled guilty to the charges, and entered a plea deal with the IRS.[citation needed] In May 2017, Miller was sentenced to one year and a day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.[43][44] Season 7B was the last season to feature the original cast members. After filming for season 7B wrapped up, The Irreplaceables announced that they were going on tour.[45]

On June 2, 2020, Miller posted a black square to Instagram on Blackout Tuesday in response to the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and the shooting of Breonna Taylor. This caused Adriana Smith, the mother of Dance Moms season 8 dancer Kamryn, to share on Instagram that she and her daughter left the show because of their experience with Miller. "A statement from her that sticks in my mind to this day during my time on DMS8 is 'I know you grew up in the HOOD with only a box of 8 crayons, but I grew up in the Country Club with a box of 64—don't be stupid,'" Smith wrote on Instagram. The following day on June 3, 2020, another Dance Moms mother, Camille Bridges, accused Miller of treating her daughter Camryn differently because of her race and that the environment was "extremely hostile". She told E! News via e-mail that Miller "tried to spin Camryn as being the poor one and there on scholarship. She would say the most terrible things on camera. It was a traumatic experience that I wish on no one."[46] Miller has since deleted her Black Lives Matter post and on June 4, 2020, she issued an apology to "Kamryn, Adriana, and anyone else I've hurt", saying, "I realize that racism can come not just from hate, but also from ignorance. No matter the cause, it is harmful, and it is my fault. While I cannot change the past or remove the harm I have done, I promise to educate myself, learn, grow, and do better. While I hope to one day earn your forgiveness, I recognize that words alone are not enough. I understand it takes time and genuine change.” It was announced that on June 5, 2020, Lifetime decided to sever ties with Miller as a result of the allegations of the racist remarks she made. The network canceled the Abby's Virtual Dance-Off competition reality series announced in April.[47]


A spin-off series, Dance Moms: Miami, set in Miami, Florida, at Victor Smalley and Angel Armas' Stars Dance Studio, premiered on April 3, 2012,[48] but was cancelled in September 2012.

A sister program titled Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition[49] 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. Ray, Siwa, and Hilliker made their debuts on the show before joining the ALDC Elite Team on Dance Moms.

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.[50]

A British version of Dance Moms titled Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison premiered on October 20, 2014, and ran for two seasons. Jennifer Ellison hosted the series, set at her Liverpool dance school, Jelli Studios.[51] Dance Mums was produced by Shiver Productions.

In April 2020, it was announced that another spin-off Abby's Virtual Dance-Off would be set to debut during the summer of 2020. The 12-episode show would consist of taped submissions from dance contestants, with Miller judging via video conference, in keeping with social-distancing practiced during the coronavirus pandemic.[52] However, Lifetime pulled the show on June 5, 2020, after two African-American mothers accused Miller of using racist and condescending language towards their daughters during previous seasons of Dance Moms.[53]

Ellen DeGeneres is developing a film based on Dance Moms as of 2016.[54]

After the show

Throughout the show many of the dancers continuously leave and new dancers join. The principal girls on the show include Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler, Chloe Lukasiak, Nia Sioux, Paige Hyland, and Brooke Hyland. The original girls started their debut on the show at ages 6-13. While the show continued, many of the girls decided to part ways with their dance career. Maddie Ziegler continued with her fame, starting from the show, and has been featured in more productions. Maddie can be seen in productions such as The Fallout, West Side Story, The Book of Henry, and even starred in her own animated musical adventure comedy film, Ballerina.[55] Maddie’s younger sister, Mackenzie, is an American singer, actress, former dancer, and internet personality. She entertains through social media such as Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube, as many of her fans from the show continue to follow her life outside of the dance world as well as releasing music[citation needed]. Nia Sioux, one of the original dancers on the show, has continued to use her influence gained from the show to produce a positive message to young girls around the world. Nia is enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles and is majoring in American literature and culture because she enjoys both reading and writing. She hopes to potentially author her own stories one day. Additionally, Sioux said majoring in literature can help her in her creative career pursuits outside of the classroom[citation needed]. Paige Hyland distanced herself from ALDC and dancing due to controversy from the show, but remains friendly with the rest of the dancers. Hyland is currently enrolled at West Virginia University, where she is pursuing a degree in marketing with a minor in event planning. Additionally, since 2022, she works as a marketing intern for FlexScreen which appeared on ABC's Shark Tank[citation needed]. After the show, Brooke Hyland graduated from Franklin Regional High School in 2016. She later went on to attend Ohio University as a business major and graduated in 2019 with degrees in marketing and management information systems. She currently works in influencer fashion[citation needed].

See also


  1. ^ "We3Kings - Cable Television Theme Songs". Retrieved November 17, 2020.
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  3. ^ "Abby Lee Miller Returning to 'Dance Moms' for Season 8 – And Is Currently Casting Talent! (Exclusive)". Archived from the original on July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "Bryan Stinson on Instagram: "Casting Dance Moms! #dancemoms"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Abby Lee Miller on Instagram: "These kids still have to earn their Official #ALDC jackets! I wonder who will live up to the legacy and survive the bitter Pgh cold to make..."". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^ DanceMomsTVClips, Dance Moms: Resurrection | Season 8 | Exclusive Trailer, retrieved February 6, 2019
  7. ^ "Abby Lee Miller Shares 'Dance Moms' Season 8 Episode 1 Sneak Peek – Premiere Date Inside!".
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Dance Moms Cast". Retrieved January 29, 2014.
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  12. ^ News, Blasting (April 21, 2017). "Chloe Lukasiak blames Abby Lee Miller for leaving 'Dance Moms'". ((cite web)): |last= has generic name (help)
  13. ^ "Kendall Vertes". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "Decisions Decisions". Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
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  16. ^ "JoJo with a Bow Bow". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "Jessalynn and JoJo". Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  18. ^ "Boulder 8-year-old and mom joining 'Dance Moms' cast". April 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "This Viral Dance Video Has a Surprise Split Finale That's Absolutely Epic". Cosmopolitan. November 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Sjelhøj, Josephine Cheryl Burke set to replace Abby Lee Miller on ‘Dance Moms’ CelebMix
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  33. ^ "Kids Choice Awards 2016 nominees list", MTV, February 2, 2016
  34. ^ Swift, Andy (June 20, 2017). "Teen Choice Awards: Pretty Little Liars, The Flash Lead 2017 Nominations".
  35. ^ Anna Chan (March 2012). "Lifetime pulls 'Topless' 'Dance Moms' episode". TODAY.
  36. ^ "Burlesque 'Dance Moms' episode yanked". Daily News. New York. March 24, 2012.
  37. ^ "iTunes TV Shows – Dance Moms, Season 2". iTunes Store. July 12, 2011.
  38. ^ "'Dance Mom' Kelly Hyland Appears In Bronx Court To Face Assault Charge". March 10, 2014.
  39. ^ "'Dance Moms' Star Kelly Hyland Charged With Assault on Coach Abby Lee Miller – Video". ABC News.
  40. ^ "Everything Chloe Lukasiak Has Done Since 'Dance Moms'". TheThings. April 26, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  41. ^ "'Dance Moms' star Abby Lee Miller indicted on fraud charges". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
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  43. ^ Patten, Dominic (May 9, 2017). "Ex-'Dance Moms' Host Abby Lee Miller Sentenced To Prison In Fraud Case". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  44. ^ Maslow, Nick (May 9, 2017). "Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller sentenced to prison". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  45. ^ "'Dance Moms' news: The Irreplaceables to tour starting November". October 23, 2017.
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  50. ^ "Lifetime's 'Raising Asia' Child Star Docuseries to Premiere in July". Variety. June 25, 2014.
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  54. ^ Crittenton, Anya. "Ellen DeGeneres Developing Dance Moms Movie at Warner Bros.",, July 20, 2016
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