Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Too much focus on fighting moms in kids' dance show.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Young talented dancers compete for cash and a ballet school scholarship, but the stage moms' catty behavior is also central to the show.
Positive Role Models
The dancers work hard, but they, along with their stage mothers, are fiercely competitive. The moms fight with each other frequently.
Violence & Scariness
Stage moms often get into catty arguments and screaming matches. Sometimes the dancers get involved.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The dancers wear lots of skin revealing costumes in order to show off their body lines and technique.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Words like "s--t" are bleeped.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The Joffrey School of Ballet is prominently discussed, and with Abby Lee Miller as the star of the show, her brand gets lots of play.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition features a talented group of young dancers competing for a prestigious dance scholarship and a cash prize, but the real focus is on the stage parenting, bickering, and competitive behavior of the moms. Curses like "s--t" are bleeped. The dancers wear lots of skin revealing dance costumes, but these are worn to show off their posture and technique rather than to just look "sexy."
Where to Watch
Based on 3 parent reviews
Heartless Godless Abby
Report this review
Objectionable, pointless dance competition
Report this review
What's the Story?
ABBY'S ULTIMATE DANCE COMPETITION is a reality series featuring dance coach and choreographer Abby Lee Miller as she challenges young dancers to give outstanding performances for a chance to win $100,000 and a scholarship to the Joffrey School of Ballet. Each week, 12 dancers -- who were selected from thousands of hopefuls -- perform in a variety of short routines and style-specific team dances staged by guest choreographers like Bobby Newbury and Gina Starbuck. After the team performances, which are hosted by Kevin Manno, Miller, along with Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin and Lady Gaga choreographer Richy Jackson, offer their critiques. The dancer that least impresses is eliminated, while the rest continue dancing for the coveted prizes. Throughout it all, the young dancers' mothers are watching from the sidelines, and do everything they can to support their child while bickering with each other.
Is It Any Good?
From tap numbers to contemporary dances, the young people featured here are fun to watch as they take the stage and shine while doing their best to steal the spotlight. While the panel's critiques of the performances are strong and honest, they are also encouraging, and focus on helping each dancer pinpoint the areas they need to work on, while underscoring the things they do well.
Unfortunately, the show's focus on the stage moms' antics, which is a trademark of the Dance Moms reality franchise, adds a negative spin to an otherwise positive celebration of young dance talent from across the country. No doubt that dance fans will want to tune in, but you probably won't want younger viewers learning some of these adults' catty dance moves.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about being a professional dancer. Are most professional dancers female? What kind of pressure are dancers under to keep fit and be thin? What kind of impact do you think this has on a dancer's body image?
Why do you think the parents featured here behave the way they do? Is it because they want the best for their kids? Or are they motivated to be overbearing and catty in order to create more interesting reality TV? Do you think these mothers are serving as positive role models for their children and/or for other parents?
- Premiere date: October 9, 2012
- Cast: Abby Lee Miller, Richy Jackson, Robin Antin
- Network: Lifetime Television
- Genre: Reality TV
- Topics: Arts and Dance
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate