What parents need to know
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."
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.
Families can talk 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?