Your Mama Don't Dance

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Your Mama Don't Dance TV Poster Image
Everybody wins in kid-parent dance competition.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Even though the teams are competing for cash and prizes, the show focuses more on their chance to build a stronger adult child-parent relationship. The interviews touch on issues like dysfunctional family relationships, divorce, depression, suicide, bipolar disorder, and homophobia but are presented as obstacles that have been overcome. One father is gay, as are several of the dancers. The pairs come from a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds.


Occasional mild verbal arguments between parents and their adult children. Some of the family stories include some subtle references to dealing with violence, but these incidents aren't discussed in depth.


Mild shaking and thrusting are a part of some of the choreography, but it's all more artistic and/or funny than suggestive. Some of the dance costumes reveal bare midriffs.


Extremely mild; words like "hell" are heard only very occasionally (usually during frustrating rehearsals).


Features mixes of familiar contemporary and classic tunes, ranging from Britney Spears to Luther Vandross. The show's theme song, "Your Mama Don't Dance," is written and sung by Kenny Loggins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The pairs' background stories include subtle references to drug/alcohol abuse, but it's not discussed in detail.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this reality show -- in which young professional dancers live, train, and perform with a parent -- involves a competition for cash and prizes, a major part of the series centers on the relationship between the parents and their adult kids. While the show is largely family-friendly, it does touch on issues like divorce, parental abandonment, mental illness, and homophobia. These issues are presented as obstacles that were overcome and aren't discussed in great detail.

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What's the story?

Reality competition series YOUR MAMA DON'T DANCE features young professional dancers from all over the country who dance with their parents to try to win $100,000 in cash and prizes. Each week, the dancers teach their parents -- who have no professional dance training -- to perform choreography in various styles. Then they strut their stuff in front of judges/dance veterans Ben Vereen, Vitamin C, and Cris Judd. The two couples with the lowest scores at the end of each episode go into the "drop zone," where they must wait for the TV audience to vote for who should move on to the next phase. Viewers also get to pick the winning pair at the end of the competition.

Is it any good?

Hosted by Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Ian Ziering, the show offers some fun dance numbers, as well as funny and often heartwarming interview and rehearsal footage that gives viewers a glimpse of some of the ups and downs that each parent-child pair experiences while living and practicing together. Audiences also learn more about how each pair's relationship has developed over time; some have grown stronger after overcoming obstacles like coping with divorce, battling mental illness, and dealing with homophobia.

Though the one-on-one interviews aren't very in-depth, some parents may find the issues they bring up a bit strong for young viewers. But overall, the series offers fun family entertainment. It demonstrates how parents can grow closer to their children at any age by participating in something their kids love to do. It also shows how much fun it can be for kids to spend time and share their passion with their parents. In the end, this competition show is one where everybody actually wins.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the growing popularity of dance competition TV shows. Do you think these competitions challenge or maintain existing stereotypes about men and women who dance? How? Families can also discuss how parents can participate in their kids' favorite activities. Kids: What things do you do that you'd like to see your parents try? Parents: Are there things that your kids do that you admire and would like to learn? Would you ever want to try any of them on television?

TV details

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