There are few reality TV fans who haven’t heard of Dance Moms. This show began airing back in 2011, first making its debut on the Lifetime network.

Developed by Collins Avenue Productions, this show centers on the training and careers of kids who work in dance – plus the show business in general for people of this young age. The children are placed under the tutelage and instruction of Abby Lee Miller.

For some regular drama, the show also features the relationships between the dancers, Miller, and their mothers – whom it may come as little surprise to discover are often bickering.

The series focuses on the dancers who are on the ALDC Junior Elite Competition Team. Viewers watch the journey of each of the team members as they learn dances and use them to compete across the nation in various competitions.


The cast is a bunch of dancers between 6 and 15 years of age. They are members of the Abby Lee Dance Company Junior Elite Competition Team.

From one week to the next, these team members travel around the US, competing in a number of competitions and preparing for Nationals – all while netting an enviable collection of awards. The team is equipped by Abby Lee Miller to become “professional, employable working dancers”.

Besides the journey of the dancers, this show also depicts the doting mothers – who each believe their daughter is the best and engage in rivalry with the others. The mothers are often depicted arguing with Miller as well as with each other. That said, the mothers would often join forces when rival teams were involved.

The dance performances on the show were conceptualized creatively by Miller as well as her dance instructors, while receiving input from the producers of the show. The show’s choreography was completed by Miller, her staff, and sometimes a guest choreographer.

The success of the series was often ascribed to the conflict and drama between Miller and the mothers, as well as the close relationships among the girls and the weekly dances as viewers watched the dancers mature and improve their performance skills.

Cast and characters

  • Abby Lee Miller
  • Maddie Ziegler
  • Mackenzie Ziegler
  • Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni
  • Chloe Lukasiak
  • Christi Lukasiak
  • Nia Sioux
  • Holly Frazier
  • Brooke Hyland
  • Paige Hyland
  • Kelly Hyland
  • Vivi Anne Nesbitt-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
  • Areana Lopez
  • Sari Lopez
  • Alexus Oladi
  • Tiffanie Oladi
  • Peyton Evans
  • Kerri Evans
  • Elliana Walmsley
  • Yolanda Walmsley
  • Lilliana Ketchman
  • Stacey Ketchman
  • Camryn Bridges
  • Camille Bridges
  • Maesi Caes
  • Jamie Caes
  • Cheryl Burke
  • Jane Dickson
  • Nancy Dickson
  • Brady Farrar
  • Tricia Farrar
  • Hannah Colin
  • Ann Colin
  • GiaNina Paolantonio
  • Joanne Paolantonio
  • Sarah Georgiana
  • Michelle Georgiana
  • Pressley Hosbach
  • Ashley Hosbach
  • Savannah Kristich
  • Erin Kristich
  • Kamryn Smith
  • Adriana Smith
  • Paris Moore
  • Lakisha Samuels

Filming locations

At the beginning, this show is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, it later moves to Los Angeles, California.

The show is filmed primarily at the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) studios, which is headed up by Abby Lee Miller.


This series has been going on for a number of seasons. Abby Lee Miller has remained at the helm from the start, and she announced that she was returning in July 2018 for season 8.

Executive producer Bryan Stinson announced that the series would cast an entirely new team. Subsequently, 8 dancers were selected for the upcoming episodes. A promo for the newest season was then created, illustrating that the series would be based on Miller’s fight with Burkitt’s Lymphoma.

Episodes and reception

The show features Abby Lee Miller as a particularly strict coach overseeing her team of dancers. Over the course of the show, she relies more and more heavily on criticism to motivate her dancers, while placing emphasis on competition amongst teammates and hard work.

Every week, Miller uses a pyramid of dancers’ individual headshots and offers feedback to each of the girls regarding each one’s ranking, attitude, previous week’s performance, and effort, as well as the behavior of the girl herself. Before the show began, Miller had never utilized a pyramid in her dance studio.

The series has been nominated for a number of Teen Choice Awards as well as Kids’ Choice Awards.

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