'Dance Moms' Abby Spills the Inside Scoop On What Really Goes On

dance moms interview abby lee millerFor those of you keeping score, Dance Moms star and instructor Abby Lee Miller has coached 53 kids all the way to state and regional titles in dance and 24 national titles. She has sent hundreds of kids to Broadway, commercials, Nashville, Los Angeles, and beyond to perform professionally. And she has pissed off thousands of moms on the way.

In case you've missed it, Lifetime's reality show where young girls (and sometimes boys) learn how to dance -- and toughen up their skin -- in Abby Lee Miller's Dance Company is a stage mom's mirror. Only these stage moms have Miller to contend with. She can out-yell and outlast the best of them. From driving a mom to drink to playing favorites, Abby Lee Miller makes no apologies and a ton of enemies.

I asked Abby Lee Miller some questions about the moms, the moves, and what motivates these tiny dancers. Miller doesn't pull any punches. You can see why people either love her or think she's the devil in dance shoes. 


What is the biggest motivator for your girls?

Probably pleasing me. My approval. My applause. They all want to make it, and while they're training, they want a compliment from me.
Who is going to make it to Broadway? 

I have a boy who will be in Wicked within the year. I have several company members that will be working professionally within a year of graduating. In terms of the show, they’re a little too young to tell right now and I don’t know how it’ll be going from television to Broadway. It’s usually the other way around. Usually you start on Broadway and go to television.  
How come the moms are allowed in the room during rehearsal? Most kindergarten teachers kick parents out, why don't you?

I wanted them to see how their kids pick up. When we’re in the studio on the road, the studios don’t have these big waiting rooms; they don’t have observation windows that you can see in. In my studio we do have observation rooms.
How do you make up with the moms after a big fight?

Who says we make up?
What is your favorite musical?

Of course Wicked and Billy Elliot. They are just huge and amazing. I would say all the shows that I've had students in.
What's the best dance performance you've ever seen?

Oh god. Too many to count. That would range from the Radio City Rockettes, to Baryshnikov, to my students today.


The Dance Moms season finale airs Wednesday 10/9 C on Lifetime if you need another intense dose of Miller's reality.

Image via Lifetime

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