Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Dance Moms' Moves Its Crazy Culture to La

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Dance Moms' Moves Its Crazy Culture to La

Article excerpt

Early in the recent season premiere of "Dance Moms," there is the promise of palm trees and bright lights as the Penn Hills-based Abby Lee Dance Company packs up the leg warmers and moves to Los Angeles. But not much has changed.

While the new digs are still under construction, the girls and their moms - some from the original Pittsburgh troupe, a few not - settle in at 3rd Street Dance. Ms. Miller is distracted.

In one scene, she dumps the contents of a huge purse onto the floor. Papers, money, a smashed cookie and more random junk come tumbling from her Prada bag. The City of Angels, observes Holly Hatcher-Frazier, "brings out the crazy" in Ms. Miller.

If so, it's going to be an especially weird season (Lifetime, Tuesdays).

The shift from Pittsburgh to LA had been a long time coming, with Ms. Miller helming spinoff dance competition shows for Lifetime. Several of the original girls and their moms were dropped in a contentious manner; lawsuits claiming physical and emotional pain from multiple parties are still ongoing.

But it looked as though it was going to be business as usual when the ALDC team arrived for its first class. There was the usual pyramid; there were the usual conflicts. At one point, Ms. Hatcher- Frazier noted that she thought the new class system was going to be like the old one in Pittsburgh, to which Ms. Miller yelled, "This is America! We don't have to be here!"

Do not try to make sense of any of this.

As the girls work on new routines, Ms. Miller is shown sitting at a cafe table, going through a mound of what appears to be receipts for the new studio. Then she informs the moms that the girls are going to compete in Santa Ana that weekend, and oh, she's not going with them.

"Oh yeah," says Jessalynn Siwa, mother of new-ish team member JoJo Siwa, "We're going to look like the village idiots."

Well, of course the ALDC wins the group competition anyway, and another new-ish member, Kalani Hilliker, takes home an individual prize. This is relayed to Ms. Miller via cell phone. Again, she seems to be distracted and launches into a big list of aches and pains that kept her up all night. As she insisted earlier she would not be in attendance anyway, it's pointless.

And no, Ms. Miller isn't nearly as crazy as she's depicted on her own show.

OTHER SHOWS

* It sounds like the set-up for a joke: a quarterback, a Starship captain, a champion boxer, a comic and the Fonz walk into a bar ... somewhere in Asia.

In August, NBC will take former Steelers great Terry Bradshaw, William Shatner, George Foreman, Jeff Dye and Henry Winkler on a "bucket list" tour of Asian cities for alternative comedy series "Better Late Than Never."

The idea is to send the group to various cities, including Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok. Once there, they will immerse themselves with no personal assistants, relying on themselves to negotiate new customs and cultures. …

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