Behind the Scenes


Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV

Makenzie, Madie, and Kendal at the opening of Abby Lee Miller’s Dance Company in Santa Monica.

Hala Essayli, Staff Writer and Assistant Editor

On July 13, 2011, “Dance Moms,” an American reality television show was created by Collins Avenue Productions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later moved to Santa Monica, California. This television show illustrates the drills and performances of many talented dancers. Some of these dancers include Maddie Zeigler, Kalani Hilliker, and Makenzie Zeigler. All dancers on “Dance Moms” are instructed by the star of the show, Abby Lee Miller.

Miller, a choreographer and instructor, has been expressing great passion for dancing all her life. In her teens, she was able to start the Abby Lee Dance Company. Miller is widely known for her strict, ambitious, and aggressive personality, which usually causes the dancers’ moms to argue. 

“I mean, even though she was like mean and stuff, no one deserves to have, like, cancer,” claims Sophia Rodriguez, an eighth-grade student at McAuliffe Middle School. In April 2018, Miller was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a type of cancer that is choking her spine. Miller was minutes away from death if she did not receive her spinal surgery. After receiving her surgery, she was confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk. Miller later recovered and took her first steps from her wheelchair on September 10, 2019.

In 2014, Ava Michelle, a well-known dancer on “Dance Moms,” was kicked off by Miller for being too tall. “It’s not her fault, like, she can’t change it. And when you love a sport, you should be able to play without having to be, like, discriminated because of something,” says Rodriguez. Michelle was 5’10 at the age of 13, and when compared to others her age, the difference in height was vast. This experience inspired Michelle, now 6’1, to overcome her obstacles and become the star of the new movie on Netflix, “Tall Girl.” 

Over the years, the eight seasons of “Dance Moms” has captured the attention of millions of viewers. According to Elena Karmos, an eighth grader at McAuliffe, the drama and tension of this show adds a juicy twist and makes it entertaining. “I think it’s so famous because it’s full of drama and that’s, like, what people like to see.”