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Diatribe: “Dance Moms” Abby Lee Miller Is Despicable.


I admit it.  I’m a long-time viewer of Lifetime Network.  For many years I would turn it on as I went to bed because I could never fall asleep while listening to the news.  For years, I would drift off with The Golden Girls quietly snipping at each other across the bedroom.  Then, for many years after that Will & Grace would help me fall asleep with a smile on my face.  Then they started messing with the time slot at my bedtime.  They aired How I Met Your Mother for a while, which I enjoyed very much.  But then they, abruptly moved it to another time.  It’s become hit-or-miss at bedtime on Lifetime with more misses than hits.  The biggest miss being Dance Moms.

For me, there is absolutely nothing to like about this program.  The dance coach, Abby Lee Miller, is a raving evil know-it-all bitch, the mothers appear to be dump as stumps but determined to live vicariously through their daughters, and the young dancers (whom I assume are supposed to be “precocious”) are portrayed as spoiled little she-devils in tights.

I tried to watch Dance Moms when it first took over the bedtime time slot, but I couldn’t stand it.  Ever since, I’ve read about it online and I’ve seen a few commercials and concluded that the program is, basically, all about the coach being a despicable witch and the mothers being catty.  Then last Monday’s episode was in the news because Miller made the little girls dance with guns.  

We taught our kids that guns are not toys and that “pretending to kill people” was not an appropriate playtime activity.  Miller defended the inclusion of guns in the little girls’ dance routine by citing her previous success and examples of Broadway shows like Chicago that include weapons in famous song-and-dance numbers.  Of course, she overlooked the fact that those performances involved adults who’s mothers didn’t object.  And the fact that hers is not a Broadway show.

In my mind, Abby Lee Miller is a despicable role model for young dancers and, even more so, for young ladies … and their mothers, Dance Moms makes Toddlers & Tiaras look like quality programming, and Lifetime is no longer my bedtime channel of choice.

What do you think about Dance Moms, Abby Lee Miller and the use of guns as “props”?

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From → Diatribes

  1. I have not watched this show- nor will I ever. Shows like this, Toddlers & Tiaras and all the other shows that involve people yelling at other people for ratings annoy me.

    The first time I saw the commercial for “Dance Moms” I rolled my eyes. I think there are enough “reality shows” at this point and they need to get rid of the ones with parents being jerks to kids.

    Put on the ID channel! That’s what I fall asleep to.. Have a great day.

    • I enjoy the “contest/competition” programs like The Amazing Race and Survivor, but not the follow-us-around-and-see-what-stupid-things-we-do shows like the Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of, or anything on VH1.

      • agreed. I am not interested in anyone’s personal life. I have my own to keep me occupied. I like “Top Shot” and there is a new one hosted by Ricky Gervais where this guy does crazy stuff.

  2. I second Darlene when it comes to getting rid of ‘reality’ shows, since they are anything but real. Except in the case of Abby Lee Miller, ironically enough. I’ve read many an account of how she truly is that despicable in real life. I imagine she is one sad, lonely biatch. She reeks of self loathing turned outward.

    • Dottie permalink

      I agree. Her “lovely” personality certainly cannot just be for the show. . .

  3. I have never watched a full episode. I think it looks staged and controversial for controversy sake. In today’s entertainment world there is no better PR than controversy. I can’t believe those mothers pay this woman to “teach” their daughters. Their daughters are learning much more than the mothers realize……Maybe the better show will be these disfunctional children as adults when they incorporate their “teacher’s” techniques into their own lives.

  4. Never watched it, never will, but you must include the mothers in your Despicable List because what loving parent would allow their child to be treated that way.

  5. This show is definitely ridiculous- but I admit I find it entertaining sometimes.. if only to feel better about my own life! This, and Toddlers and Tiaras.. one mom on that show gives her 6-year-old a concoction called “Go-Go Juice” which is mountain due mixed with redbull to get her pumped up. someone needs to call child services on these people!

  6. anne marie in philly permalink

    and people laugh at me when I tell them I NEVER watch tv. shit like this rots the brain; go read a book, volunteer, play music, exercise, ANYTHING but sit in front of the boob tube!

  7. The closest I’ve come to one of these shows is an episode of Bones about child beauty pageantry… and that grossed me out enough to avoid anything with competitive moms in the future.

  8. Abby Lee is the definition of a c*nt.

  9. Whoa! Makes Todlers and Tiaras look like quality programming? Now I’m going to HAVE to watch it! Just to see . . . .morbid curiosity is getting the best of me!

  10. Anonymous permalink

    I actually disagree. At first watch I was skeptical, but this show is amazing. Keep watching and you will see. Its not like the others.

  11. Petlover4 permalink

    Abby Lee Miller is a fat ass biatch and I do not understand why these women chose to bring their little girls to her to learn. I doubt she can do any of the things she asked her students to do, as she is so fat I doubt her body can do any of the things she yells at her students to do. I cannot watch the show as I find her so annoying and down right mean and cruel to these girls and their mothers. I thought when the show came out that I would hate the mother’s, as they were probably just like the mothers of Toddlers and Tiaras, stage moms, but it is too bad that one sides against this mean women who enjoys holding over the mom’s the power she has with these kid’s dance careers. She has let that power go to her head and at this point is using her power for evil. Shame on you Abby Lee, and get some exercise, as it looks awful to see your fat body yelling as these thin girls. Are you jealous?

    • Dottie permalink

      Isn’t she just ridiculous? THe kids are affraid that she might sit on them if they mess up a dance. What a way to learn to dance. . .to be intimidated and belittled. But as long as the moms send their children to her studio, Abbey Lee Miller will continue to behave in an irresponsible, unprofessional, negative and childish manner. Tough is tough. . .but a coach can be tough without all the negativity.
      Teachers do it all the time. If I spoke to any of my students or parents in the manner in which Abbey Lee Miller speaks to her students and parents, I would have had my teaching certificate yanked years ago. Parents would NEVER allow a classroom teacher to speak in the manner Abbey speaks to themand their children. So why is it ok for a stupid dance coach to do that . . .or any sports coach for that matter. . .

    • Anonymous permalink

      I totally agree with you,i’m still waiting for her to show them how,instead of yelling at them,no way in hell she could ever do what those kid’s do,so how can you tell someone what to do,or how to do it,if you can’t do it yourself

  12. Anonymous permalink

    I started watching Dance Moms about the middle of the first season. I’ve heard so many people call Abby a witch, a monster , and even a child abuser. I played basketball my whole childhood , and I have yet to hear Abby say anything to these girls that any of my coaches hadn’t said to me. I know that at times it’s seems harsh , hard. At times it seems mean , but you know what the only time my team ever lost was when we didn’t have enough players , and once when we came in second at a tournament. We were happy about second place. We started to celebrate and cheer on the bus When the coach stood up , and said “Why are you celebrating. You haven’t won anything. If you are not #1 then you lost.” Made us run twenty laps not for loosing , but for celebrating a loss. These little girls are some of the greatest athleets I’ve ever seen , and I wonder how far the number of complaints against the way Abby coaches would drop if it were little boys playing baseball , or football. If there is abuse it’s on the mom’s not Abby. Abby doesn’t hide the fact that she’s tough , and you can’t say it doesn’t work . At the end of the day , these girls don’t want to leave Abby. I would hate to see these girls loose one of the greatest dance coaches in the world.

    • Dottie permalink

      That is too bad that you think that what Abbey does to these girls and what your basketball coach did to you is acceptable. You wouldn’t allow a classroom teacher talk to you or your children in that manner, but you would let a coach degrade and yell at your child because. . .? This is not acceptable in any situation. It borders on child abuse. These children on Abbey’s dance team are clearly frightened of her and only perform because they fear that if they mess up, they will feel the entire wrath of Abbey Lee Miller, and many of them have. To be BIGGER in every sense of the word and to bully children who have a love for dancing is DESPICABLE!
      The chances of these girls actually becoming professional dancers with long and prosperous careers is pretty slim. How many of Abbey Lee’s dancers do we as the public know? I am certain there are better, nicer, more patients , more talented and less BI POLAR dance teachers in that neck of the woods. AND THOSE MOTHERS—shame on them!

      • I have to agree. The mothers should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Mimi2Khloe permalink

        I agree with your assessment. A basketball coach certainly shouldn’t necessarily applaud mediocrity but should celebrate the team getting to that level. My son was a high school and college football player. He was yelled quite a bit however, I never felt that anything I would say or do would affect his playing time or position on the team. That is clearly not the case with this woman. She has no children which does make a difference. Being a dance instructor does not qualify her to parent or judge those who are parents. I do not particularly care how long she has been teaching or how many students she has had. Maddie is a lovey young lady but she is clearly favored. When you have children there are no favorites. They are all there own person and develop their own strengths. I have listened to her berate the mothers for their parenting styles which is absolutely none of her business. I have listened to her downgrade the mothers directly to those girls. She has stated more than once, directly to the dancers, that their mothers are a disgrace and telling them they ought to be embarrassed. As I have never been in this type of situation I cannot attest to my exact reaction however I do believe I would have words with the instructor. Yes, their children have been given an opportunity to excel as there is national exposure but I do wonder what the motivation was to stay at that studio for the years prior to the show? None of my children were involved in dance as I raised three big boys. I didn’t experience this type of bullying or verbal attack while the boys were involved with activities. The other true question I have is where are the Dads?? My husband would take about two comments before he was confronting Abby Lee head on. She does not conduct herself as a professional nor a role model to anyone. Her attitude and comments towards Kathy’s mother on the reunion episode at the end of season three really spoke volumes about her integrity and maturity. I have to give her one thing…..she is making a TON of money. Good for her. Just would be nice if it wasn’t at the expense of these bright, beautiful, and talented young woman.

        • I’ve come to the conclusion that these parents, fathers included, have signed agreements of some kind that actually give Lifetime and Abby Lee Miller their consent to be bullied in exchange for compensation. “Reality Television” stopped being anything remotely related to “reality” a long time ago. Even the contestants on the most season of Survivor refer to themselves as “cast members”.

  13. BJ Smith permalink

    I think it’s child abuse from the parents #1 and then that fat dance teacher. I cannot believe that Lifetime put something like this on TV that exploits these children. I wish Dr. Phil could get involved and have them all jailed for taking advantage of the poor children. If that bitch yelled at my child or me it would be the last thing she’d do. But, it wouldn’t take but one time and I’d be gone. These mother’s are there to make money off their children and the on TV. They are the stupidest people on TV and that says a lot today.

    • I’m not always certain that the children are being exploited. Sometimes I get a feeling that they’re smarter and more manipulating than the adults around them. The parents, particularly the seemingingly non-existent fathers, should be ashamed of themselves. Miller should seek counseling.

  14. I am a psychotherapist who works with many clients who are in the visual and performing arts, including a lot of dancers. After decades of working with kids & their families, I am delighted to say I have not seen the kind of cruelty and verbal abuse that is being depicted in this ‘reality’ show. I’ve seen many dance studios where the students (kids & teens) are truly supportive of one another. The mothers & fathers are loving parents who want their kids to get the best training possible, but would never put their children in harms way with an abusive teacher. The teachers I’ve observed are interested in nurturing young dancers, teaching them the beauty of dance, and challenging them to be their own personal best. They are not pushing them into competitions and having them perform age-inappropriate dance moves in ridiculous costumes. The sexualization of young girls depicted in “Dance Moms” is frankly disturbing. Rationalizing that it’s ‘just entertainment’ doesn’t change a thing. This show is portraying the world of dance as something inherently reprehensible and does a disservice to the many wonderful dance studios and teachers, as well as to the children who are self-disciplined enough to show up for classes day after day, week after week, and devote themselves to the methodical work of becoming real dancers.

    • Anonymous permalink

      I danced when I was little and I did have an abusive teacher. He was pretty awful to us all. A friend of mine who was also a dancer in a different area had the same experience.

      It is great there are positive places, but I think there are lots of jerky ones too. The parents just have to be aware.

      • I agree. There are times when a teacher or a coach might need to be “tough” but they never should be abusive. I see the root of this particular problem to be the mothers involved … who appear to want reality television fame at the expense of their daughters’ self esteem.

  15. Gina permalink

    How does a 300 lb. woman get a job as a “dance teacher” in the first place? The mothers should be charged with child abuse..

  16. I HATE ABBY permalink

    F*ck you Abby you are fat so why are you telling them they are fat? … I have never watched the show…. And I hate people who scream and bully and lower self esteem like Gordon Ramsay!! Go get a life you stupid b*tch.

  17. Anonymous permalink

    Despite all of the gruffness and insanity, up until now, I have basically liked Abby. However, after watching the season preview & premiere and hearing the outrageous, downright EVIL things Abby is AGAIN saying to and about Chloe, I really think Abby should be locked up.

    It shows that Abby is deep down very WEAK and has ZERO self esteem to use the abusive NAMES she calls Chloe. What adult in their right mind would call a child viscous names like Abby does to Chloe???

    The answer is that only someone evil and out of their mind – AKA Abby. The first time she did it I overlooked it. Now I see it is a pattern. Abby should be locked up and never allowed to speak to or about a child again. All the other stuff can be overlooked, but to call a child abusive names is despicable. As of now, I have NO respect for Abby!

    • Neither do I. She’s in a position where should could be a tremendously helpful role model to so many young girls and women. She could be a positive influence on young dancers and stage mothers as well as an advocate for the need to include movement in your life as a means of being healthy. Shame on Lifetime Television for perpetuating the ridiculousness that surrounds her and shame on viewers for tuning in.

  18. Anonymous permalink

    I am trying to understand why someone so incredible rude and unfit can be a coach for children. Tell me that she is a role model. NO

  19. Michelle, RN permalink

    I think that this show is an incredible, ridiculous fraud.

  20. noyb permalink

    Abby lee is a huge b*tch and the mothers r nuts but the girls seem very well adjusted to me i havent seen this spoiled behavior. Also i can tell this author is a frigging die hard liberal get over it, kids have played cowboys and indians and cops and robbers for deacades with fake guns and it didnt affect my grandparents. The problem isnt guns or playing with them u granola eating moron, it’s how kids r raised and other influences and dynamics at play in society and family life. If fact i think it would be more prevelent with liberals that dont believe in hitting as discipline or in “winning” they believe everyones a winner..these r the children raised in those types of environments with no consequences and no dissapointmen that pick up a gun and kill someone when they realize they cant get there way andthat in fact everyone is NOT a winner

  21. Zurevo permalink

    All of you that think that Abby is so horrible will never have children that amount to anything. Life is hard and show business is even harder, if the kids can’t take criticism on their dance skills they will never get better and never get anywhere. Abby has produced many many working dancers and that is why you take your child to her. And the one that said these children are protrayed as brats. Are you kidding? These kids are the sweetest young ladies. What show are you watching?

  22. Anonymous permalink

    My daughter dance with Abby she went to Marilyn Lorrane owned by Abby’s mom a dance studio in Penn Hills Shopping Center. Abby insulted my daughter at 7 years old. She quit! Melissa and her daughters also go to my hair dresser in Murrysville she is not acting on TV that’s who she is! All those moms are living their dream through their children! They need to get a life and let the kids be kids also let them grow up with out the swearing, yelling and crazy stuff. Besides learn they don’t always have to win! That’s no the way to grow up very young!

  23. Mario permalink

    Annoying loud-mouth bitch. Never heard of her prior to DWTS and hope I never hear or see her again after!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Diatribe: When Did Sitcoms Get So Dirty? « DiatribesAndOvations
  2. Diatribe: Top Diatribes And Other Scandals Of 2012. « DiatribesAndOvations

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