I’m a sucker for anything dance related. Lifetime’s Dance Moms is no exception, even though the show reminds me of an accident on the side of the road. It’s a spectacle that you know you shouldn’t want to watch, but for some reason, you can’t look away. Kind of like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
I really enjoy the overly made-up faces, the sexy costumes, and the dances bordering on inappropriate. But that stuff only makes up about a quarter of the show. Most of what we get is drama between the moms. That, and kids crying.
Despite all the drama, watching Dance Moms kinda makes me wish my ma had been a dance mom back when I was a dancer. Not continuing to dance seriously after my tween years is one of my only regrets in life. And I really didn’t think I’d ever be able to reconcile giving up my dream . . . Until I started watching Dance Moms. Because now, I can blame my mother.
My mother simply wasn’t a dance mom. She was the kind of mother who cared about things like bedtimes and homework and play dates. How misguided of her. She never did put enough effort into living vicariously through me, and she wasn’t independently wealthy enough to trade bringing home an income for a full-time stint in my dance studio’s observation tower (like my dance studio even had an observation tower). Faced with those sad realities, I wasn’t afforded the same opportunities for stardom/self-hatred that little Maddie, Mackenzie, Chloe, Nia, Brooke, and Paige are being afforded right now as the primary members of the Abby Lee Dance Company. God they are so lucky.
If only my mother had been less into giving me a normal childhood and more into keeping me locked in a dance studio 24/7. I’m pretty sure I’d have been the lead in Step Up 3D. (Why didn’t my mom want to see me in 3D?) The lead in Step Up 3D, or in intensive therapy. Either way, my life would be a little more exciting than it is now.
I certainly wouldn’t be daydreaming about that one time I could have won Nationals with a mind blowing interpretative piece based on Lisa Loeb’s hit single “Stay.” Had my mom been a legit dance mom, that would have actually happened in real life. My props would have been tortoise-shell thick-rimmed glasses that my mom stole from our elderly neighbor and a miniature acoustic guitar that she spent 17 hours bedazzling and I would have worn a burgundy crushed velvet leotard—velvet crushed by my mother’s own hands, obviously.
I would have wowed the judges with my emotional maturity and my side aerials and my overly made-up face. And I would have gotten the goddam crown. If only my mother were a proper dance mom and not some pushover who cared about things like my happiness and innocence. Those things are so overrated, anyway. Just ask any of the girls on the show. They seem to be doing just fine.
Part 2 of the Dance Moms Reunion Special airs tonight on Lifetime at 9pm EST. Anyone else pumped?