Dance Moms—the Lifetime reality series about a group of smack-talking goblin mothers who exploit their daughters’ excessive talent for fame—is not a good show. It’s a great show! And, best of all, it’s a show with a message.
While every piece that choreographer and Dance Moms centerpiece Abby Lee Miller creates with her award winning competitive dance team is a work of art, the best and most awe-inspiring routines are the ones where Abby has a moral point to make. Having covered everything from bullying (not at all ironic coming from a woman who regularly punishes little girls to manipulate their parents) to the Holocaust, she is the true social justice warrior of the dance world.
It’s hard to narrow down the best Dances with a Message on Dance Moms because there are truly so many to choose from. Still, as a huge enthusiast of the show, I did my best to pick the top 5. Watch so we can learn and grow together.
The Last Text
“The Last Text” is a routine about the dangers of texting and driving. Paige, who plays the driver, had previously hurt her foot and spends the majority of the dance not moving. She’s also the only one of the dancers who isn’t texting so it’s actually pretty unfair to pin this whole choreographed accident on her.
Perhaps the best part of “The Last Text” is how Mackenzie, the youngest member of the team, uses her tumbling skills when thrown from the car. The performance was so moving that even Cathy, Abby’s rival, had nothing bad to say about it. (I would tell you that this dance inspired me to never text and drive again, but it would be a lie. I am typing this article while operating an 18 wheeler.)
UGH. Who can argue with the talent of young Maddie Ziegler? Such grace! Such expression! Such drive! Such emotion! I think it would be a crime not to give her a fake black eye and have her do a dance about child abuse, don’t you?
Don’t Ask, Just Tell
“Don’t Ask, Just Tell” is Abby’s way of expressing support of the LGBT community through dance.
Where Have All the Children Gone
I do not know what “Where Have All the Children Gone” is about, but I know that it’s Important.
Abby Lee Miller is not afraid to take on challenging historic content, as you can see in the dance “Rosa Parks.” What truly sets this routine apart, however, is the backstory. While the moms immediately assumed that Nia, who—at the time—was the team’s only African American member, would portray Parks, Abby wanted them to know that it was anyone’s game. This is because she is color blind. (Kidding. It’s because she didn’t want Nia’s mom Holly to get too cocky.)
Abby ultimately revealed that Nia had the part all along, but not before this psycho tried to convince her to cast her very white daughter Kendall instead.
Thank you, Abby! We are all better people for watching these.
Image via Lifetime.