Post by Josh Zinn.
Hello, dear readers! Rather than attempting to encapsulate the elaborate political and artistic machinations at play in any one episode of Lifetime Television’s “Dance Moms,” I thought it might be best to present you with a brief fictionalized dramatization of a recent scene that was broadcast. Some of the names have been changed, however it is nigh impossible to disguise the mistress of the dance herself. Ah, the perils of fame…
Two women, Joanne and Stephanie, appear in the doorway of a studio at the Abby Lee Dance Academy. Recent divorcees, they exude an aura of ripe independence, its power mingling with the fragrant aroma of a fajita combo platter they recently split at their neighborhood Chili’s. Untamed and uninhibited in the way only those that drive Dodge Caravans can experience, these women no longer feel a need to please those around them. You might think they’re living life in a “devil may care fashion”, but honestly, these ladies don’t give a damn whether the devil cares or not!
Joanne - Oh dear, would you look at this spot? Some salsa must have gotten lost on the way to my mouth!
Stephanie - Oh no! Didn’t you just get that blouse? It’s so fab!
Joanne - Yep. Look what happens when SOMEONE twists my arm to order a second margarita!
Stephanie - Don’t point the finger at me. I’m not the one who said it was my birthday just so I could get a free brownie sundae. Naughty, naughty!
As the two friends giggle over their Mexican mishaps, a rotund woman, Abby Lee Miller, marches over to them. The owner of her namesake Academy, Abby has been working all morning with the women’s daughters in an attempt to prepare them for a national dance competition that is uniquely different from the national dance competition they attended the week prior as well as the week prior to that.
Things are NOT going well.
Abby - So, tell me this. Your daughters can be here. I can be here. But there’s some reason why neither of you could be here even though we’re going to nationals day after tomorrow and—at this point—neither of your daughters could dance their way out of a paper bag?
Joanne - Don’t you think that’s a little harsh, Abby? They’re little girls!
Abby - Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently.
Stephanie - Don’t you dare say that you, b…
Abby - You’re really going to speak like that to me in front of your little girls? Don’t call me names, mommy. I have a whole wall of trophies. What do you have besides alimony and a bitter taste in your mouth? You’re not even a trophy wife anymore!
Joanne - That’s it, Abby! I don’t care what you have. None of us do! These are children! They’re supposed to be having fun and going to the mall with their friends. NOT spending their days listening to some angry cow tell them how untalented they are. I just don’t know how much longer I can be here. I am done here!
Abby - There’s the door. See ya!! If you don’t want to be here, then leave! Just remember that we’ll be winning competitions while you and your kids are crying in your spinach dip.
And, thus, the eternal struggle continues unabated. As always, these questions remain: How does a woman reclaim her life when the life she lost to a man so long ago now exists primarily to foster the dreams of her child? How does a daughter remain untouched by age when the cruel realities of this earthbound plane (boys, slumber parties, One Direction) keep her from learning the steps to the latest jazz number? And how, pray tell, does a lonely, leather-faced dance instructor who looks like she hasn’t done a grande jeté in a coon’s age maintain an ego as boundless as the variety of Stouffer’s microwave meals she must surely adore? Perhaps the answer is…. there is no answer.
Life, dear readers, is a mystery. Dance Moms is a really terrible show filled with terrible people doing terrible things that, somehow, is terribly addictive. Their similarities are uncanny.