Dance Mom’s Abby Lee Miller: ‘Not everyone can win’

Dance Moms' Abbey Lee Miller chats to Closer Online about the amazing new series showing exclusively on Lifetime.

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by Fiona Day |
Published on

What is Dance Mom about and what can audience's take from the show?

Dance Moms is about my dance school The Abby Lee Dance Company, which I started at the age of 14, and about my relationship with the student’s parents and the competition and drive to win and our differentiating take on things.

How did your own dance career get started?

I didn’t originally want to be a dancer. But I worked hard and my mum drove me to all my competitions and I kept going.

My mom wasn’t anything like the moms you see on the show- thankfully!

What can we expect from the new series of Dance Moms?

There’s a lot of frustration! (laughs). You can’t pay me a bill, drop your kids off and then try and tell me to do my job. I’ve been doing this for years. My job is not doing what you tell me to, it’s teaching your kids.

Why do you think it’s important for youngsters to be competitive with one another?

Yes I think it is important. I also think it’s important to know that not everyone can win too.

But really, the show is about the competition that exists with the parents. One of the moms is so jealous of one of the other kids, it’s disgusting. It’s not good for the kids to see that either so we always try and protect them. The fierceness takes place between the moms, not the kids.

Do you think teachers and parents are too soft with their kids?

Sometimes, but I think that a lot of parents instil their own dreams in their kids. Many of the parents I meet never achieved their ambitions or dreams and are trying to drive their kids to achieve something they didn’t.

You will see me coming across as shouting and yelling but that’s because I care about my students. I want them to do well and you need a thick skin to do that.

How do you measure success? Is it the winning or the taking part that truly counts?

I don’t think success has anything to do with money. When I go to broadway and see a student perform in a broadway show, that’s when I’m proud. That’s when I say ‘well done.’ Until then, I’m not proud. If you’re not going to win, I’m not going to say ‘well done.’

Saying that, the trophies fade and the accolades are soon forgotten, but it’s that memory of winning and the feeling that goes with it that makes you successful.

What is it about the show that makes it so successful?

There’s a lot in it that doesn’t just apply to the dance community. We all have our goals and sometimes our push for those goals gets in the way of our dreams.

The amount of drama that exists between the moms also helps!

Dance Moms, exclusively on Lifetime Mondays at 9pm Sky 146 / Virgin 242

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