Friday, October 7, 2011

Interviewing a Dance Mom: Aunt Joyce Talks to Christi Lukasiak

This summer, Lifetime’s Dance Moms became the show America is buzzing about.  Stage mothers.  Talent.  Drama.  Competition.  Backbiting.  There is something for everyone to form an opinion about.  For those who have ever competed seriously in a sport, it is par for the course.  For those who haven’t, the series has opened the door to a delicious world of catty behavior. 

Christi Lukasiak and her daughter Chloe are two of the stars of the cult hit.  As they navigate the dance world as perpetual underdogs, they’ve taken us all along on their journey of absurdity and questionable sanity.  Whether we agree or disagree with decisions that are made, we know we’ll keep watching. 

Aunt Joyce recently had the opportunity to interview Christi Lukasiak about life in the Abby Lee Dance Company. When she isn't rolling her eyes, this dance mom has a ton of opinions and isn't shy about sharing them. The more we learn about life at the Abby Lee Dance Company, the more we want to know…

AJ:  How did your involvement with Dance Moms come about?
CL:  Last September, a casting call went out to dance moms across the country.  I emailed the production company some photographs and sat on the porch and took some flip-cam videos where I talked about how insane people were at the dance studio.  The producer asked me if I could film some clips of my daughter and her teacher and asked, ’Are you kidding me?!.’  I’ve been working with the production company since last September.  They came to the studio in January, found a network and we’ve been filming since April.

AJ:  How long were all of you on the road for?  It seems like you’re never home. 
CL:  We left on June 23rd and came back on August 3rd.  Initially, we were only going to do six episodes that were to be shot in Pittsburgh.  The network came back and wanted six more, so we went on the road and just finished filming interviews and filler a few weeks ago.

AJ: You have another daughter.  Does she travel with you?
CL:  That was one of my stipulations when doing the show.  There are babysitters when we’re on the road.  Clara travels with us, and I’m a mom at night after we’re filming.

AJ:  Abby Lee Miller spends quite a bit of time touting her own success on the show.  What is her reputation in the dance world?
CL:  Abby has produced a lot of great dancers.  I will say that her reputation precedes her and that much of the dance world knows that what you see on TV is how she is.

AJ:  If you spend so much time discussing how Abby treats your daughter, why don’t you leave and find another teacher?
CL:  I have two daughters [Chloe and Clara] who are eight years apart.  Before my younger daughter was born, Chloe was an only child.  When you spend that much time at the studio, the girls really do form family-like relationships.  The older girls have always been big sisters to Chloe and treat her like a younger sister.  Chloe and Paige [Hyland] have been best friends since they walked in and held hands at age two.  If I left because I was disappointed with Abby, I’d be depriving my daughter of the friendships she has formed. 
AJ:  How much time do the girls actually spend at the studio?
CL:  The girls spend three nights a week at the studio and some Saturdays.  They are girls with full lives, but they are dedicated.  Maddie [Ziegler] spends more time at the studio because Melissa [Ziegler] works there, so she is always there.

AJ:  The moms are always at the studio.  Is Holly really a principal?
CL:  We are at the studio.  Holly is the principal of a very prestigious, very elite private school in Pittsburgh.

AJ:  Do the girls go to school?
CL:  The girls go to school full time.  They were shown on the road over the summer because they were done with school and the competitions around Pittsburgh had ended for the season.

AJ:  How expensive is being a member of the company?
CL:  I got a lot of flack for saying that I spend $16,000 on dance a year, but that is how much it costs when you add up traveling, costumes, shoes, hotels.  I probably only pay about $300 a month in tuition, but it is expensive to do anything seriously.  I think being a member of a traveling hockey team is probably more expensive.

AJ:  How big is the dance company the girls are in?
CL:  There are about twenty or so girls who are in the company from the younger girls to the seniors.  There were actually a bunch of people who quit over the past few years because they were tired of dealing with things.  A lot of times, you’ll see that Brooke [Hyland] misses her friends.  She had a few very good friends who quit the studio recently.  There are lots of kids who take classes at the studio, but the company is relatively small.

AJ:  Is the group of girls on the show the only ones who compete in that group?  Are there girls who aren’t on the show because they or their parents didn’t want to be included?
CL:  There are two other girls who were in the group.  One of the girls left recently, but that is the group for the most part.  Brooke is in an older group, so she isn’t usually in that group, but she is tiny and fits in well with their dances.  It makes sense for her to be in the group since her mom and sister are on the show.  Mackenzie [Ziegler] is also not usually in their group.  Maddie, Chloe and Paige have danced up in Brooke’s category a number of times.

AJ:  Cathy Jean Nesbitt-Smith created a ton of drama on the show.  Had you ever seen her before the show?  Google Maps shows that she lives over two hours from Pittsburgh. 
CL:  I had never heard of Cathy before the show.  She was friends with Abby.  Cathy and Abby were really friends.  Cathy is smart and a colorful character.  She knew that there was a show going on and got on it.

AJ:  Will Cathy be back next season?
CL:  As far as I know, we will all be back.

AJ:  One of those most memorable moments of the season was when one of Cathy’s students who looked fifteen danced in the same category as Chloe.  Was that just for TV?  Is it even possible for Cathy to find out Chloe’s music and choreograph a number?
CL:  I’ve never gotten a straight answer on what happened.  That girl was actually only a year older than Chloe, and Chloe was competing at the bottom of the 9-12 age category.  You can see the songs the girls will be dancing to on the competition schedule.  There is usually a code for each studio and if Cathy could figure out who her daughter was on the schedule, she could absolutely find her number.

AJ:  Why would Cathy have her student compete against Chloe instead of Maddie?
CL:  I remember thinking, ‘why pick on my kid?!’  I don’t know why Cathy did what she did, but she is colorful and makes for good TV.

AJ:  You’ve mentioned that you’re married on the show, but we never see the fathers.  Will we see your husband next season?
CL:  The dads have actually been filmed, but they were very vanilla on camera.  I don’t think the parts with the dads helped tell the story of what goes on.  My husband doesn’t go to all of the competitions, but he goes to some.  My husband thinks Abby’s studio is the anti-Christ of childhood.  He stays out of the studio and that is the only reason why we’re probably still there. 

AJ:  Were you ever a dancer as a child?
CL:  I wanted to dance growing up, but I had a rough childhood with unsupportive parents.  I actually snuck out and tried out for the cheerleading team and made it.  I was a cheerleader even though I wasn’t supposed to be.  I think it’s important to support your children and what they’re interested in.

AJ:  Will your younger daughter dance?
CL:  I can’t do so much for one daughter and not do the same for the other.  I’ll support what she wants.  If Chloe told me she didn’t want to dance, I’d be okay with it.  Of course, I’d encourage her not to quit because I believe that she does have a real talent for it. 

AJ:  How has the show changed the studio?  Are there agents hanging around for kids shows?
CL:  Abby thinks she is the queen of Lifetime.  There aren’t agents at the studio.  Things haven’t changed that much.  I was fighting with Abby just the other day when cameras weren’t around. 

AJ:  Abby is always indifferent about girls leaving her studio on the show.  Is that how she really is after all the time she has invested?
CL:  Abby is always go, go, go, but she has held onto my daughter very tightly whenever we’ve thought of leaving.  Abby likes to be in control, and I believe she likes to be in charge of my daughter’s dancing.

AJ:  Have you ever seen Abby Lee Miller demonstrate any of the moves the girls do?
CL:  Oh yes, Abby can pump!  I think you saw that in the last episode.

AJ:  Have you ever heard Abby comment to any of their girls about their weight?
CL:  She comments to the older girls about their weight, but she doesn’t really talk to our group about it yet.  Absolutely, she talks about weight.

AJ:  How many teachers are there at the studio?
CL:  There are a number of teachers at the studio.  There is a fabulous tap teacher who works with the girls and they can all tap. The teacher was a 'tap dog.' They take ballet.  Gianna is a fantastic choreographer who grew up at Abby Lee [Dance Company.] She has become Abby’s right hand in the last year and a half or so.

AJ:  Will we be seeing the girls fight for roles in the Nutcracker this Christmas?
CL:  It really isn’t that type of studio.  I would like to see my daughter have a ballet solo on the show, but I don’t know if that would make good TV.  I don’t know if ballet is as good for TV as Electricity.

AJ:  The girls have gotten a lot of attention for the different topics they’ve covered in their dances.  It seems they’re always tackling child abuse.  Is that just for TV?
CL:  Abby loves controversy.  A year ago, Abby had a great dance for the older girls that became her signature piece.  The dance was about a heroin addict who killed herself and kept her baby in a box.

AJ: Does Abby do all of the choreography herself?
CL:  Abby choreographs, but Gianna also does do a lot of the choreography and is very gifted.  It made sense for her to be on the show because she grew up in the studio and can travel.

AJ:  Do the girls ‘get’ a lot of the themes they’re tackling in their dances?  They didn’t really seem to grasp the concept of inner beauty.
CL:  I don’t think the girls really get a lot of what they’re doing.  They like the characters and the costumes, but I’m not sure how much they really understand.

AJ:  Has Chloe seen Black Swan?
CL:  No.  Absolutely not.  My daughter will probably never see Black Swan.

AJ:  Much has been made of Chloe’s rivalry with Maddie.  How real is it?  Is the rivalry something that’s heightened for the sake of television?  The moms are very open about discussing Abby’s favoritism in front of Maddie and her mom.
CL:  The rivalry is absolutely real.  The girls are fifteen months apart and compete against one another.  It has been going on for two or three years.  Abby favors Maddie, and the other kids are aware of it.  The girls are smart, and they are aware of the favoritism.  They are aware of the praise and the criticism.  When you see a girl on stage that is confident, that comes from support from the parent and the dance teacher.  I just want the girls to have the same type of support.  A lot of people ask why we don’t just schedule more private lessons if we want them, but Melissa handles the scheduling of private lessons.

AJ:  Chloe doesn’t seem to reference the favoritism or rivalry on camera.  Is it more of an issue for you than it is for her?
CL:  Chloe doesn’t say it and doesn’t even really view it like that.  Maddie is her friend and sometimes they compete against one another.  Chloe really is the way she comes across on television.  She is such a good kid.  I always say that she makes me look like an amazing mom.

AJ:  You and the other moms are very candid with how you feel about Abby and one another on camera.  Has it caused any tension in the studio?  Does Abby care what you say on the show or tweet about her?
CL:  Abby knows what we say, but I don’t think she cares.  All the things we say on camera are things we’ve thought for the last eight or nine years.  The only difference is that we’re asked about what we’re thinking now.  There have been times when it’s a little awkward.  Was it awkward when I had to see Melissa yesterday after calling her a monster manipulator?  Absolutely.  We were still on the road when the show started airing and all watched it together.  That was awkward.

AJ:  What is it like to see yourself on television?
CL:  I was horrified the first few weeks, but my friends said that I became more myself after the first few episodes.  I was horrified to see myself talk about Maddie and of the fight I had on the fourth episode.  I dread watching every week.  I get sick to my stomach around three o’clock every Wednesday.  My favorite time of the week is around five after eleven on Wednesday. 

AJ:  Do you all call one another after the show?
CL:  Kelly and I will call one another and say ‘my butt looked big, why didn’t you tell me?!’  I email with Holly.  We’re right back to the studio the next day.

AJ:  The pyramid has become a hot topic about the show.  It is clearly for television, but does it impact the girls?
CL:  The pyramid sucks.  We try to put it in perspective for the girls that it is just for TV.  We get in the car afterward and talk about other things and what’s coming up.  We don’t really talk about it.

AJ:  Do the girls all want to be on Broadway as much as it is discussed on the show?
CL:  The show discusses Broadway because of its connection to dance, but I don’t know if it is everyone’s goal.  Maddie talks about Broadway.  It is her dream.  Chloe wants to do other things like be in a movie or a television show that isn’t a reality show.  She likes to do my LA dance versus New York dance.  If someone calls with a great part for Chloe on Broadway, we’d go.  It isn’t her ultimate goal in life.  Chloe changes her mind all the time.  She told me she wants to be a doctor the other day.  I say more power to her.  I know she does want to be a Rockette when she is older, but she is open to so many things now.

AJ:  Has dance always been serious for Chloe?
CL:  Dance gradually became more serious.  The first year you compete, you have one solo, and it may not be that good because it’s your first year.  The second year you might have two.  Chloe wasn’t always one of the leaders in the studio.  She probably got very serious around the time she was eight.  It sounds crazy because it wasn’t really all that long ago that she became serious at the tender age of eight.

AJ: One of the most amazing things we see on the show is that the girls learn new dances every week.  Are they really learning dances in two days?  Is that why Chloe forgot her solo at nationals?
CL:  The girls really did learn dances in two days.  No one believes it, but it is absolutely real.  The girls were exhausted by the end of the season.  There are only so many sequences of turns and leaps to the group that your brain can remember.  My grandmother called and asked me to please tell her that Chloe forgetting her dance was just for TV.  I have never seen Chloe do that, but she was exhausted, and it was real.  It was horrible to watch. 

AJ:  The moms always complain about sewing costumes last minute.  Why don’t you sew during rehearsals?
CL: We’re never given costumes until the last minute.  If we had them, we’d gladly be sewing ahead of them.  Then again, if we were sewing we might not be talking as much.

AJ:  Do the girls get hounded at school about the show?  Do you feel like the talk of Pittsburgh?
CL:  I don’t know if we’re the talk of Pittsburgh, but a few people usually always come up to us when we go out.  People usually tell me they know how I feel and everyone always wants to hug Chloe.  The kids at school always want to talk about the show, but I know Chloe will just want to go on the swings at recess.  People always want to think that what they saw on the show just happened, but life has gone on. 

AJ:  The show has been controversial.  How has the reaction been from those who know you?
CL:  I just went to my sorority’s reunion and a few people told me that if they had to pick who’d be on a reality show in the '90s, it would’ve been me.  I don’t know if that is a compliment, but I’m taking it in stride. 

AJ:  What can we expect next season?
CL:  There is a ton of back-story that the producers haven’t even begun to explore.  I think there is a lot that America will want to know about.


  1. Maddie is picked because Maddie is a better dancer, period. Chloe's mom needs to get over it.

    That being said I watched this show with my mother the other night and we both loved Chloe getting picked for the video because it pissed off Maddie's mom. That was classic Television:)

    1. SHUT UP!!!!! YOU DON"T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! Maddie MIGHT be a better dancer right now, but there is a certain point where you can only get SO much better and I think that at that point, that most of the girls will be better or as good as Maddie.

    2. Thanks You!!! someone who actually gets it

    3. Ahemmm... I personally Believe that chloe is truely the better dancer 1 trillion times infinity the better dancer! I Loovee her! She is Amamzing! i wish i could be on dance moms and my mom would love it too but its all the wy in Pittsburg whereever that is but i know its not in texas i sure wish it was is texas somewhere around houston i would definatley be on it idk if i would be good enough but...
      i believe Brooke & Chloe r #1 STARS! Brooke needs to know that she better NEVER Quit! she is my role model! and so is chloe i just WISH i could meetthem in person!!!

      <3 Yall! if Christi reads this PLEASE Facebook me/friend me/message me on facebook Thanks!--<3 Rachelle Mosley

    4. If Maddie's a better dancer, it's because she gets all the solos to practice and more private time with Abby! Maddie is brilliantly talented but she's not more brilliantly talented than Chloe, she's just more trained.

  2. I think that right now Maddie is better because she is training harder. I think that in the end, Chloe and even Brooke will be better.

    1. Chloe, Maddie and Brooke are different dancers Chloee has the stature of a "Prima Ballerina", Brooke is more like a Broadway type dancer, and Maddy is an all around dancer. Maddie is very technical, Brook dances because she likes dancing, and Chloe she is in her own ballet world, she will be a great Prima Ballerina is she wants. Like her mother say,she recently said she wanted to be a doctor. Listen they are kids. Right now they are dancing and enjoying the competitions. The mothers have their right to want to protect their daughters, they just have to remember that they are children -so be cautious OF WHAT they SAY in front of the girls. The mom's are in the booth so they can rant and rave all they want. I too have a favorite…Makency (sorry I just killed the spelling of her name) is jut too precious. Nia is like her mother, she loves dancing however she is mature for her age and she thinks of other things in her life. She sees her mother with a PHD, you bet she is thinking college and a PHD of her own. She also is another favorite. How about it? They are all my favorites because I see them as unique individuals Now it is Abby Lee studio and Company……If you do not like how Abby teaches your child "LEAVE".

    2. EXACTLY! GO GURL!!!! =D

  3. Maddie may have placed 1st more often, but she doesn't mind telling you how much better she is. Seems she gets that attitude from her mom. Chloe, on the other hand is a beautiful dancer, and a beautiful young lady, inside and out. I believe she, too, reflects her mom. Yes, Christi let her emotions get the better of her a couple of times, but she never fails to show Chloe the love. Melissa seems to only want the glory...unless she is off with her boyfriend and her kids aren't convenient at the time. Chloe will surely be the most well adjusted of these two dancers, thanks to their moms.

    1. Totally right!!!! :)

    2. Well said. Maddie gets all the privates because Mellisa worked there. Now she doesn't. Mellisa is pathetic, crying to Abbe "Chloe rolls her eyes and it hurts my heart". She is despicable. I think Maddie has peaked. Chloe will continue to grow because Abbe doesn't favor her. With Maddie's "I am the best" attitude, Chloe is always humble and sweet. Chloe will succeed in whatever she chooses in life. Maddie, the child is living her mother's dream, and I think it is falling apart. Christi hugs and encourages her child. THAT is why Chloe is so sweet, and so humble. Maddie has been made to believe she is the only one who matters, and her mom certainly loves to shove her kids away and tell them "get away from me". Abbe? She talks trash because she IS trash, and her jealousy of Kelly, Holly, and Christi is so obvious. She likes Melissa ONLT because Melissa sucks up and tells Abbe she is god.

    3. How is it encouraging to Chloe when Christi makes a HUGE scene about Abby's "favoritism" in front her, putting these ideas in Chloe's head making the situation worst? Chloe is sweet and talented but rolling your eyes in class is disrespectful to Abby. I highly doubt Melissa is keeping the others from signing their kids up for privates, and Maddie makes it apparent that she LOVES to dance and works extremely hard at it, she's also never rude. Yes, she knows she's really good but she's also encouraging to the others (for example the episode I just watched where she talks about how excited she is to do a duo with Chloe). The other girls do too, but it's more than just favoritism that makes Maddie an amazing dancer 100 percent of the time. If Christie has such an issue with Maddie being a better dancer, or Abby's teaching habits, she should just leave studios and not worry about being a TV drama queen anymore and go somewhere Chloe can be the star

  4. LOL I knew about this show from your blog but I don't really watch it. I didn't know they were filming in Pittsburgh where I am, and now Im curious which school Holly is a principal of. And no, I can honestly say that they definitely aren't the talk of the town here (yet).

    1. Winchester-Thurston

    2. I wonder if Holly actually took a leave of absence or if her school got fed up with the negative coverage. I would hope that Holly would choose her hard earned career over the "Abbe and Maddie/Melissa" show.

    3. Holly was asked to take the leave or get off the show. The school didn't want the notoriety because it is so easy to find on line. I guess Holly chose to stay on the show. I think probably had she left the show, Abbe would have made Nia leave as well. It seems such a shame to get her doctorate and then, just leave her job.

      Christi, so many of us adore Chloe. You CLEARLY are a wonderful mom. Maddie is not better, and as the show has progressed, sadly, we see more and more of Melissa in Maddie.

  5. This was great interview with Christie. Many questions were answered candidly. Looking forward to season 2!

  6. Oh please. Maddie is NOT better than Chloe. Compare their turns in all the episodes, Chloe's are way better slash sharper.

  7. SO SO happy Chloe got the star spot in the finale. I prefer her dancing to Maddies. I would bet Holly is the principal at Shady Side Academy or Oakland Catholic.

  8. Maddie definitely wins only because of her confidence not her technical skills. Chloes is a more beautiful young lady in every aspect...inner beauty, outer beauty and graceful technically amazing dance skills. Christie should be very proud. Missy is a fake and terrible mom with a string of failed marriages. Chloe will go on to be a success in this world because she is such a loving child. Maddie and Missy will be sad and lonely as they should be

    1. If you check the scores of each competition on line, you will be surprised to see that a lot of Maddie's wins are fake. She did not win two crowns in Woodbridge. The girl who was announced as second was bumped to third and Maddie was bumped to second. One episode had Peyton as second, when she was actually seventh, in the novice division. always check on line. so much is fake.

  9. Holly is at Winchester Thurston

  10. I enjoy watching both Maddie and Chloe dance, but they are really very different. I don't think one is "better" than the other. Maddie has an energetic and reliable quality to her dancing. Chloe is emotional and elegant, with a more fragile quality. I do hope that the support and stability they get through their friendships and dancing can help them overcome picking up the neuroses of their moms!

    1. Maddie is on top, now. But the day is coming when Chloe gains confidence and will begin winning. Maddie will not be able to handle it. Maddie has been taught that she deserves it. The time is coming when she loses that top spot. And that will be the day she gives up dance. She is technically good, but she doe not have the emotional ability to be passed. Thank Abbe Miller and Melissa for that.

  11. Christi I hope you read this! Chloe is an amazing, beautiful, talented dancer. What makes her so beautiful is her humility. Chloe is such a sweet heart and does not act catty about her skills as a dancer as some on the show do! Chloe has a stage presence that makes her illuminate the stage. Chloe will go far in life. She is such a sweetie! Her grace and dignity and most Inportantly her humility make her a star! That will take her far in life! She knows its not all about winning but about being the best she can be and enjoying every second of it. I wish abby could practice what she preaches because Chloe is the deffenition of inner beauty and dignity. Chloe has got it right!!!!

  12. I don't necessarily think Maddie is the better dancer... Chloe is by far the better dancer. Her movements are better, her facial expressions are natural, not over the top like Maddie's. Maddie's a cute kid, don't get me wrong, but as she gets older, I'm kind of thinking that's gonna change. She really is plain looking. Your dancing skills will only get you so far.

    I just think that Maddie has a ton more confidence than Chloe... and it really shows. If Chloe would sashay around with her nose in the air and if her mom would crawl up Abby's @ss the way Maddie's mom does, no doubt Chloe would be on the top of that Pyramid every week.
    I think the relationship between Abby and the moms has a lot to do with the child's success.

    I didn't really notice this until the end, but the moms are right. At first I thought they were all bat sh!t crazy, but the more I watched, the more I saw and noticed how Maddie's choreography was better than Chloe's - the week Chloe was on top, her dance routine sucked (the routine sucked, not Chloe) the one where she wore the dress and carried that box... the traveler? Abby did that on purpose. If Abby would've given that routine & outfit to Maddie, she would've bombed it too. Also, Brooke & Paige's choreography was blah. That Ohh La-La routine was like, 1st year moves.... with the over use of jazz hands and shoulder bobbing. I do understand why Abby gets frustrated with the 2 of them and Kelly though. They didn't give it 100% while at the competitions and that would irk me too. BUT, from what I've read, Kelly has pretty much hit her breaking point, so maybe they just don't care anymore. It's a shame because her girls have potential and are really talented.

    I'd love to see Chloe and Maddie go head to head and dance the same routine to the same song. My money is on Chloe. That girl is special... I just wish she would see all the people out there who are rooting for her and think so much of her. I respect Abby as a dance instructor.. but, I'm beginning to think that Abby is beating her down for a reason... and that's because she can't stand her mother and doesn't want her to beat Maddie. What a shame.

  13. Wow harsh! Some of the comments about two young children are really mean! I am not connected with the show or the dancers in any way, and I enjoyed watching Maddie and Chloe dance among others. They are both beautiful dancers and seem very humble considering some of the arguments between the moms and Abby. I think Maddie and Chloe seem very sweet together as friends as well as supportive of each other. Maddie doesn't seem big-headed to me - I thought the scene where she comforted Chloe after she forgot her dance was very touching and sincere. They are just kids - and both wonderfully talented as far as I can tell. Who among these commenters would like to have their lives filmed for our general entertainment? Very few I'd say. My only complaint is that we don't always get to see all of the dance numbers in their entirety that each girl or group performs. That's the best part! Oh and by the way, they are the talk of Pittsburgh and beyond - congratulations ladies! My daughter and I are totally addicted to your show!

  14. I think Maddie and Chloe r both good at dancing ....

  15. All of these moms, with the exception of Holly, need serious mental help! Seriously Christi, Maddie is a kid and you're really setting an example in how you treat her.

    I honestly love both Chloe and Maddie for different reasons and I find they're both extremely talents. But the way the moms face themselves off against the kids is a little bit insane. It's right up there with Crazy Cathy almost.

  16. I absolutely love Chloe. Maddie is good, but I always find myself cheering Chloe on because she is such a genuine person. Maddie is going to crack one day when she is older because of the way Melissa has raised her. Chloe seems like she will always have a good head on her shoulders, whether she decides to become a Rockette or a doctor. She will definitely be successful in whatever she does because she has such a wonderful mom raising her. You can tell Christi just wants what is best for Chloe and sometimes that takes a little bit of butting heads with Abby. It is definitely the right thing to do. Christi and Chloe are my favorite Mom/Daughter combo on the show. :)

  17. Well I absolutely think Chloe wins hands down for her personality, she is humble all the while trying to fend off people pitting her against another dancer. I am a fan of Maddie but in all 12 episodes she has talked about winning more awards than Chloe, how she thinks she is a better dancer, she cried when she didn't win the watermelon game, she blamed Nia for their group dance, She hated coming in second, she basically called Chloe a cry baby. Even when she didn't get the lead she was a poor sport and so was her mother. Even after Chloe's success Melissa and Abby were so happy Maddie didn't get the lead. Come on now you're not in the spot light so you need to find another way to try to make it about you. I actually didn't even notice Maddie in the music video. I was more amazed at Brooke and Chloe. I think those two girls shined the most. Being a great dancer is not only about dancing, it is how you present yourself. Chloe fits the bill 100%

  18. Between Chloe and Maddie, Chloe is the better of the two. Maddie places higher because Melissa kisses Abby's butt and in return, Abby gives Maddie better choreography. Also with Melissa working at the studio, Maddie is there 5-7 days a week. Chloe is only there 2-3 days a week. If both girls received the same routine and preformed them, Chloe would come out on top. Plus with Melissa working the front desk, it's almost impossible to get a private! Melissa and Maddie's (& Abby's) true colors showed on this last epsiode. Chrisit & Chloe are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet and I love being around them. Chloe will do well in Hollywood, of she choose to, but she will also be an amazing doctor or Rockette. :)
    Former ALDC mom

  19. The girls are absolutely the best part of this show. And Chloe is my favorite of all the girls. I think she is the most graceful and elegant, and seems to have a really sweet and genuine personality. My eyes are always drawn to her in the group numbers. Frankly, the girls seem better than their moms, in that they don't get sucked into the rivalry and cattiness that the adults usually display on this show.

  20. Everyone is so mean to Maddie, leave the poor child alone. Maddie and Chloe are both beautiful dancers that are both amazing. But everyone always picks on Maddie an it's not the child's fault she's good. And it's not the child's fault that Abby likes her better. Yes I think Chloe needs more attention because Chloe is amazing and such a sweetie, but don't be mean to Maddie. If anything it's Abby's fault because she favors and leaves the others out. All Maddie is doing is working hard and winning so no way is it her fault. I LOVE YOU MADDIE AND CHLOE YOU ARE BOTH AMAZING!!! 

  21. Love the show and love the interview. Great job, AJ! As if I didn't already love you enough!

  22. all the girls have talent period Chloe has so much going for her she's beautiful smart poised and funny i can see her being the next pop star or the next teen actress of her generation maybe staring in a fame type of show..there's always going to be comparisons in this business the trick is to believe in yourself and ur abilities and not let it destroy your friendships. i think all the girls will shine in whatever they chose/ and their moms will always believe their daughter is the best cuz that's what moms do.

  23. Chloe is way better!!!!! She Is a loving,sweet,amazing dancer!! I hope one day she will see this message!!

  24. Anyone who comes from a dance background knows that Maddie and Chloe are both very talented kids. However, Maddie has the gift of an incredible stage presence and emotional execution that draws your eyes to her, no matter where she is positioned in a group dance. Coming from a competitive dance background, it is well known that each judge has categories such as technique, choreography, appearance, difficulty of routine, AND stage presence that they score on. I would score Maddie higher not only on stage presence, but also difficulty (I've yet to see Chloe do a front aerial, which Maddie nails weekly... Chloe has only done side aerials and she always looks like she barely makes it over).

  25. I have trained at the kirov universal for years and from a technical standpoint CHLOE is way better.. Maddie's technique is actually pretty atrocious at times. she sways her back pushes her neck forward and feet and turnout are never right. she will be turned out in her preparation but right before she pirouettes she turns her foot in... huge no no.

  26. i mean anonymous who posted right before me (feb 8th 6:40 pm) I mean what qualifications do you have to say which is better? are you from a real professional ballet school who knows proper technique or are you from just a competition studio? who cares if Chloe can't to a front aerial that's gymnastics- acro not dance.

  27. Maddie is arrogant which really comments on her mothers poor parenting skills. Chloe is a great kid and great dancer with a very good and supportive mom and that's more important. Chloe has a lot of humility so she deserves everything she gets sooooo much more. Period.

  28. Definitely Chloe all the way. Everything about this girl draws the audience to her. Her technique is excellent and improving all the time, as is her confidence and stage presence.

    Some dancers are given too much too soon and end up peaking early then leveling off. Others continue striving to be better... Chloe is the latter. In this way Abbey has done her a bit of a favor (tough as her method is). Chloe is like a flower with the natural grace of a born ballerina. I look forward to watching this young lady emerge into stardom.

  29. I love to watch all of the girls and love the tenderness they genuinely show one another. I find myself routing for Chloe, although I'm always impressed with both girls. As time progresses I think we'll continue to see that Chloe has the perfect dancers body. I enjoy Christi's come backs, boy is she quick on her feet. That Cathy takes the cake though, she has a screw lose. I feel so sorry for her very average dancing little girl.

  30. Maddie, Im sorry is the FAR better dancer hence why she always wins. She looks good on stage and as a bonus she is also a very pretty little girl!!! Chole only got the part in the video because she looks like Lux but still you are drawn to Maddie! She is the star and Christie I am sure you know that your self!

  31. Christie you need to get a life! You come across as a lunatic on the show especially when u put maddie down! Can't u see she is better then Chloe in everywhere? She is a better dancer, actor and prettier! You are proud she got the lead? Hello look at Lux and look at Chloe! The same!!! We all know maddie will make it someway/ somehow because bottom line she has the look whereas Chloe will just end up looking like her mother! Who cares if maddie is up herself!!! I would be too if I could dance like her! I'm not saying Chloe is bad or anything as she to is a very good dancer! It's just a shame she has maddie on the show who out dancers her every week! Plus she looks so great on stage!! I think christie u need to get over the fact that maddie is better and leave her alone! She is 8! If that was my daughter and you spoke about her like u did all hell would break loose!!! You think Abby favors maddie!!! Well she prob does as she even knows who the better dancer is too!!! Chloe seems
    Very lovely but at this stage she is no maddie!

  32. Wonder what the poster on Mar 29 has to say after the finale with Chloe winning the competition and being top on the Joffrey scholarship list. Many people said it...Abby gives Maddie more difficult choreography, puts Chloe down every chance she gets even when she does a spectacular performance, and is growing and developing properly, rather than peaking. I think in the last episode of season 2, the woman judge at the Joffrey had it right...Maddie doesn't seem to finish and breathe before launching into the next move. The first time I saw Maddie dance, i knew she was good but kept thinking she looked frantic. Chloe is lovely inside and outside and it shows in her dancing. I think Christi is far too humble when she says in the interview that Chloe makes her look like a good parent. Actually everything Chloe does and says on stage and off is a reflection of great parenting and a very loving household...keep up the great work. will go very far in the future.

    1. This is ironic considering Chloe got a HALF scholarship to Jeoffrey and Maddie got a FULL scholarship to Jeoffrey.

    2. It's spelled "Joffrey," not "Jeoffrey." If you're going to put somebody down, (and a little girl at that) at least spell correctly. And Chloe got scholarship to the more prestigious Ballet Summer Program.

  33. AJ reviewed this week's episode!

  34. both Maddie and Chloe are good dancers, but I believe Chloe looks more graceful because she is tall and thin ....just like a ballerina. Her movements are fluid, Maddie is shorter or doesnt ave the long and lean body, most of the time it looks like she is just jumping up and down, her movements are big and NOT fluid. Most morons on here need to know, Christi DOES NOT put Maddie down! She merely points out how unfair Abbie is. Geez, would you sit there on your fat behind and let your kid be treated unfairly? What is wrong with some of you?

  35. Chloe is a beautiful dancer. She truly is. And after watching Abby in the most recent episode of Dance Moms, Abby really believes that Chloe will be a professional dancer when she grows up. That makes me believe that Abby tries to give Chloe routines that fit what she is best at. For Chloe, that seems to be lyrical and contemporary. I think that after all of Abby's years as a choreographer, that she wouldn't want to give one girl better choreography than another because it makes her company look bad. I may be wrong though. All of these girls are incredibly talented and I do agree that Abby could do a little better with giving everyone equal chances at doing solos. I think all of these girls are sweet hearts with bubbly personalities. I personally don't believe that Maddie is cocky, but I am not with her 24/7. I understand that it must be difficult to watch your daughters go through all the pressure that Abby puts on them, but she does that for a reason. If you don't put pressure on them, it's harder for them to understand how serious competitions are. Abby just wants them to be brilliant. I can't blame anyone on that show for their actions, because this life is stressful and expensive, and you want it to be the best it can. I applaud Maddie and Chloe for their dedication and natural talent. They are the top two dancers but all of the other girls are great too. I hope everything goes well for you all :)

  36. Chloe is a beautiful young woman. She is a wonderful Dancer and Maddie is great but sometimes you think at awards Chloe totally did better than Maddie. Then Maddie wins. its because of her mother. She works at the front desk FOR FREE! she tells abby all the yucky stuff the mothers say about Abby. (witch is very true)

  37. I do not see Maddie as the better dancer. I see Maddie as the best trained dancer. I see Chloe as the best God given gift dancer. No matter how many privates Maddie gets, she will never have Chloe's grace & elegance. It can not be taught. Maddie will never have the long slim beautiful body Chloe has.

  38. chloe and maddie are good dancers. all of the girls at the studio are good at one particular thing .it is just that abby works and gives more positive feedback to maddy alone

  39. All I really want to know is can chloe tumble like I see nia mackenzie brooke maddie and paige do ariels and all these skill and I don't think ove ever seen chloe do an ariel or anything for that matter I just want to know !

  40. I don't think the real point here is who is better. The real point is how unfair Abby is. She is sneaky and tries to turn kids against their mothers, kids against kids and mothers against mothers. It was disgusting what she did when Chloe won a competition and Maddie didn't.

  41. Chloe is the best and the most talented dancer. Is she really on enpointe in ballet?

  42. We are all very special and uniquely made in God's eyes. All the bickering, swearing and fighting over this show and who is better than who is ridiculously dumb, childish, and totally un-christian-like. Grow up people and do your children a favor and show them by way of example how to act with kindness, love and compassion...and teach them that something like dance doesn't define who a person is. My you ever sit back and reflect on the words that come out of your mouth??? I'm so glad I don't watch this show! .....and I am a dance mom!

  43. Chloe is a beautiful talented young lady who is well balanced! never give up on your dreams reach for the stars!

  44. Chloe is a beautiful talented young lady who is well balanced! never give up on your dreams reach for the stars!

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