I have been salivating ever since I first heard about this show, Gasmi. In fact, I was so excited, that I immediately sent a note to flipit telling him about the show and begging him to recap it. So, here I am, adding another show into my recapping schedule (what am I, crazy?) but honestly, how could I resist Dance Moms????
And Jabba the scary ass dance teacher.
I have a confession to make, Gasmi. I am, in fact, a dance mom. Please don’t judge or I’ll have to start quoting bible verses at you. Seriously though, my son dances on a team and has been competing for the last two years, so some of the shit that goes down here I hope to be able to comment on from an insider’s point of view. And believe me, there’s some crazy ass shit that goes down at dance competitions. After all, dealing with a group of five year olds scheduled to dance at nine fucking forty five at night is no damn picnic, let me tell you!
BUT, and in Jabby’s case it’s a mighty BIG BUTT, there is a difference between being frazzled and being a ginormous twat. And let’s get real for a minute here, it’s not only dance moms (and teachers), or pageant moms that can be scary crazy. Sports parents can be just as bad. And don’t even get me started on those math league parents!
Your son is the square route of my son!!!
Hopefully the majority of us don’t go down the road of wackadoo, even when completely frustrated. Hopefully most of us take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we love our kids before we do or say anything nutters. This show isn’t about us.
It’s about this one and others like her.
Alright, let’s get this party started! We pan in on the Jabby Lee Studio in Pittsburgh, PA where Jabby is sitting behind a desk as the girls start to arrive. Jabby tells us she is the artistic director and chief choreographer of the studio. She claims that people around the country know her because she produces stars and she trains amazing, employable dancers. I think the pictures plastered on her wall are supposed to prove that point.
Or prove she doesn’t know how to hang pictures!
I mean, come on! She’s just taken the pictures that all the kids get taken each year and framed them and hung them haphazardly on her wall. I’m not saying she hasn’t trained dancers who have gone on to get work, but what she’s implying with the picture wall and her statement here is ridiculous.
She tells us that she treats some of these kids as if they were her own. And then proceeds to yell at them and tell one crying girl to suck it up. She looks to be about six. Where can I sign my kid up for this?
Office hours are from 10-4, Monday through Friday
You know why she’s so tough on the kids? It’s to prepare them for real life. Well! It’s alright then. Yell away Jabby!
She’s gathered her group of dancers we’ll be following throughout the season. There are six of them and they’re sitting in the studio with her, their moms off to the side. Jabby tells them that they are the cream of the crop in their age group, that’s why they’re there.
And because your moms will put up with my bullshit because they want you to be STAHS!
Don’t forget how they get to be on TV, Jabby! She goes on, telling them she is going to do something that no other studio in the country does: for every single competition, they will be doing a new routine. That’s the stupidest, obviously done for drama thing I’ve ever heard. What’s the purpose of that, other to cause undue stress on the girls leading predictably to mistakes and meltdowns? UGH.
The girls look over at their moms, but Jabby snaps her fingers and says she’ll eat their toes for snacks if they keep looking over there. One of the kids interviews that she thinks it’s funny when Jabby yells because her face gets all red. Watch out girlie! Don’t let her hear you.
Moving on, Jabby breaks out her picture pyramid. Apparently each girl is ranked weekly on their behavior, work ethic, attendance, and whether or not they’ve followed all the rules. Casseroles also help your standing. One of the moms tells us how much she hates the pyramid and says they have to stand by and take it. Well, you could always go to another studio, right?
Did you say something?
This week Madison is at the top of the pyramid and her mom, Melissa, totally feels bad because her daughter is always on the top.
Did you buy that? Can I try again?
Their first competition is going to be in Phoenix, AZ at West Coast Dance Explosion because Jabby wants them to experience some of the best competition teams in the country, whatever that’s supposed to mean. They are going to do two numbers: a small group number with all but one of the girls (she’s too young for this particular competition), and a trio consisting of the top, second and fourth girl. What’s up with skipping third ranked?
She tells the girls they are going to win in Phoenix. And then at the next competition, and the one after that, and the one after that because they are gearing up for Nationals. She tells us that all the training and competing is all about THE Nationals. This is funny because there are SEVERAL Nationals. The fact that she is trying to make it seem like there is just one national title is utter and complete bullshit. But more on Nationals later in the season……
So! We’ve got five days to go and a completely new dance to learn and perfect. The moms are dismissed to a skybox observation area as Jabby gets ready to start choreography. As the girls start to rehearse we take a little detour so we can meet these moms and their kids.
First up is Melissa with her studio favorite daughter Madison (8) and little six year old Mackenzie. She tells us that her soon-to-be ex says that dance ruined their marriage. Why am I not surprised? But don’t worry about her, she’s already found a boyfriend who is happy to write the checks.
Me love him long time.
Are you surprised to hear she’s all about her kid winning? Me either. Her ex calls her a crazy dance mom (DUH) but she doesn’t see it at all. It’s all about the kids! She just wants them to be happy and shine on stage and become stars. RIGHT.
Back at rehearsal the girls work while Jabby corrects them from the sidelines. “Girls, what are you doing? Those legs are about as straight as Elton John.” Bwahahahaaha! Okay, Jabby is a bitch, but that’s pretty funny. She then loses me as she tells us how much work they have to do before the competition. Whose fault is that, Jabby? No one told you to compete in five fucking days, dumbass!!!
Mom Christi feels like they’ve never left. She tells us she’s sat up there a million times before, seen a thousand dances, and she’s hoping this year will be different for her daughter. Yep, she’s got her eye on the top of that pyramid. KNOW THAT.
Tonya Harding may have been on to something.
Time for another detour! This time we head over to Christi’s house where her nine year old, Chloe is telling her about the awards ceremony they just had. Huh? Where? AT SCHOOL. Oh. That. Christi tells us that she does often put dance ahead of school, but hey, she spends $16,000 a year for Jabby to teach her daughter. But don’t tell her husband.
I just tell him the girls really love Ramen Noodles!
Can we just pause for a moment here, Gasmi? $16,000 a year this lady spends?!?!?!?!? I’m not saying it’s cheap to have your kid on a competitive dance team, but that’s excessive, don’t you think? Now I’m trying to figure out how much I spent last year for Zach. It certainly wasn’t 16k!!! Crap! I must not be dedicated enough! Quick, get me to Jabby!
Christi is totally ticked off that her daughter is constantly playing second fiddle to Maddie. Over at rehearsal she talks with another mom how she’s not a fan of the pyramid thing, but you know, God forbid anyone tell Jabby that. The other mom talks about how divisive it is and then they all bitterly discuss their lack of surprise at who’s at the top.
I hope they choke on those sour grapes.
It’s tough to be the mom of a star. Oh, and Melissa busts out the old reality show stand by, “I’m not here to make friends”. Ha!
It’s now four days to competition and the girls are rehearsing and Maddie is dragging a little. One of the moms is happy to point this out, asking Melissa what’s up with her daughter. She doesn’t feel well. But there’s no way she can miss a rehearsal so instead let’s have her dance around while feeling sick. Maybe she’ll puke all over Jabby. Better yet, maybe everyone can get sick before competition! That would be SO GREAT.
Jabby knows she’s not feeling well, and has loads of compassion for her, telling her to suck it up. Maddie starts crying.
There’s no crying in dance. NO CRYING.
This woman is such a fucking asshole. She basically threatens to bump her position in the pyramid and it’s not like the kid is being lazy, SHE’S FUCKING SICK YOU NASTY OGRE!!!!!!
As she runs off to go puke, her mom runs over to her, following her to the bathroom. She’s sooooooo supportive, telling her to stop crying, stop acting like this. Maddie cries, saying she wants to go home, but we all know that’s not going to be an option for her.
It’s all about making you happy; are you HAPPY??!
Thankfully we take a commercial break, but any relief I felt at that is shot since we come back to the same scene of Maddie crying and her mom ignoring her pleas to go home. Her mom tells us she can’t stand a child that’s sick. I can’t stand a mom who’s an insensitive cunt hole.
Guess who heads back into rehearsal? Shit, that mom would probably prop her up and send her in even if she passed out. HATE. She continues to justify herself saying how hard Maddie has to work if she wants to make it to Broadway, or a TV Show. Now I feel like I’m going to vomit.
The next day begins and Jabby starts choreography on the trio for Maddie, Chloe and Paige. She points out that Paige is bowlegged and tells her she needs to fix that. Jabby says people think she’s tough, but she’d rather make your kid cry in her studio rather than do that in front of 800 people at an open audition. Whatever. I’m pretty sure that at 8 no one is going to be screaming at you at an audition. Shut it, Jabby.
She continues to berate Paige, telling her she’d have her head on a platter and then follows that up with a “Man up. Get back out there.” Don’t worry, though. Jabby may be tough, but it’s all done with love.
Oh, so that’s what love looks like.
Damn, I’ve been doing that wrong this whole time. As Paige cries and goes to her mom for a hug, we take a few moments to get to know this mom and daughters. Meet Kelly, Paige and Brooke.
Paige is 10 and Brooke is 13. Kelly is super proud of them saying that Brooke has been winning awards since she was six and just last year Paige won for interview. Interview? Is she in pageants or something? Now I’m confused. Kelly was a dancer when she was younger and in fact, danced with Jabby since she was two and a half. So when she had two girls she couldn’t wait to subject them to the abuse that she lived!
Brooke tells her that she wants to try competitive cheerleading. Blasphemy! Never gonna happen. Kelly has a heart to heart with her daughter, saying when she was younger she used to get first place all the time. Does it matter to her that she’s not getting first and second anymore?
Kelly hopes her daughters appreciate everything she does for them for dance. She puts a lot of time into it and a lot of times they’re mean to her. Gee, maybe that’s because she ignores their requests to stop dancing. Just a thought.
I hope Kelly hides the knives when she goes to bed at night.
Time for another child berating! This time it’s Nia who gets yelled at for her arms. Her mom, Holly worries that Jabby is going to go by how her daughter did last year instead of starting out this one with a clean slate. Holly’s goal for this year is for Nia to grow as a dancer.
Also, to get her to stop eating braaaaaains.
Poor kid looks like a fucking zombie. Holly proudly tells us that she went to Carnegie Mellon for her masters, and she’s currently at University of Pennsylvania, AND she’s a principal. Huh. And she still signs her daughter up to be abused by Jabby. Way to use that melon!
People tell her that she totally looks like Michelle Obama and she loves that so much she had to make sure we all knew it. She’s hoping Nia will have a great year in dance, maybe even get a title win. Nia shows off her crown to us. Oh, she didn’t win it; her mom bought it for her because she really wanted it. I’m not even going there.
The first lady tells us her daughter isn’t a featured dancer, but she has high hopes for her; she doesn’t want her to be a backup dancer forever. Jabby may be tough, but she knows her business and produces excellent dancers.
Who cares if they’re suicidal?
It’s now two days before competition and a mom we’ve never seen before enters the studio with her daughter. It looks like Melissa is working behind the desk which I’m assuming she probably does for a reduction in tuition. The mom, Cathy, tells Melissa that they are there to sign up for classes and the want to do competition.
This one is a doozy, Gasmi! Her daughter Vivi is adorable and completely wins me over as she mocks her mom during their initial talking head/interview section.
Cathy has always danced, so Vivi HAS to dance. Cathy actually owns her own dance studio which makes it very obvious she is all about getting her kid on TV through Jabby’s studio. Or she knows she’s a crappy teacher.
I’m going with the first one as she tells us how she’s absolutely loaded with quirks. First of all, she loves bunnies. She also loves carrots because bunnies love carrots.
Any bets on the probability of this turning up in Vivi’s closet?
Cathy also loves the color pink and has decorated Vivi’s room in that color. Vivi doesn’t like pink. She tells us we’ll like her; she’s flamboyant. Just don’t push her buttons and there won’t be any altercations. Oh, you know the buttons are gonna get pushed.
Now that Vivi is six it’s time for her to turn over the yelling and abuse to someone else. Jabby is just the person for that job. Cathy makes sure to tell her that she owns her own dance studio, and Jabby has to clarify that she’s here as a mom, she’s not looking for a job. Oh, no.
Maybe. You offering?
Cathy tells Jabby they’re just hoping to give Vivi a boost and she’d really like to see her compete with Jabby’s girls this weekend. Is this lady high?
Are you high?
We all know that’s not gonna happen. Jabby has Vivi do some moves for her, but she’s unable to do any of the acro that Jabby asks for. But no worries, they have a little piece they prepared. Well, it’s a duo that they just started, but she can totally do it as a solo.
I will fly before that kid competes this weekend!
Jabby does sign her up though and tells Cathy she’ll have to take a backseat and let Jabby do the coaching. Cathy’s fine with that as long as she can interject a little here and there. Yeah, I can’t wait to see how that works out for her!
One day before competition. More rehearsal. Probably more tears, though we don’t see them. Don’t worry though because there’s drama of a different order about to begin. The daughter of some lady named Dawn (Minister Dawn, actually) was called in specially to join a routine but had the audacity to show up for acro in socks and a T-shirt. GASP!!!!! Jabby kicked her out of class. They were supposed to wear tights and a leotard and Jabby did make two other kids change.
You know already I’m not about defending Jabby, but a dress code for class is a dress code for class. It irritates the crap out of me when it’s not enforced at our studio. Anyway, the mom is not happy about her daughter being booted from the class and so she does the mature thing and proceeds to yell at Jabby from the doorway of the classroom.
God will smite you for kicking my kid out of class!!
She yells about her daughter being dressed like a kid, and here I’m thinking that she’s trying to make a point about the gobs of stage makeup these girls are wearing for a rehearsal. Let’s be honest NO ONE wears that kind of makeup to dance class unless you are doing a full dress rehearsal. So I can see her point somewhat. Maybe moreso if she wasn’t screaming like a lunatic.
Jabby tells her to get the fuck out and she refuses. Jabby tells her every week they take the trash out so go. Oooooooooooooo! Dawn tells her to take herself out because she’s the biggest piece of trash there is. Is it wrong that that is my favorite part so far?
Dawn is not leaving and Jabby continues to berate her and her child about the wrong clothes being worn and tells her to find another studio. Jabby actually leaves her in the reception area and borrows someone’s phone to call the police, telling them she does not have a weapon, just her mouth. WOW. The cops come, but Dawn is pretty much done by then and leaves without saying much of anything to them.
Why do I always draw the short straw?
No time to dwell on the minister because it’s competition time! Jabby reminds us that each week they will be going to a different competition, all leading up to the Nationals. It’s all about the Nationals. Again with the THE.
They arrive at West Coast Dance Explosion and start to unload all their crap. Christi tells us they’re like the Beverly Hillbillies with all their makeup cases and crap, but in all honesty they’re not so different from a lot of other teams you see. The kids are getting dressed and putting their make up on there, so depending on how many dances (and dancers) the studio has it’s not uncommon to see cars packed to the brim with costumes, make up cases and accessories.
Jabby shushes a couple of moms as they laugh in the lobby, telling them to use their library voices. She goes on to tell the kids she doesn’t want any flip flops, no booty shorts walking around; she wants them covered and dressed appropriately. See, some things she says actually do make sense.
Rules give me a headache.
They head into a dressing room and I find it completely unrealistic that they are in there by themselves. The only reason no one else is squatting in that dressing room is because there is a producer outside not letting anyone else in. I’m not saying that studios never get their own space; if you have a dance team of 100 kids, you’re certainly going to be marking your territory, but I’ve never seen a group of six kids and their moms have a dressing room all to themselves. NEVER!
Holly tells us that hair and makeup time is always crazy and it’s all about who’s gonna look the best and get their stuff done first. She makes it sound like they have a dedicated hair and makeup person when in fact the moms each do their own kids, usually with other moms pitching in to help if need be. Lucky for me, I have a boy so this part of the insanity DOESN’T APPLY. Hahahaha! The other moms for our team always hate when I say that. Which makes me say it more. What?
Jabby comes in to check on them and tells the moms she hates this last minute crap. Hilarious given her last minute choreography!! It looks like they’re still making hats for the group dance which really is silly. Shit, all that time they spend sitting on their asses in the studio….how hard is it to make five fucking hats?
It’s super duper complicated.
The intricacies of glue guns are mind boggling, aren’t they?
Then Jabby gets a glimpse at Paige’s nails and gives her crap for them. It’s not that she can’t get her nails done; it’s that the white tips call attention to her hands. It sounds like she’s had this conversation with Paige and her mom before and the mom could give a rat’s ass. In fact, she tells Jabby that she’ll take the nails off as soon as Jabby gives her the $20 it cost to do them.
Bring me ma purse!
Hee! You kinda have to love that Jabby calls her on that! Well, you don’t have to, but I certainly do. Next thing you know…..
Wanna go get a drink?
Are hey fucking serious?!? There’s a half hour before their kids are scheduled to dance and these two knuckleheads are going off to drink? They run off down the hallway leaving their kids behind without telling anyone where they’re going. Nice.
Christi tells Kelly that if Jabby yells at the kids one more time, she is going to lose it. Yeah, right. I’ve heard those complaints before about certain teachers and most parents never say shit about anything. They’d much rather bitch and moan to each other about it than actually confront the teacher they have an issue with. Why? They are afraid that the teacher is going to take it out on their kid. Now, a good teacher won’t do that, but I have seen people that you just knew would, so I guess it can be a valid concern. OR you could bring your kid to another studio if you don’t like the way they’re being treated. What a revolutionary thought!
Any way, they continue to bitch and carry on at the bar, making a spectacle of themselves until Jabby just happens to walk by. She is not amused by their behavior. She asks them if she’s babysitting and they ask if she wants a drink. No, she doesn’t drink while working. They finally leave the bar (after she walks away), double fisting and proud of it. They stop to drunkenly tell a couple of kids how cute they are and Jabby is suddenly behind them, ushering them along. Boy, I wish I had had a mom like these two!
Anyone wanna try a sip?
They get back to the dressing room and no one is surprised to hear they were at the bar. How sad. Kelly wraps a curling iron and promptly burns her kid with it. Who the hell wraps a cord around a piping hot curling iron? I mean, in her defense, it looks like Paige might have backed into it, but I wonder how much she was paying attention to what she was doing there.
The girls all try to help her feel better and Maddie tells her she’s not wearing any underwear. Ummmm….okay?
It’s now two minutes to curtain so Jabby gathers her dancers for a last minute pep talk telling them that they need to step it up. She’s harassing them about their hats and are they pinned in enough, take a bobby pin off the floor if you have too! (Ewwwwww) One of the girls says something about the hat falling down and Jabby tells her that is dangerous. What if she was at Radio City Music Hall and the thing was open for the ice skating rink and she did a side aerial and fell thirteen stories down and died? Huh?
THAT’S what can happen without enough bobby pins, missy!!
She proceeds to give them more notes as Paige tells us that the one person who can mess them up backstage is Jabby herself. All the notes and reminders right before they dance make them nervous and more likely to mess up. I’ve actually witnessed this in person and it’s sad because the kids should know what they’re doing (if they didn’t learn the routine in five days), so it can undermine their confidence when their teacher is SO OBSESSED.
They take to the stage and actually do a really good job. I HAVE to say that the canned audience noise and applause completely irritated me. Yes, there is cheering and clapping, but not the canned sound they used here. And let’s all be honest, most of the cheers are coming from the moms and studio of that particular dance, not the overall audience.
Anyway, they dance the soundtrack cheers, the moms smile and nod and mouth shit from the audience like their kid can even see them. Jabby also talks to them which is really like the people that talk to movies they are watching. They cannot hear you woman!
The face of a kid that can’t hear Jabby’s voice.
At the group performance awards the girls get third place. Jabby no likey. Maddie doesn’t know what it’s like to lose, to not get first or second. Well, she knows now. If they don’t get first or second for the trio, they’ll be going home losers. That’s if they’re allowed home ‘because losers aren’t welcome.
The moms rush to change the kids from the group number to their trio costume and make up. The girls get on stage to perform and very quickly Chloe’s headband starts to fall into her face. I guess she missed the note about the bobby pins. She keeps right on going, but that doesn’t matter to Jabby who pulls her mom out into the lobby to yell at her about it.
Did you not hear that she COULD DIE?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Does this face look like I care?
They yell back and forth about how it fell off but didn’t fall off and it looks like all this is going in while the awards are actually happening. I don’t care how much a teacher wanted to yell at me, I wouldn’t miss awards for that shit. Anyway, Christi doesn’t think it’s such a big deal because the kids didn’t miss a beat, but Jabby’s name is on the line, dammit!
Then Christi pulls out the “I pay your bills” line and I just sit back and wait for the fireworks. Jabby doesn’t get as nasty as I actually thought she would, but she does tell her to stay out of the bar and with her kid. Ha!
Back in at awards, the girls actually get a first place so I guess Chloe’s mom would be happy if she was there to see it. I’m not sure if they won the first place overall high score or just the one for their division (it can get a little complicated) but the girls seem happy so I’m happy for them.
Back out in the hallway, the argument continues until Christi says the conversation is over. As she walks away Jabby yells to her that she pays her bills late. Bwahahahahaha! That is so fucking wrong. Jabby says that woman is going to be the death or her and might end up getting her daughter booted from the studio. Christi is sick of this and doesn’t know how much more she is going to take! Whatever, they are both FULL OF SHIT.
And that ends the first episode of Dance Moms. WOW. There was a whole lot going on in this episode and from the looks of the previews, we’re just getting started! What did you think, Gasmi? What did you think of Jabby and the moms? Any of you dance moms as well? Come on! I know you’ve got plenty to say and I can’t wait!!!