35 Happy thoughts, thought 19

Hello there, my name is Miranda Holloway, and as a junior I am a member of the 500 something most stressed out people in school. Not only am I a junior but I am a student, along with about 2100 other kids, at one of the top ten high schools in the state and while the stress at any school can get rough, everyone knows that the pressure can be intense and the workload can be high.  So in the spirit of staying sane, I have started this blog to remind my fellow knights, and myself for that matter, to stop and smell the roses, take a walk in the park or watch a funny movie; essentially want everyone to take a deep breath and smile. Inspire d by the website 1000awesomethings.com, I will be posting this blog once a week until the the end to the school year, 35 times in all, about things that are meant to make you grin. Happy moments, enjoyable memories, blissful feelings; you name it, I’ll post it. So, overall, take a minute to just relax and think happy thoughts. 

Thought #19- T.V  guilty pleasures


I like to consider myself a person of good taste. I enjoy the books that I read in class, keep up with the news of the world and I (almost) always look presentable. I’m practically the queen of England; I’m so classy.
Alas, my taste in T.V resigns me to the lowly class of court jester of class. I like Dance Moms way too much to be the queen.
I could argue that Dance Moms is classy but that would be a waste of my time. I really can’t defend the seventh grade antics of some of the moms and the girls’ borderline verbally abusive teacher Abby Lee. At the beginning of every episode,  Abby  puts the girl’s in a “pyramid” with pictures of their faces taped on a mirror to show their standing in the group. It gives her a chance to point out any and every flaw in their performance.
Yeah, it’s that kind of show.
I keep watching anyway- and I am not ashamed. If you look past the nutty moms and Abby’s  manipulation of 8 year old girls, you will see what I see: a group of insanely talented dancers. Granted this is coming from a person whose  dance career began and ended with tots ballet when I was three. But these girls are all so good, you’d have to be blind to deny   their talent.
 Here, I have complied a short bio of all the featured dancers (and their over the top parents) to give you a quick sampling of what this Lifetime show has to offer.
Zeigler family– Maddie is the star of the group (and Abby’s personal favorite).
The 9 year old has some major skills; she shows emotion and poise beyond her years. For this she is consistently on the top of the pyramid. From what I see, she is a nice girl and seems uncomfortable when Abby screams at her friends on the team, but worships her.
Her younger sister Mackenzie is 7 and actually the funniest human being on the earth. She is less refined than the others because she is so much younger,  but has lately been coming into her own.
Their mom Melissa is one of a kind. An ex- cheerleader, she can irritate the other moms with her peppiness. She has been called a gold- digger for constantly getting money from her boy friend for dance  but the other moms are a little jealous of Maddie’s constant hold of the top of the pyramid. She, like the other moms,  just wants the best for her kids.
Lukasiak family– Chloe, age 10, always seems just a step behind her best friend Maddie. She is a gorgeous dancer with incredible form.
She tries genuinely hard to be a better dancer and is always humble in defeat and victory. But she is often reduced to tears when Abby shouts insults like “cocky” at her. With aspirations to be a doctor,  she is very conscience of her school work and gets straight A’s although this is not mentioned on the show. She is my personal favorite dancer on the show.
Her mom, Christi, doesn’t bother me as much as she should (being on this show should be reason enough). I would say she was living through her kids, but in her case I understand seeing how she had a rough childhood, moving from home to home on military bases with her grandparents. She doesn’t get along with Melissa,  but is honest and open, which I respect.
Fraizer family– 10 year old Nia is incredibly underrated.
The only time when Abby pays Nia, the only African- American in the group, any attention is when she is placing her in ethnic- centered dances.  She is not the strongest dancer in the group, but she could be with more attention from Abby and has improved a lot this second season. She is the most well rounded of all the girls, taking piano, martial arts, swimming and being a part of her school’s chess team when she is not dancing. If Nia chooses not to continue in dance in the future she have plenty fall back on; I have high hopes.
Holly is my favorite mom hands down. SHE IS SANE! She is a high school principal who does not involve herself in the drama of the studio unless it means protecting her daughter, who is often picked on by Abby for unpointed toes. She has stepped in to stop her daughter from portraying  a bully in a dance and she has curtailed much of Abby’s stereotyping by pulling her daughter out of dances. She gets in trouble when she *gasp* has to miss a competition for work, and Abby proceeds to tell Nia her mom doesn’t love her , which is obviously untrue, and Nia knows it. She has demonstrated a well- spoken, classy manner to her daughter which is more than I can say for the other mothers.
Hyland family– These poor girls. They don’t want to be here, and their mom is finally realizing that. But after an entire season of watching her children cry and be harassed by Abby I wonder what took her so long. Brooke, age 14, was the oldest in the group and leaves temporarily to try cheer- leading. She is a though cookie, as Abby often berates her to the point of tears. She is a skilled dancer but a teenager, too , which means that she is a little snot sometimes. I still love her though.
Paige, age 11, is good friends with Chole, and I think is the most abused of the group. She is an amazing dancer,  but has absolutely zero self confidence, which Abby thinks holds her back. Abby, although, seems to be the source of this lack of confidence, often reducing Paige to tears in the middle of rehearsals and making her run music for dances she has been left out of.
In the beginning I could not stand Kelly, their mother. A former dancer of Abby’s, Kelly seems oblivious to her daughters’ anguish. She and Abby clash often over fickle  things like costumes, and doesn’t seem to care that Abby treats her daughters poorly. But she’s gotten better, she let both the girls take time off and seems to be on their side now.
Vertes family– Kendall, age 8, is the new kid on the block, who joined the team at the beginning of the season.
Abby has put Kendall on ‘probation’ – meaning she was not an official member of the team until she ‘proved herself’–  to see how she handles the pressure of rehearsal and competition. This seemed fine for a while, but now I think she is keeping her on probation as some sick, twisted game. It’s too early for me to say anything about her dance abilities, but she seems a little more unrefined than the rest of the girls.
Her mom Jill needs to be tested for some sort of crazy person disease. She bribes her daughter open – she offered her ten dollars to get off probation–, causes drama and will basically do anything to see Kendall win.
Overall, it’s not as bad as it seems. While yes, Abby is the most over dramatic person in the world who seems to get joy out of making small children upset.  the show runs deeper than all the cattiness. It shows every parents’ wish to see their children succeed and what they are willing to do to get them to be the best they can be. All of the moms genuinly love their daughters,  and will protect them when they need to.
My only hope is that none of these girls wash up or break before they have a chance to reach their peak.  They are all talented dancers and that should prepare them to do anything, dance or otherwise. I hope there are no Natalie Portmans in the making here.
If I was a mom,  I would pull my kids out of Abby Lee Dance Company faster than you can say “point your toes”. I don’t have any kids though,  so I am just going to watch in amazement from my couch and eat chips.
And, hey if we remember this-
And forget this-
We’ll be fine.