Dance Moms does not accurately portray the real dance world

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Brooke Greenberg, For Eastside

Screaming teachers, fighting parents and crying children are all it takes for any mother to refrain from signing her child up for dance classes. The horrifying images on TV of Abby Lee Miller yelling at young kids until they sob is sure to make any child afraid of a place that can be the greatest haven in the world: the dance studio.

Shows such as Dance Moms falsely portray the dance world in a way that has never been seen before the show started back in 2011. The constant pressure that is put on young children to always win first place and always have a “first place” mentality is driving young dancers insane. It is so extreme and horrific to young girls that one of the dancers from the TV show has been suffering from extreme anxiety attacks due to the exorbitant amounts of stress.

When the reality of the competitive dance world is very harsh, many studio owners take it with a grain of salt and do not punish dancer immensely with motives such as Miller’s famous “pyramid scheme,” which is used to rank all the dancers based on their performance the prior week.

Dance is a sport that is both highly demanding and equally rewarding like no other. Many long, rigorous hours are spent working frets to death, mastering simple but almost impossible to perfect ballet steps as well as the feeling amazing and accomplished when one gets on stage to perform.

Dance Moms and other shows such as Lifetime’s Bring It show cruel coaches and demanding moms. The competition from the moms is equally as stressful as the competitions from the dancers. Although coaches, such as Miller, claim that their teaching styles are “effective” and help get the point across to young kids, they clearly have many more side effects than advantages.

Often times, people will find a dancer at a competition upset after the performance he or she just performed. That degrading feeling of failure most often comes from a teacher putting too much pressure on a child. Miller often gives solos at a competition with a demand to win. Many dancers crumble under the pressure and extreme fear of failure that they are unable to perform to their full potential, causing consequences from their teacher.

Millions of people tune into Dance Moms each week to watch the show, but little do they know that it is not even a fraction of what the real dance world is like.