How much is it to be on dance moms
Here's How Much It Really Cost To Enroll In The Abby Lee Dance Company
By Shana Aborn/May 10, 2021 10:28 am EDT
For nearly 10 years, "Dance Moms" reigned as one of the queens of the reality TV world. The Lifetime series had it all: jaw-dropping performances by talented tweens and teens hoping to become professional dancers; behind-the-scenes drama between the mothers; and, of course, the real star of the show, Abby Lee Miller. The studio owner/lead dance coach was part drill sergeant, part fairy godmother; with one word, she could either bestow a coveted solo performance or remove a girl from a big team number.
Miller's Pittsburgh studio, the Abby Lee Dance Company, became so successful that she opened a second branch in L.A. (via Entertainment Weekly). Over the years, the studio has taught dancers who have gone on to careers in professional companies, in casts of shows on- and off-Broadway, and in Disney parks worldwide, according to the studio's website. Its most famous alumni include Maddie Ziegler, Chloe Lukasiak, and JoJo Siwa, who all came to prominence courtesy of "Dance Moms."
The show skidded to a sudden halt in 2017 after Miller was convicted of bankruptcy fraud and spent a year in federal prison. She was set to launch a spinoff called "Abby's Virtual Dance Off" when a former cast member came forward to accuse her of making racist comments toward her daughter. The network promptly canceled the production of the new show (via USA Today).
While the future of "Dance Moms" is still in doubt, the studio itself is still very much alive. Aspiring performers are welcome — but you'll need to bring your checkbook.
Kevin Mazur/fox/Getty Images
Via the studio's official website, both locations are currently open and registering for the fall semester. In keeping with COVID-19 precautions, the studio has established protocols, including keeping students 6 feet apart and requiring masks in the building except during lessons.
The Abby Lee Dance Company's tuition is based on the number of studio hours a student takes per week. According to the company's tuition chart, the first 45-minute class costs $50; after that, the fees range from $62 weekly for a 1.25-hour schedule up to $284 for 14 hours. Students can also "drop in" on a class for $30 to see if it's a good fit for them, or take private lessons that range from $35-60, depending on length and whether the student is a registered member. The company last updated their rates in 2016; the fees may have gone up since then.
Truly serious dancers can expect to pay more than average students. Members of the competition team have to attend two to three classes weekly, plus weekend practices. They also study a variety of techniques, including ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, acro/gym, and intensive study of jumps, turns, and leg/feet movement — and, of course, there are the local and national competitions.
You don't have to have a budding JoJo Siwa to enroll your child in ALDC, however. The company site says, "We realize that not every child has the drive, determination or natural talent to become a professional dancer. However, we believe that every child deserves the chance to try!"
How Much Did the ‘Dance Moms’ Cast Get Paid?
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Getty The cast of "Dance Moms."
Reality television is a staple of American television and yet most people still wonder how it actually works. Are the events real or scripted? Do reality TV stars get paid? And how much?
The infamous coach of “Dance Moms“, Abby Lee Miller, shed some light on how much she and her young dance protogees got paid for appearing on the show. Us Weekly reports that in 2015, Miller revealed that the dancers earned $1,000 an episode for the first four seasons and $2,000 an episode during season five. She herself was earning $1,500 an episode.
“Dance Moms” ran for eight seasons so it’s possible that salaries increased again after season five. It’s also unclear how many hours of filming add up to one episode. In a recent interview with E News, “Dance Moms” alum Asia Monet Ray revealed that the cast would sometimes wear the same clothes for an entire week to make it look like events happened on the same day.
“Certain things that were on the show were obviously creative editing of just making certain pieces splice together. We had to wear the same clothes for like a week. So certain things could be taken out of context,” she told the outlet.
Who Is the Richest ‘Dance Moms’ Alum?
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According to Celebrity Net Worth, Jojo Siwa is the richest “Dance Moms” alum with a net worth of $14 million. Siwa has over twelve million YouTube subscribers. She also has her own merchandise line including clothing, toys, and her signature bows available at Wal-Mart.
Siwa also earns money from performing. She has a D.R.E.A.M. tour affiliated with Nickeloden coming up in 2022. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Siwa purchased a $3.5 million home in a Los Angeles suburb in 2020, when she was just sixteen years old.
Miller Filled for Bankruptcy and Served Jail Time
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According to Celebrity Net Worth, Siwa’s former dance coach, Abby Lee Miller, is worth $2 million. Miller filed for bankruptcy in 2010 which she later told People she regrets. “I declared bankruptcy, and that was the worst thing I ever should have done,” Miller told the outlet.
In 2017, Miller was sentenced to a year in prison for twenty counts of fraud including concealment of bankruptcy assets. People reports that Miller was accused of having her friends carry $120,000 worth of secret cash in luggage, among other things.
Miller Was Accused of Racism on “Dance Moms”
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A post shared by Abby Lee Miller (@therealabbylee)
In 2020, Lifetime severed all ties with Miller after former “Dance Moms” alums accused her of making racist remarks. It all began when Miller posted a black square on Instagram to show solidarity with the June 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The post prompted Adriana Smith, whose daughter Kamryn was a dancer on “Dance Moms”, to call Miller out for hypocrisy.
Entertainment Weekly reports that in a now-deleted Instagram post, Smith wrote, “Don’t act like you care. I couldn’t think of a more perfect day to address my experience with Abby Lee Miller. Wanna know the truth? Wanna know my TRUTH? … A statement from her that sticks in my mind to this day during my time on DMS8 is ‘I know you grew up in the HOOD with only a box of 8 crayons, but I grew up in the Country Club with a box of 64 – don’t be stupid.”
Miller issued an apology on Twitter but Smith retorted with a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
“At this point, this is bigger than me and Kamryn. It’s about the potential effect that she has on the future of dance and negative, stereotypical influences on young, aspiring dancers of color. I firmly believe that if Abby was truly sorry, she would have apologized a year ago when she exposed my then 7-year-old daughter to her first account of racism,” Smith told the outlet.
READ NEXT: Asia Monet Ray Gets Real About ‘Dance Moms’ Fakery
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Reasons Why Dance Moms Is Totally Fake
In 2011, Lifetime Network graced the world of Dance Moms, a reality show that followed in the footsteps of other successful shows In Young girls and their persistence, squabbling mothers. I guess tots & tiaras with franchise flavors real housewives mix in for good measure. Moms in Dance revolves around Abby Lee Miller of the "Pittsburgh" studio of the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC), and her junior elite standings. What drives the show is the consistent yelling and insane demands from Miller, coupled with Mom's drama. The series presents a behind-the-scenes look into the world of dancesport, while lighting a steady dose of over-the-top chaos.
From the beginning, many dance mom fans were wondering if certain aspects of the show were being rolled out on camera. How entertaining, how dramatic can it be, how real is it? Conflict on the series as a choreographer, like his performances? Let's find out what's really going on behind the scenes at one of life's most lucrative programs.
Show choreographer drama
It's not rocket science to the viewers that "reality" TV is not entirely authentic. Reportedly, elements of many programs are improved to keep viewers interested, and life seems to feel free to use this method. Dancer Kalani Hilliker opened OK! A magazine that in some situations were staged during the season 5 finale.
As a rule, the girls at the show are required to perform every week for a new competition. Sometimes, if they land on Miller's good side, they get the opportunity to showcase a solo. During the finals, Miller had Hilliker and ballet dancer Nia Frazier compete against each other in a fight to the death to determine who would get the chance to perform solo at the Nationals. In the end, Frazier was declared the winner of the challenge. Naturally, Miller's decision caused an air of rift between the dancers' mothers.
However, a few key components of such a tense situation were reportedly omitted from the footage that was shown on TV, such as this important piece of information: "I did do a solo on the Nationals," Hilliker said in a buzzword. "It just wasn't on TV." Yes, all that TV drama was ostensibly for nothing, since both girls got their moments in the spotlight. While it's fair to say that a staged version of this story sounds much more interesting than the so-called truth, fans want to keep this tale alive next time Moms in the Dance tries toying with the audience's emotions.
His big stars say it's fake
Dancer Maddie Ziegler became a worldwide sensation after starring in Dancing with the Stars. She demonstrated her abilities for five seasons before taking on an international title for herself as the heroine of Asya's "Chandelier" video. Miller's mom and bandwagon certainly catalyzed Ziegler's career, but despite acknowledging the show's impact on her life, Ziegler also confirmed that more than just dance moves are being performed on the show. “It's hard to do a reality show when there are so many tears and drama. Manufacturers tweak it to make us all yell at each other,” Ziegler told USA Today. “Moms fake sometimes fight. Then they just start talking and laughing about it.”
Even Miller's boss says the show team has gone too far. “They're just spurring people on. They push you to the brink of exhaustion and the brink of going insane," she told TMZ. “I just don't think the show should be played. I think we should just let things happen."
Practice (and reshoots) to make it perfect
When it comes to TV shows and movies, it's not unheard of for scenes to be shot multiple times from different angles, but where does the line lie with reality TV? You may have heard of Kim Kardashian requesting that her marriage proposal to basketball player Kris Humphreys be re-shot for E!'s Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but did you know dance moms are too much, even with actual dance competitions?
According to Radar Online, "everything I've recorded multiple times to ensure the producers got the maximum take for the show. " As a result, the days were long and the young people were often exhausted. The show may air for a 60-minute block, but daily shoots reportedly can last as long as nine hours. The girls allegedly got multiple opportunities to perform dances too in the competition, which definitely doesn't sound fair to other teams. "Dance mom stars got a few chances to perfect their dances," Radar reports. "The other participants in the competitions were allowed only one performance."
Still in denial? Reportedly attended by a reporter from Business International once one of the contests for girls in 2014 and checked the inequality. "I can confirm clicking on [the show] does not represent a typical event," the journalist said. "Not only is the number of participants noticeably less than average...the production and single-handedly pushed back the start time of the competition are awaiting the arrival of the OANRC's group."
The seemingly exhausting pace of life for the dancers on the show raised eyebrows among the audience. The OANRC girls attend a new competition every week and somehow manage to win with honors in the vast majority of them. How do the kids pull off such memorable performances, as well as filming shows, attend school, and try to lead pretty normal lives?
By manipulating reality, of course! From the moment the girls arrive at the competition, the whole stage turns into an organized event. According to the International Business Competition time shown on the program, there is often not enough real competition. "OANRS LA swept the devotion competition 2 dance [season 6] but that's not certain because they were the 'cream'," NTT reports. "Looks like [Miller's] two teams were the only groups to compete. " In the addition of a farce cast, the contestants are reportedly given a reserved seat for the competition, and the crowd's reaction is allegedly staged too, because they were filming separately from the actual performances.
And it turns out like this: bossy Miller, they say, they don't talk much because of the music and choreography that you see on the show. While viewers tune in for a week to watch her coach the girls on a gorgeous routine, the network reportedly selects and approves all of the music and dance featured on the show.
Not all girls are loyal members of the OANRC
If the reality show was going to call itself "Dancing with the Stars", one would assume the dancers and their moms would be full members of the dance studio, but you know what they're saying about assumptions?
The Hilliker dancer has been an asset to the Pennsylvania OANRC studio since she jumped on our TV screens, but you knew she was trained at a club dance studio in Mesa, Arizona. before joining mom in dance and, at the time of this writing, continues to be an active member of the dance club? According to USC Annenberg media, Hilliker only trains with OANRS when filming is shown; during the off-season, she returns to Arizona to resume training with club dances. Ballet dancer Ziegler told the International Business Times that Hilliker "don't go to the [OANRS] studio". Hilliker isn't the only one hiding a dick at the dance moms part of the time. Season 5 addition JoJo Siwa is also reported to train with Miller only during filming.
So why throw these outsiders around? Drama, of course. "These new moms of girls usually start problems with the original mothers, claiming that their kids will keep the spots of the originals," USC Annenberg told media. "Once again, all hell breaks loose."
Fan favorite Mackenzie Ziegler, the younger sister of superstar Maddie Ziegler, is not even a member of OARRC's most elite team. Sis is reportedly just joining Maddie and the rest of the elite squad for filming. "I don't really dance with them," McKenzie told the International Business Times. "I'm dancing with another group, it's completely different." In reality, little Mackenzie spends much of his time with dancers his own age. Sorry guys, photos this time.
No matter how much the dance mom tries to produce suspense, the ratings say viewers can see through the façade and move on. During the show's fifth season, ratings began to drop after several stars, including showgirl Chloe Lukasiak and mom Christy Lukasiak as well as sisters Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler and their mother, Melissa Gisoni. The aforementioned ladies seemed to take a lot of unmissable drama with them as they left.
To stir up interest, the series refocused on a cold, hard dose of truth: the coach's legal troubles. At the time of this writing, she is facing federal charges of fraudulent bankruptcy and money laundering. According to the Post-Gazette of Pittsburgh, Miller is "accused of withholding $755,000 in assets from her television shows from bankruptcy proceedings. The case began after a bankruptcy judge saw her on TV in December 2012 and thought she should be making more than $8.89.9 she claims the monthly income.” The series milked her on TV, producing tears the moment that implied Miller was leaving the show.
All that premonition turned out to be for nothing, however, because Miller didn't miss a beat and was back for season 6, though we can't say the same about the show's ratings. On TV by the numbers (according to online radar) the series' mid-season premiere attracted only 961,000 viewers, a drop from the 1.3 million people who tuned in for the season's premiere, leading many to believe the jig (literally and figuratively) was.
Season 7 debuted in November 2016. Can the cast and crew concoct enough reality to keep audiences coming back? We will keep you informed.
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“Mom, how much am I worth?”. How and why parents make money from children on YouTube
I once read a news story about a six-year-old American who earned $11 million from videos. Glancing at my two-year-old daughter, who was animatedly playing "Turnip" with dolls, I began to figure out in my mind how we would build a house for these 11 million, expand the plot and buy a new car. Even if the earnings are in rubles.
My daughter reads a little, counts to ten, and with due diligence can guess that if you add three to two tangerines, you get five. Can't such a gifted child earn 11 million?
In general, I began to think about the project. And I faced the first big difficulty. It turns out that it is hard to commercially evaluate your child. Here is my daughter and dad putting words out of wooden cubes with letters. Counts each cube and names the letters. While they play, I circle around as a bird of prey and try to guess how many likes this video will get. And then he and his dad assemble a Soviet wooden house from logs. It has real windows, a door, a roof and a porch. Inside, they put a floor lamp, wooden furniture, and seated delightful vintage baby dolls in chairs. The child is delighted, but I keep thinking - is this interesting to people?
Finally I felt ashamed. I remembered how my daughter, having encountered the concept of money and price for the first time, asked right in the store: “Mom, how much do I cost?”.
Tears welled up, I turned off the camera and sat down to play with my family in the house. And I realized that even if I can approach the task calmly and professionally, the moral side of the issue will crush me. Because I will choose games and activities that are interesting not to the child, but to the public.
Who watches videos with children
By the way, it's not so easy with coolness. Judging by how much nonsense with children parents post in pursuit of views and likes, we can conclude that parents, in principle, do not know how to soberly assess the attractiveness and giftedness of their child. Because most of the videos with children are not even funny. There is a video channel on the network where a mother uploads recordings from her six- or seven-year-old son's reading lessons. It can be seen that the child is absolutely mediocre, with undeveloped speech. I didn’t learn to read until such years, but my mother is delighted. The video gets 50-100 views, but the woman still posts them.
There are many such examples, because often parents are sure that their child is of interest in itself. Therefore, they boldly embark on the YouTube business and fill up pages on social networks with photographs of children.
But there is a much more serious problem. Perhaps the main one. For whom are child vloggers recorded? For other kids? I highly doubt it. First, the target audience of these blogs does not sit alone on the Internet. In addition, a significant part of potential viewers can neither read nor write. They don't look for videos themselves. At best, adults should show them. Yes, and children, I repeat, do not particularly like to look at other children. Primary school students already know how to read and write and can even spend some time on their own on the Internet. They can search YouTube videos themselves. But they are not interested in small children. No one enters in the search line: “funny girl”, “like a boy swimming in a bath”, “girls dancing”. This is not typical for children. A child, if he reaches the uncontrolled Internet, will look for his favorite cartoon characters or famous toys.
Who do parents of 3-6 year olds think is looking at their child? We have to be honest - children are filmed for adults
Perhaps some mother will watch a video of a girl playing with a Baby Born doll to decide whether to buy one for her child or not. And why will everyone else look at this girl? Imagine yourself. You are a normal mature person. Are you interested in looking at other people's ordinary children? To me - no. I don’t like and, if possible, unsubscribe on Facebook from friends who constantly post photos of their children. Because basically they are ordinary, unremarkable children. Just like video bloggers. None of the popular juvenile YouTubers surprises with super talents, artistry or ingenuity. These are completely mediocre kids.
I try to imagine myself as a viewer of these video channels and I can't. I don’t find any reason why I would watch videos with someone else’s child raging in a dry pool. And even more so, I see no reason to show them to my daughter.
People are not interested in children. They are interested in brands
The owners of popular children's video channels have found the secret of success. And they realized that children themselves are not interesting. Therefore, kids are filmed with popular brands: cartoon characters, movie characters, toys, kinder surprises, birds from Angry Birds. This is a kind of parasitism on brands. People react not to child bloggers, but to brands. You don't have to be smart and talented, you don't have to be developed and speak well - put an egg next to it filled with Be-be-bears figurines and views are guaranteed.
This is exactly how it works. Children, I repeat, are not very interested in looking at other children. But they will look at Be-be-bears or the famous doll with joy.
Most child video bloggers are from wealthy families. All popular video channels for children are about excesses and luxury. They have several rooms of toys, they buy new and expensive amusements. These kids are selling fairy tales to other people. First of all, adults and, with rare exceptions, teenagers. For some reason, a person wants to look at someone else's kingdom of abundance and permissiveness. And this fairy tale is the main product that the owners of children's video channels earn.
YouTube is full of videos of unusual, talented or simply very beautiful children. But they are not looked at. A channel about a child who fluently reads prose stories at the age of three can count on 10,000 subscribers. Videos with three-year-old Polina Simonova, a really developed girl, artistic and loving to cook, rarely collect more than 100 thousand views. Despite the fact that Polina was in the program with Maxim Galkin. This is because Polina does not show luxury, but lives in an ordinary Russian family.
… And luxury is also interesting (and not only)
Or maybe Polina's parents just don't invest a lot of money in blog promotion. YouTube today is an ultra-competitive environment. It is unlikely to become famous there in an instant. Millions of views are regularly received by those who invest money and efforts in advertising and promotion. Roughly speaking, the price of entering this business has become very high. Therefore, if you posted several videos on the network where your angelic-looking child at the age of four reads words in reverse in English, and there are still no viewers, this does not mean that your child is not interested. This means that the parents of the other child have money. Therefore, the top rating of children's video channels was occupied by unremarkable boys and girls, who differ from their peers only in access to expensive toys.
No, really. I carefully watched several videos of each of the approximately 20 most popular YouTubers in Russia. And among them I did not find a single talented or well-developed child. Not all of them are in any way artistic. Most speak mediocre. Children under seven years of age have problems with articulation. They should go to a speech therapist, not make money. Older children would do well to read and talk more - they have syntactically primitive and grammatically incorrect speech.
And there is one more thing. Most worrisome. Many maternal video bloggers have an ambiguous popularity. For example, one of the most popular genres is children's bathing: in water, in swelling balls, in soap bubbles, in foam rubber, in toys. One popular three-four-year-old vlogger filmed in panties in the bathroom or pool. And unlike the video where this boy plays doctor or takes apart toys, his videos in panties alone have 2-4 million views.
Who looks at naked children in a bath or pool? Children are of little interest. Healthy adults too. Once, a very, very long time ago, in my journalistic work, I watched a recording from the place of detention of a recidivist pedophile. And I saw that when the security forces came for him, he had a video with a popular TV presenter on his computer screen. This woman, although beautiful and famous, is no longer young and does not look like an object of desire for a pedophile. Yes, and they showed something primitive - like a culinary show. I became curious what was the matter. I found the full entry on the internet. It turned out that her 11-year-old daughter starred in that story along with the TV presenter. And I learned the rule for the rest of my life: when you show your child to the public, always think who will admire him.
It's hard to say how video popularity will affect a child. Most likely, the child's friends and sandbox colleagues will not know about his Internet career, because even after watching the video on YouTube, the children still will not appreciate the fame of their friend. If you do not drag him to different TV shows, he may not understand for a long time that he is famous and earns money.