How much of dance moms is scripted

Is the Show Scripted? The Cast Reveals the Truth

When Lifetime first thought of the concept for Dance Moms, they had no idea that it would be so successful. But for 8 seasons, fans were absolutely enamored with the talented dancers, their mothers, and the inevitable drama the show fostered. Because the show was so incredibly volatile, fans have often questioned if the show was real or fake. But is the popular reality TV show scripted? The cast got candid about the truth.

Dance Moms Season 2 cast | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Is ‘Dance Moms’ scripted?

Most shows that are branded as “reality” have a scripted component. However, Dance Moms is unique in that the original cast didn’t get a script. Because almost all of the original cast knew each other for years prior to the show filming, they had a history with one another that created natural drama, especially in the early seasons.

The cast got candid about if the show is real or fake

Back in 2020, Holly Hatcher-Frazier, Melissa Gisoni, Kelly Hyland, and Jill Vertes gave a joint interview about their experiences on the show. In the interview, Hatcher-Frazier and Gisoni revealed that Dance Moms fans are constantly questioning them about whether the show was real or fake. “I will say no one ever handed me a script,” Hatcher-Frazier shared with Entertainment Tonight.

RELATED: ‘Dance Moms’: Nia Sioux Reflects on Being the Only Black Girl in the Cast

But even though the show wasn’t scripted there were elements that were fabricated or enhanced. The producers would often do clever editing to make the show more interesting. Furthermore, the producers were very skilled at mapping out a storyline and doing everything in their power to manipulate the cast into delivering the storyline that they wanted.

How the ‘Dance Moms’ producers set the cast up

“We never got a script but they knew what they wanted every week and they would set you up,” Gisoni revealed, speaking about the producers of Dance Moms. “That’s really what reality shows are you know.” “The producers would have three storylines that they really manipulated us to get to,” Vertes shared, echoing her long-time friend.

RELATED: ‘Dance Moms’: A Video of Abby Lee Miller Dancing Has Been Unearthed

By listening in on the cast’s conversations, the producers were able to get tons of information that would help feed the narrative that they created. Furthermore, in many instances, it was the producers (not Abby Lee Miller) who controlled who got solos, duos, and trios and determined where the dancers fell on the pyramid. This was another tactic that was used to create drama and heighten already existing tension.

In many ways ‘Dance Moms’ was just like any other reality TV show

While Dance Moms may not be a scripted show, it was still highly produced just like any other reality TV show. Fans need only to look at deleted scenes to see that not everyone was represented accurately. Furthermore, the cast (especially the dancers) had a lot more fun times together that never made it to the screen. Dance Moms may not have been fake, but it wasn’t entirely real either.

What The Dance Moms Cameras Didn't Show You


By Meg Walters/Aug. 7, 2020 5:20 pm EST

Ever since Dance Moms first aired on Lifetime in 2011, people have been hooked on the addictive and super dramatic reality show. And, as fans of the series know, the tiny dancers featured on Dance Moms have gone on to enjoy wildly successful careers after leaving the studio. 

Dance Moms follows young dancers — and, of course, the moms of said dancers — as they navigate the crazy world of competitive dance. Even a casual viewer of the show can attest that life at the Abby Lee Dance Company (or ALDC) is always eventful. From the legendary cat fights between the titular dance moms, to the emotional outbursts of the young girls, as well as Miller's dramatic, made-for-reality-TV tirades — every episode of this show is packed with drama.

But what about all of the drama that never makes it to the screen? As it turns out, some of Dance Moms funniest bloopers — as well as the most controversial moments from the famous Abby Lee Dance Company — were never actually shown on the screen. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at everything the cameras didn't show you on Dance Moms.

Dance Moms' famous dance pyramid segment could take hours to film


Even though Dance Moms was a reality show, some bits took quite a long time to film — much longer, in fact, than it would have taken in real life! 

For instance, the regular Dance Moms pyramid segment reportedly took two to three hours to film on average — even though the actual segment only seemed like a few minutes to viewers. In a 2019 video, former Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak confessed that the segment could actually  be pretty harrowing to film. "When pyramid started, that took about . .. I wanna say on average two hours to film," Lukasiak claimed. She explained that this lengthy filming time took its toll on the girls. Added Chloe, "Imagine standing there for two hours listening to your dance teacher talk — and most of the time she's telling five out six children however horrible they are!" 

Apparently, the long hours led to children and moms getting annoyed, which Lukasiak believes naturally led to even more fights and drama between them. That certainly makes sense to us!

The kids had to audition to be on Dance Moms


The drama on Dance Moms — as is the case for the majority of reality shows on the market –was somewhat orchestrated by producers. However, what many people may not realize is that the Dance Moms cast was carefully selected to appear on the show. 

While one might think the girls (and mothers) featured on the show just happened to be members of Abby Lee Miller's dance studio, the girls actually had to go through an audition process to get their places on the team.  Payton Ackerman, one of the former dancers from the show, opened up about how she and her mom wound up on our screens. 

In a candid video, Payton said that the producers asked various girls to film their everyday lives before they attended interviews with their moms. While Payton's dance team audition didn't impress Abby, Payton explained that the producers loved her mom's dramatic outburst so much that they put them on the show as regulars. 

Payton Ackerman claims she was made to look like a villain in the Dance Moms editing room


Payton Ackerman joined Dance Moms in Season 2 when she was 15 years old (via Woman's Day). And it wasn't long before Payton and her mom were quickly established as the new "bad guys" of the Abby Lee Dance Company universe.

In a 2018 YouTube video, Payton revealed the truth about her time on the show. According to the Dance Moms star, the producers of the show were careful to portray the dancer and her mom in a very specific light. "They immediately made us look like the bad people," Payton claimed. She continued, explaining, "You know, like the crazy ones, the bullies, all that stuff." Apparently, according to Payton, some of her interviews were even edited to twist the meaning of what she'd said!

Eventually, Payton started to find the pressure of being portrayed as a bully too much to handle, and she took a step back from filming. "It got to the point where I was getting death threats," she explained.

Some situations were definitely staged on Dance Moms


The team behind Dance Moms always knew how to stir up the drama to create must-watch reality TV — and they weren't afraid to use every trick in the book. 

In addition to the producers twisting reality in order to paint Payton Ackerman and her mother as villains, it seems producers also used their influence to create some other select situations. As Payton said in her confessional video, "They set up situations that might have not actually happened, which causes a reaction.

Nia Sioux also opened up about how certain elements of the show were staged, revealing in a YouTube video, "We had producers, we had things that happened that we didn't control and that people kind of manipulated." However, Nia went on to clarify that the show was never scripted despite having the occasional setup. While we'll probably never know what was real and what was fake, it's pretty clear that Dance Moms viewers should watch the show with a cautious eye and take everything they see onscreen with a grain of salt.

The girls were tutored together while filming Dance Moms


Dance Moms wasn't just fun, games, dancing, and drama! After all, the girls still had homework to do.

As it turns out, filming a reality TV show takes a lot of time — which means there's not much time left for school! However, according to the Dance Moms stars, the young dancers all did their schoolwork together in a doctor's office across the street from the Abby Lee Dance Company studio. As Chloe Lukasiak explained, the girls all used a nearby doctor's office as their "base camp." The office served as a space for breaks, lunch, interviews, and tutoring. According to former Dance Moms star, JoJo Siwa, confirmed that after morning classes and lunch in the base camp, the girls all head to the studio, or "set," as JoJo called it, to film.

Nia Sioux also spoke about the bizarre schooling setup. "We shared a school teacher across many grade levels," Nia said. She continued, recalling, "It's really funny — we all just shared this one tutor for seven years." 

Abby Lee Miller was actually worse when the Dance Moms cameras were off


As Dance Moms know all too well, no one wants to be on the receiving end of the terror and fury of Abby Lee Miller. 

The dance teacher is famous for her super tough approach to teaching the dancers — and her explosive tantrums and tirades are practically legendary. It would be hard to imagine Abby being any worse than she is on the show; however, according to some of the dancers, the cameras didn't always show their teacher's worst outbursts. In an interview with Studio 10, the Dance Moms cast confirmed that Miller's attitude wasn't only real, it was actually toned down for the show. "She would be worse when the cameras weren't around," Jill Vertes, one of the moms said. Jill continued, explaining that Abby toned it down "because she really doesn't want everybody to hate her."

According to Nia Sioux, some of Abby's rages were even edited out. Nia revealed, "There were some things that they couldn't air actually, because they were a little hard." No wonder the kids were apparently "traumatized" by the dance teacher.

The dance solos on Dance Moms weren't actually being judged


Many Dance Moms episodes ended with the team taking part in a dance competition, during which viewers got to see the girls perform their solos and group numbers in front of judges before receiving their scores — and, occasionally, their trophies.  

While everything looked pretty ordinary on screen, the competition dances were far from organic. Instead, former Dance Moms stars insist that even the competitions were set up by the show's producers.

Nia Sioux revealed in a YouTube video that the dances viewers saw on Dance Moms weren't actually the real dances that were judged. Apparently, the girls had to do every dance twice — once for the judges, and once for the cameras. "The second time, not for judging, the judges even leave the room," Nia explained. She continued, saying, "It's just for the cameras so that they can get shots and angles." While Sioux's revelation about the false nature of the competition dances does kind of ruin the illusion of the show, it's easy to see why they'd need to film some of the dances again from different perspectives. 

Dance Moms' Kelly Hyland was arrested after her blowout with Abby Lee Miller


Dance Moms had plenty of incredibly dramatic moments during its time on air. However, some made more of a splash than others. 

In one of the biggest rows in Dance Moms history, Kelly Hyland, Brooke and Paige Hyland's mom, had a massive yelling match with Abby Lee Miller. At one point during the confrontation, Kelly even slapped Abby across the face and yanked on her hair. Apparently, the famous Season 4 fight was so bad that it actually resulted in an assault lawsuit. However, the case wasn't quite as cut and dry as it might appear (via CBS). According to Kelly's attorney, Kelly claimed that she had been encouraged to hit Abby by the show's producers. "It was part of the script," she explained. 

According to ABC News, Kelly was still ultimately charged with assault and ordered to "stay away from [Abby]." For anyone questioning the high tensions on the show, it seems that the "made-for-TV" drama was real enough to result in a shockingly dramatic (and very real) court case.

Dance Moms' Kalani Hilliker was never a part of Abby Lee Miller's studio


Apparently, Dance Moms fibbed about the origins of some of its young dance stars.

Dancer Kalani Hilliker first appeared on Dance Moms in 2014 (via IMDb). However, unlike the other young dancers on the show, Hilliker wasn't actually a student at the Abby Lee Dance Company. This was revealed in 2014, when Melissa Gisoni and her daughters Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler appeared on Afterbuzz TV to reveal some little known facts about the show. The family explained that because Kalani lived in Arizona, she was only ever at the studio for the filming — and not because she was attending a class taught by Abby Lee Miller.

According to Melissa and her dancing daughters, the producers created fake groups of dancers for the sake of the show. In fact, Mackenzie didn't actually dance with the other girls in real life, as she was too young. It certainly seems like the version of reality viewers were fed was a bit further from the truth than Dance Moms ever let on.

The pyramid system was actually invented by the Dance Moms producers


As diehard Dance Moms fans know, one of the most iconic regular sequences in the show was the pyramid scene used to start off each episode. The harsh rating system always seemed like an obvious thing for a cutthroat teacher like Abby Lee Miller to inflict upon her students. However, the setup was actually invented by the show's producers — not by Abby.

Dance Moms' Chloe Lukasiak revealed how it all began in a YouTube video, explaining that pyramid began as "chalkboard." Chloe went on to say, "No, we never did pyramid before the show." The former Dance Moms star joked that it would have been a ridiculous system to do with no cameras around, saying, "It's not a normal thing to do." Chloe continued to sarcastically mock the pyramid ranking system, saying in a mocking tone, "Let's rank children and tell them how terrible they are. [...] It's so healthy."

Of course, Chloe makes a good point! That pyramid segment must have been seriously traumatic for the kids, especially if it was only being done for the sake of the show's drama.

The Dance Moms producers tried to encourage drama whenever they could


A few Dance Moms stars have confessed that the show's most dramatic and unforgettable scenes were nearly always encouraged by the producers.  

According to Camryn Bridges, who appeared on Season 8 of Dance Moms, the producers told the moms they had to fight if they wanted to get paid. She went on to explain that the producers were "mean sometimes," and would instigate fights amongst the moms by spreading rumors and gossip. "It is very heavily produced," Camryn confessed in a YouTube video.

Maddie Ziegler also spoke about the production team to USA Today. "The producers set it up to make us all yell at each other," she explained. Maddie continued, revealing, "The moms have a fake fight sometimes. Afterward they just start talking and laugh about it." Of course, anyone who has watched Dance Moms can probably see for themselves that the fights are a little too intense and much too frequent to be 100 percent genuine and organic in nature. 

Camryn Bridges and Kamyrn Smith experienced racism on Dance Moms


Dance Moms rarely touched upon the topic of racism during its television run; however, it's always been clear that racial tensions ran high at the Abby Lee Dance Company.  

Since leaving the show, some of Dance Moms' Black cast members have opened up about the discrimination and racist treatment they received while filming. In 2020, Adriana Smith — mom to dancer Kamryn Smith — took to Instagram to explain her experience on the show. According to the mom, Abby Lee Miller once told her, "I know you grew up in the [hood] with only a box of [eight] crayons, but I grew up in the Country Club with a box of 64 ... Don't be stupid."

Apparently, Camryn Bridges also found Abby's treatment to be discriminatory. In 2019, Camryn explained in a YouTube video how Abby once made an undeniably racist comment in class. "One time she told me that the bottom of my feet looked weird because the top of my feet were brown and the bottom were white and none of the other people's were like that," Camryn revealed. However, these undeniably racist comments never made it to air.

Abby Lee Miller claims Maddie Ziegler was set up to forget her routine in one memorable Dance Moms episode


In one of Dance Moms' most famous scenes, Maddie Ziegler, who was famously Abby Lee Miller's favorite student, broke down in the middle of a performance after forgetting her routine. According to Abby, however, the moment was all set up by producers of the show. 

Abby wrote about the incident in her book, Everything I Learned In Life, I Learned In Dance Class "They set the ball in motion at the beginning of the week so that Maddie didn't have enough studio time to finish learning her solo," Abby explained (via Radar Online). Apparently, Ziegler was sent out of the studio while she was learning the routine, which meant she had to learn the rest of it the morning of her performance.

According to Abby, the cameraman on the same episode "didn't know what he was doing," and caused four other kids to forget their routines. It seems the production team's influence went a little too far during this upsetting moment.

The Dance Moms dancers only got to be "normal" kids one night per week


Dance Moms stars are no strangers to hard work and long hours.

With school, dance classes, competitions, and filming on their plates, it's hard to imagine that the kids of Dance Moms had time to do, well, much of anything that "normal" kids had time to do!  In a YouTube video, Chloe Lucasiak confirmed that the dancers didn't have much time for anything other than dance. According to Chloe, all of the dancers' time was taken up by schoolwork or dancing — aside from Saturday evenings, which was their only real "day" off. 

"We would watch movies, we would give each other massages, crazy makeup tutorials," Chloe revealed, explaining how she and her fellow dancers spent their time off. She continued, saying, "That was like our one night of the week where we really got to be kids." As fun as that sounds, having only one night off after a huge competition day doesn't seem like quite enough time for young kids to truly kick back, unwind, and just be young. 

How old is Maddie in Dance Moms season 1? –

Usually considered Abby's favorite on Dance Moms, Maddie began performing on the show at age 8 in the Competition Begins section. By 2014, when she was 11 years old, Maddie landed the lead role in Sia's "Chandelier" video, one of the most viewed videos in history.

Second, how old was Nia Siu in the first season? Season 1 1

Beginning of the season End of season
Nia 9 10
Page 10 10
Vivi-Anne 6 No
Average age 8. 71 9.66

however Why does Sia use Maddie?

Regarding the lead cast (yes, the main character is called Music), Sia initially stated that she originally "tried to work with a beautiful young girl, non-verbal on the spectrum", but because the character was too demanding for the person in question speech, she changed her plans and chose Maddie Ziegler.

Who is the youngest dance mom?

While in Dance Moms, Mackenzie has always been the youngest dancer on the team. She was often pressured by Abby and Melissa to follow in her older sister Maddie's footsteps.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse or Madness - Loop.

g Mackenzie Ziegler
Gender: F
Date of birth: June 4, 2004
Age: 17
Main: Murrysville, PA

And yet, how did Sia find Maddie?

Maddie Ziegler reveals how she first met Sia

Sensing Ziegler's talent and stage presence, Sia contacted the dancer on Twitter to see if she would be interested in starring in her Chandelier video. In a recent interview with SBJCT magazine, Ziegler recalled the tweet that ended up changing the course of her life.


Who has been on Dance Moms the longest?

Nia Su. The UCLA student was an early member of the ALDC and remained with the team until the seventh season of Dance Mom, making her the longest running dancer in the reality show.

Why aren't Maddie and Abby talking?

“We don't keep in touch,” the former Dance Moms star admitted. Abby Lee underwent spinal surgery in June 2018 while also battling Burkitt's lymphoma. And while Maddie is unaware of her former teacher's day-to-day health issues, she had some kind words for Abby Lee.

Maddie Ziegler adopted?

I just love her like a mother, I love her as if she were mine.” The singer, who recently revealed that she adopted two 18-year-olds last year, added that Maddie “feels like my first child even though she was 11.

Maddie Ziegler and Chloe Lukasiak are friends?

Dance Moms fans will remember that Maddie and Chloe had a very close friendship in the first few seasons of the show. The couple had known each other for years before the show began filming and often performed as a duet.

Vivi Stein adopted?

Vivi-Anne Quinn Nesbitt-Stein is a dancer at the Candy Apple Dance Center. Vivi-Anne Stein is the adopted daughter of Kathy Nesbitt Stein and Mike Stein. Vivi-Anne was born on September 11, 2004. Vivi-Anne did not become a US citizen until she entered elementary school.

Who is the most beautiful dance mom?

1. Holly. What's this? Holly is undoubtedly the best mom on the show.

Who is Abby's favorite dancer?

One of the first things that became apparent in Dance Moms was how much Abby Lee Miller liked Maddie Ziegler. She gave her more solos and constantly put her at the top of the rating pyramid.

Are Sia and Maddie still friends?

Of course, Ziegler's relationship with Sia went far beyond the professional. Today, the couple consider each other family, and Sia is Ziegler's godmother. The "Move Your Body" singer bought the dancer a car and even paid for her 24/7 security, as she feels responsible for Ziegler's fame.

What is Maddie's net worth?

As of 2022, Maddie Zeigler's net worth is $5 million.

Net Worth: $5 million
Date of birth: September 30, 2002
Country of origin: United States of America
Source of wealth: Professional dancer
Last update: 2021

• March 31, 2022

Is ALDC still open in 2021?

On the studio's official website, both locations are currently open and enrolling for the fall semester. In line with COVID-19 precautions, the studio has put in place protocols, including maintaining a 6-foot distance between students and requiring masks to be worn in the building except during class.

Why wasn't Mackenzie on Turn up the track?

The contract did not promise that McKenzie would receive the highest pay, nor did it state that the video would say "featuring McZ". From the video, it appears that Mackenzie was removed from the music video along with Kendall for an unknown reason.

Chloe went to see Joffrey?

Even in the second season, Chloe danced in the hearts of the judges. She won a scholarship to the world famous Joffrey Ballet School. With her ballet ability, Chloe was one step ahead of the rest of her teammates.

How many dance moms are scripted?

Despite the fact that the producers provoked or staged very emotional and controversial scenes, Maddy maintained that all the drama revolving around the competition is 100 percent authentic. “It's really real. We have a really crazy competitive life,” she continued.

Abby Lee Miller?

Abigail Lee Miller (born September 21, 1965) is an American dance teacher, choreographer, television host, and convicted con artist. She is the founder of the dance company Abby Lee, who appeared on the reality show Dance Moms for eight seasons.

Abby Lee Miller
Active years 1980 present

Who are the children of the dancing mother still friends with?

While most of the girls had periods when they didn't talk much, Chloe revealed that she now talks to the members of the original Dance Moms on a regular basis. Maddie, Mackenzie, Nia and Chloe see each other more often because they all live in Los Angeles.

Are JoJo and Abby still friends?

Is Chloe still a dancer?

And yes, fans. She is still dancing! They grow up so fast! Fan favorite Dance Moms documented her prom on Instagram in 2019, promising to be active on YouTube all summer long.

Are Chloe and Maddie still talking?

While most of the girls had periods when they didn't talk much, Chloe revealed that she now talks to the members of the original Dance Moms on a regular basis. Maddie, Mackenzie, Nia and Chloe see each other more often because they all live in Los Angeles.

Vivi-Anne still dancing?

Is she still dancing? The teenager still dances for his mom and former rival of Abby Lee's dance company, the Candy Apple Dance Center in Ohio, at her own studio. She is set to play Clara in an upcoming production of The Nutcracker.

Mother's Day Festive Party for 4-5 year olds Warm Hearts Open0001

To the music of the song “Mom is the first word”, children enter the hall and stand in a semicircle, perform dance movements.

Presenter 1: Good evening, our dear guests! It was not by chance that we gathered on this November day in our cozy hall. Indeed, it is in November that the warmest, dearest to the heart of every person, holiday is celebrated - Mother's Day!

Children (in chorus): We start the holiday,

Congratulations to all our mothers today!

Be beautiful, kind, sweet,

Always give us happy smiles!

(Children sit on chairs).

Presenter 2: In honor of a wonderful holiday, we have prepared for you a special channel "Warmth of Hearts for Dear Moms". So, the news is on the air. Watch live broadcast from the music hall. And the first report is our poetry page. Now poems will be heard for you, dear mothers, and the children themselves composed them.

(Young poets enter the stage and stand in a semicircle).

1 child: This holiday is the most gentle

Comes to us in November.

This is a holiday - the day of loved ones,

Dear all our mothers.

2nd child: Dear Mom!

You are the most beautiful!

I love you,

Give you a kiss!

3rd child: I love you, dear mother!

You are with me always and everywhere!

Mom - you are my sun,

I say, "Thank you!"

4th child: Mom! How many in this word

Sun, light and heat.

Mom! There is no you dearer,

You gave me life!

5th child: Mommy, I love you,

I sing a merry song for you.

My best mother,

I am the happiest person in the world with you!

6 child: Morning comes, I wake up,

I see my mother's happy eyes.

Immediately the day becomes more joyful, brighter.

Everything in the world works out for me with my mommy!

7th child: My beloved mother,

My mommy is beautiful!

I love my mother very much,

I give her the whole world!

8 child: Mom's favorite,

We are friends!

Let you please

My song!

(All children go out and stand in a semicircle)

Song "Everyone will congratulate his mother in his own way"

Presenter 2: And now we are starting the program "School of Magic Drawing". On the eve of the holiday, the children and I drew portraits of mothers. Today this exhibition is in front of you. And now we will hold a competition "Recognize yourself and your artist by the portrait."

(Moms go to the easels and choose a portrait).

Presenter 1: And we continue our program and invite you to play the game "Guess the melody".

And the game today is extraordinary,

You will certainly guess everything!

There will be non-folk, non-round dance songs,

And children, known to everyone.

We ask mothers to come on stage, and the children will help them.

Presenter 2: And now, dear mothers, answer this question: how much do you like to cook? I asked this not by chance, since now is the time of the broadcast of the Smak TV show. We invite three mothers to the stage. You are invited to show with gestures, facial expressions how you cook. What is a secret for now. Our children will guess what is delicious you cook.

(Moms are given leaflets on which it is written what they must show).

Presenter 1: You both sang and played,

But we haven't danced for a long time.

We invite you, friends,

On the program "Dancing with the Stars".

(Dance to the soundtrack of the song “Colorful Game”).

Presenter 2: And now the program "So far, everyone is at home."

(Children stand in a circle and hold on to the ribbons - the rays of the hoop - the sun).

Children in chorus: The sun is bright, you shine for us,

The sun is bright, mom you call us.

The sun is bright - my mommy!

Bright sun made each one for you!

(Children congratulate their mothers and give them hand-made suns from salt dough).

Presenter 1: Our broadcast is coming to an end. Let's listen to the weather forecast for tomorrow.

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