Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dance Moms: Annual Dance Recital

It's been way too long since we've discussed what's REALLY important in life:  Dance Moms.  I haven't really been able to see every episode so far of this season, but here's a quick update; all the moms are still crazy and Jill's a blond.  Okay, we're caught up.  In this most recent episode, Abby starts off by saying this week the girls won't be competing, but they will be performing in the annual Abby Lee Dance Company concert.  It does seem like a legitimately large production, considering all the dance classes she does, but what I want to know is, if this show is so big and important, why are the girls just learning their dance the Monday of that week?  Surely that's just bad editing, right?  And they've been working on this for awhile?  You'd think for a concert that size, the last week would be dress rehearsals and finishing touches as far as logistics and lighting and costume changes.  Not learning an ENTIRELY new dance.  Not to mention that Abby just casually mentions they'll be doing every dance they've performed that season.  HUH?!  SURELY NOT, RIGHT?!  I mean, these girls go to a different competition every week and do a brand new number each time.  Then there's always like 3 solo numbers and maybe a trio.  If they're performing EVERY number, how freaking long is this concert, like 6 days?!

So anyways, concert rehearsal is underway, and Abby has decided to have the girls do a hip hop number.  Everyone seems a bit baffled, since admittedly this group is much more classically trained, but since that's what Abby wants, that's what they'll do for the recital.

At some point we're re-introduced to Peyton's mom, Leslie.  In case you've forgotten which one she is, she's the hefty blond who's also borderline psychotic.  She runs into Jill in the parking lot (after they both do a terrible job of parking) and takes full advantage of the rolling cameras to just start spouting out secrets of all the other moms.  Even Jill, who's pretty imbalanced, seems uncomfortable with everything that's being said.  How long had Leslie been holding onto that story about Melissa taking Leslie to meet her new boyfriend on Halloween?  And could anyone else follow that story?  I really tried to pay attention, but I just couldn't.  I also don't buy that Peyton was trick-or-treating with Maddie and Mackenzie.  She's like 5 years older than them!  Doesn't that girl have any friends her own age/size????

I'm also very confused about why Leslie is so mad at Jill for coming back to Abby's studio.  She keeps yelling at her things like "Go find another place for your daughter to dance!" and "Why would you put your daughter through all this???".  I'm sure she thinks her screams are constructive and helpful, but they're quite aggressive.  Also, keep in mind she's just dropped off her daughter for practice at Abby's.

I really love how Cathy's playing up these mysterious tickets to Abby's concert.  She keeps saying "I wonder who gave these to me.  I don't know where I got them!"  I'm pretty sure they were just handed to you from a producer, Cathy.
By the way, Cathy, can we PLEASE get a quick update on how your husband's jerky store is doing?  I'd love to hear if that's in the black yet.

Back to rehearsals at Abby's, we see she is VERY upset at the girls for not being very good at their hip-hop dance.  To prove how "bad" they are, she brings in Peyton to do a some moves and prove how good she is at it.  I honestly don't understand why she's made this so difficult.  If you want a hip hop routine in the show, have Peyton's group do it, not that group that isn't as good at it.  This is totally within your control, Abby.  That'd be like if Jacob asked me to make homemade bread like his mom does and I said "I really don't want to.  Your mom's is better and I don't know how to make it."  But then he made me and when it came out tasting terrible, he was like "Why does this bread taste bad??  Here, taste my mom's so you know how bad yours is."  I get it dude, I said I couldn't do this when we started the whole thing.  If you want homemade bread, get your mom to make it.  I mean, it's not the greatest analogy, but the whole situation seems like pointless drama to me.

Peyton's mom easily wins the award for the most obnoxious mom.  Her criticism of Paige dancing while injured is really annoying.  Here's the breakdown for you Leslie, since you seem so confused by the whole thing:  Paige's foot is broken, so she can't dance.  Her mom (Kelly) said she could be in the number if she was in the back and only moved her upper body.  Somehow the choreographers didn't get that memo and they had Paige dancing and now her foot is jacked, so Kelly is pulling Paige out of the number to prevent more damage to her foot.  Capiche?  Leslie just keeps screaming about Paige being at rehearsal and being in the number and really isn't listening to anyone's explanation.  At one point, even Paige tries to speak up to say that she tried to tell the instructors at rehearsal she wasn't allowed to use her feet, but Leslie completely shuts her down, yelling "I didn't hear you!" 
NO.  You're not gonna yell at a 12 year old.  Not okay.  Plus, she probably didn't hear Paige because 1) she wasn't on stage with the dancers and instructors and 2) She was probably in the middle of screaming about someone else's business.

Okay I'm really really confused about what's happening here with Kelly.  She and Leslie were fighting about Paige, and Kelly stormed off and now they're all saying she's quit the studio for good??  Are they sure that's what she was doing?  I just figured she left early because Leslie is annoying and Paige is injured so she's not in the concert anymore.  This seems like it's getting waaaaaaaaaaaaaay blown out of proportion.  OKAY AND NOW THE MOMS ARE ALL IN A BAR.  What is happening?!?!!?!?!  Why are they all going out together to celebrate?  And are they at a gay bar?  Because none of these guys look straight.  Or of legal drinking age.  They're saying they are celebrating because they're excited that Leslie won't be coming back.  Huh?  I thought they just said Kelly was the one who quit?  I'M SO CONFUSED.


So it's the next day of rehearsals and Brooke and Paige are back, obviously.  Why did everyone think that was her quitting for good when she stormed out?  That happens like once per episode where the moms fight with each other and/or Abby and storm out yelling "I'm done!!  I'm not going to put my daughter through this!"  And then they're always back the next day.

Oh boy.  Cathy is showing up with her goon squad to take notes on what she doesn't like about Abby's concert...super classy.  And of course she's brought Vivi, who looks like she's been heavily medicated in order to sit through the whole recital.

YOU GUYS.   The outfits for this hip hop number remind me SO MUCH of the episode of Full House where Stephanie dances to Motown Philly.


Such a great episode.  So complex.  In fact, let's just take a minute to break this whole thing down.  So here's whats happening in the episode.  Stephanie has started going to dance classes and of course she's a natural.  She's like Maddie--she's the standout student in the class and she gets featured in all the group dances because of her natural talent.   Pretty early on in the episode, we're clued into the pressure Danny is putting on Stephanie to be some hot shot dancer.  So as she's limbering up backstage for the big performance, her dad comes back to tell her that some guy from some hot shot dance school has come to watch her dance (pervert) and if he's impressed, she'll be accepted into this summer dance program.  Stephanie, feeling her personal freedom slipping away as dance takes a firmer grip on her life, says "all summer?  So I'll spend my whole summer dancing?"  Danny, oblivious to his daughter's hesitations and desires to just have a hobby and not take dancing so seriously, reaffirms that the school will basically consume her entire summer/life.  Disappointed, but unsure how to say no to her dad, who's proud of her for once in her life (middle child syndrome), Stephanie takes the stage and quickly butchers the dance moves, thus screwing over her whole dance group.  She runs off stage, unable to finish.  Bit of foreshadowing (laziness?) on the producer's part here, because this is not the first time she messes up, ruins the group's dynamic and runs off stage during a performance.  Go here to watch her murder a classic song.  Okay, so anyways, Stephanie runs offstage and is joined by the rest of her dance group and her dad in an attempt to console her.  She confesses that she messed up on purpose because she doesn't want to go to dance school over the summer because dance is becoming too demanding.  Despite being pretty sneaky and manipulative about it, rather than just telling her dad originally that she didn't want to do the summer thing, everyone understands Steph's motivation and forgives her.  Still jazzed about the routine (and who wouldn't be in those hats!?), the group decides to give it a second shot and of course they totally dominate. 
A few things I'd like to say about this dance number. 
  • I went to pull this video up and remembered EVERY SINGLE MOVE.  Looks like someone else (me) has a natural dancing ability.  
  • [0:17]  Danny looking over at the talent scout from the dance school is creepy.  Dude, Stephanie said no.  
  • [0:30]  That Medusa/Wax On-Wax Off move is pretty good.  
  • [0:38]  I know Michelle is still really little but she SUCKS at clapping.  Obviously Stephanie is the only one in the family with any rhythm.  That must kill Uncle Jesse since he makes his living as a musician. Yep, still know the words to the whole song.  It's cool, I had it on my iPod for awhile. 
  • [0:46]  That booty shake move is pretty legit.  If I were a club-goer, I'd totally steal that.
  • [0:59]  Let's all re-watch that move that goes with the line "kickin it just for you."  I honestly can't tell if Stephanie is WAY off the beat, kicks much too high, or if everyone else just doesn't kick.  I've watched it like six times and I'm just so distracted by how off it seems that I can't focus.  
  • I wish they'd done a dance to the whole song.  Motown Philly is probably one of the greatest songs of the 90's.  They paid for the rights to the song.  Get your money's worth, Full House!!!
Okay so what were we originally talking about?  Dance Moms?  Yeah, I don't even care about that anymore because all I want to do is breakdown episodes of Full House.  But anyways, back to Dance Moms I guess.

During Abby's concert, they keep cutting to Cathy, who's full of hilarious and what I'm sure she thinks are scathing critiques on the recital.  "No backdrops!?" she manages to scoff, with REPULSION on her face. That's awesome.  Hilarious and awesome.

At some point, while they're showing all the dances happening at the concert, we see a snippet of Maddie doing a solo, dressed as a mailman.  That's weird, right?

The concert is over and there are A LOT of people crying, both on stage and in the audience.  Did we miss something?  What's happening here?

Okay I take that back, because Nia winning that scholarship almost made me cry, for real.  So proud of her!!

 Abby and Cathy meet up after the show, and it's deliciously awkward because Abby's clearly PISSED that Cathy showed up, but doesn't want to sound bad in front of prospective students and their parents.  It comes out that Jill invited Cathy and her crew to come watch the show to "see how well Kendall fits in."  Which seems exceptionally strange, especially considering how mad that would make Abby.  She's still trying to get on Abby's good side, right?  So what is the matter with her?!  I do feel kinda bad for Abby, because Cathy is obviously just trying to poach some new recruits from the crowd.  If I were Abby, I wouldn't care who was watching, I'd kick her the heck out.
And don't come back, know what I mean?


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