Dance Moms’ tears, tantrums spill Down Un­der

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - TIF­FANY DUNK NA­TIONAL TV EDITOR

When Abby Lee Miller and her elite dance team came to Aus­tralia ear­lier this year, they brought the TV cam­eras along.

And now we’re get­ting to see all the tears, tem­per tantrums and tattle tales that also came with them in a two-part spe­cial. Or came along with Miller to be more pre­cise.

The con­tro­ver­sial dance in­struc­tor told Switched On that dur­ing her visit pro­duc­ers goaded her into get­ting an­gry by “mak­ing the moth­ers be dis­re­spect­ful to me”. But she in­sists her harsh teach­ing meth­ods are all part of the se­cret to her for­mula for cre­at­ing stars, in­clud­ing cur­rent dance sen­sa­tion Mad­die Ziegler.

“I want my dancers to be the best they can be, to be proud of them­selves and what they’ve ac­com­plished,” she says.

“One of my alumni, Katie Hack­ett, was the Mad­die of her time. She went on to win Ju­nior Miss Dance Amer­ica, Teen Miss Dance Amer­ica, then she went on to work pro­fes­sion­ally for 14 years — she’s done it all.

“Some­one in­ter­viewed her about me and she said, very elo­quently, that what Abby wanted for all of (her stu­dents) hap­pened to her. And that’s true.”

With 17 of her for­mer stu­dents cur­rently danc­ing on Broad­way, Miller hoped to help as­pir­ing Aussie dancers do the same dur­ing her visit.

Hav­ing vis­ited our shores be­fore, she was de­ter­mined to re­turn and hold work­shops, all of which were also cap­tured on film for the Dance Moms spe­cial.

“The level of tal­ent and deco­rum and be­hav­iour of the stu­dents when they come to my mas­ter­class is in­cred­i­ble,” she said of the kids she met on the tour. “The teach­ers are do­ing a won­der­ful job but you don’t have your own West End or Broad­way here. So all of these kids train and dance all these hours but there’s re­ally noth­ing for them to do with it un­less they want to come to Amer­ica or go on a cruise ship around the world. And that’s sad.”

Still, if Miller has her way that may all change. Dur­ing her trip to Aus­tralia she held talks with the net­work which airs Dance Moms.

“Hope­fully if all my meet­ings went well I might be do­ing some work here,” she says.

Brace your­selves, dance moth­ers of Aus­tralia, the Abby apoca­lypse could be on its way.

“I want my dancers to be the best they can be”

ABBY LEE MILLER’ S

PHI­LOS­O­PHY

DANCE MOMS IN AUS­TRALIA, LIFESTYLE YOU, MON­DAY, 8.30PM,

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