Dance Moms vs Dance Mums
Christina Storey | 27 March 2017

Dance Moms premiered four years ago in America, instantly becoming a smash-hit show. The girls are now thought of as a certain type of celebrities, even being the featured role in worldwide music videos. Now the UK are attempting to follow up America’s success with their own version of the show; Dance Mums UK.

 

If you don’t know what Dance Moms is (Have you been living under a rock?) it follows Abby Lee Dance Company in the world of competitive dance. They follow a team made up of roughly seven girls aged from seven to thirteen week to week as they learn dances (solos, trios and groups) in five days to compete it at the weekend. Not only is this a whole load of pressure they have their dance teacher, Abby screaming down their neck every five seconds. She’s known for her catchphrases ‘Save those tears for the pillow!’ and ‘Everyone’s Replaceable!’ Her cut-throat attitude is shocking yet captivating to watch. Her teaching methods clash with the children's mothers, perhaps more than most people could withstand. The mothers have so much drama between them, whether they're not happy with the dance, the teacher, the moms, it all happens, and it all happens in the most dramatic way possible. Maddie Ziegler, the supposed 'favourite' of Abby's, has been cast in the main role of Sia's music video to 'Chandelier.’ It is fair to say Dance Moms is a programme that captured the heart of the American public.

 

And now, England have tried to match them. Dance Mums UK follows ‘Jennifer Ellison’s dance team’ – a team that has been made just for this show of the best dancers in Liverpool. Although the dancers are amazing, do they match up to the American standard? And are the mum’s just creating drama for the cameras?

 

The team is made up of seven dancers, and they are incredible. They are flexible, classically trained and a pleasure to watch dance, it’s no wonder they got picked for this elite team. However I’m not sure if they have that certain spark that the American girls have. Perhaps it’s the lower budget on the show or no Abby causing chaos but the programme has failed to capture the personality and strengths of each dancer for the audience to latch onto. The mums seem to be making drama just because the cameras are there. Picking up on the same old favouritism fight, getting upset about featured roles and one mum even hit another! It’s intense fighting between them, but is it all fake? You can tell Jennifer Ellison has been in the industry a long time as she is animated but relaxed in front of the camera, she deals professionally with these mothers but has her dramatic breakdowns and sometimes takes it out on the children. It is a programme full of high drama and Jennifer Ellison’s Dance Team are incredible but I’m not sure it will ever match Abby Lee Miller and her girls from the original Dance Moms.

James Routledge 2016