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TV Review: Dance Moms - Season 7

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Dance Moms, the television show based upon the trials and tribulations of dance teacher Abby Lee Miller and her Junior Elite Competition Team, finished its seventh season this week with yet another winning group number and elegant solos from its young stars. But is the show still winning? Or will the rumours about its axe become true?

Season 7 begins on a low, with Abby threatening to ‘cut’ members of both her mini and junior elite teams if they fail to impress her in their latest dance competition. Surprisingly, she doesn’t cut anyone, but threatens that the coming weeks will bring tears and dismissals. Instead, Abby runs out and says she is going to ‘throw up.’ The show ends.

In the next few weeks, we see Peyton, Areana and Alexus axed from the show along with their mothers. New dancers Camryn, Maesi and Daviana are added to the elite team to spice things up, and Daviana is swiftly removed after coming sixth at a competition. By episode seven, Daviana is back for one week, before being removed again. Is this team ever the same group of girls!?

By episode nine, we have another new girl on the team - Jane - who features in the group dance of the week, aptly titled ‘Blush and Beautiful’. The dance receives a perfect score, a first for the show, which leaves all of the mothers proud and celebrating. Yet in true Dance Moms style, this happiness is short lived, as it is announced that Jane will not be a permanent member of the team and will have to leave. Why? She ‘didn’t stand out amongst the other girls’ according to Abby. In reality, it was because another argument needed to be caused.

Of course, what is reality television without arguments? Whether it’s about the dance topic, the height of the dancers or even who reigned top on the pyramid (the pyramid being a board Abby uses to show who she is most impressed with that particular week), the mums argued about just about everything a dance mom could ever think to argue about.

Incidentally, the only times the mums didn’t argue with each other this season was when they were arguing with Abby’s arch nemesis Cathy from rival studio Candy Apples, or Abby herself.

This ruined the series in some respects. What began as a way to see young dancers flourish has become a show to rival Jeremy Kyle - after all, they both rely on arguments and controversy to maintain viewers.

The shining grace of the show is, of course, the dancers. Some of the group routines are both entertaining and thought provoking, while many of the solos are of a high quality. I’ve even learnt how a foot should be pointed through watching this show. Nia, the only original dancer from season one left, has become a great actress, while Kendall is attempting a music career. Kalani is selling socks, and Brynn is modelling for US clothing brands. The stars of the show really are the young girls, and they’re branching out into more markets than ever.

Abby on the other hand? She’s preparing for her court date next month as she faces jail time for fraud.

If this means Dance Moms is over, it’s had a good run with over 124 episodes, and it might be time to put the tension ridden show to bed. With a depleting audience and cumbersome storylines, the competition team may be winning, but the show definitely is not.

Dance Moms aired on Lifetime.

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