'Dance Moms' Recap - Season 3, Episode 28: Tap Versus Hip Hop

Dance Moms - Chloe Lukasiak Stretches while Teammate Maddie Ziegler Watches
Dance Moms stars Chloe Lukasiak (left) and Maddie Ziegler

On Dance Moms season 3, episode 28 titled “Tap Versus Hip Hop”, studio owner Abby Lee Miller returns from LA where she was filming the season 2 of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC), and discovers some of her students were ditching class. Abby quickly gets the routine back to normal by pitting Maddie and Chloe against each other in a dance competition. The parents don’t miss a beat either – the mama drama is in full swing when Melissa takes heat for breaking her pact with the others to not bring her kids to work with Abby in LA.

Dance Moms “Tap versus Hip Hop” episode begins with Abby greeting her team and asking if they missed her. The kids say “yes”, the Moms say nothing, and for Abby the feeling is mutual – she only missed the girls. Abby is aware that some of the dancers – Brooke – ditched classes while she was away. It comes up when she reveals her pyramid, the ranking system she uses for the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) - it is usually based on the previous competition's results. 

From the bottom up: Brooke (didn’t attend many classes while Abby was away because she was recording a CD); Paige (Abby asks, “Do you feel that you’ve improved?” Paige says “yes”); Kendall (same question for her, she’s been improving in private lessons with “James”); Nia (also improving due to extra classes); Mackenzie (lost to Asia, getting too old for getting by because she's cute); Chloe (“had a great performance and looked beautiful”, but came in second to Maddie); Asia (not in the studio, she’ll be back next week). Of course, Maddie is at the top of the pyramid for winning over Chloe, and Abby says she gave a “flawless performance.”

Actually though, Maddie bobbled a few of her turns the last time she and Chloe competed (in the "Two Girls One Solo" episode); even she wasn’t happy with them. Also, I’m still stewing over Chloe’s win being taken away and given to Maddie due to Abby’s meddling - I wish they would stop talking about it. They won’t though, in fact, this time Abby is pitting Maddie and Chloe against each other again, except this time instead of giving them identical choreography, they are in completely different genres.

This week our dancelings will travel to the In10sity Dance competition in Syracuse NY. Maddie will do a tap solo called "You and Me Against the World", and Chloe is given a hip hop solo called "Beautiful". It’s not lost on Chloe’s mom Christi that Maddie excels at tap (she been taking lessons since age 4), but Chloe has never done hip hop (they don’t even each hip hop at the ALDC). Christi says making Chloe do this dance is just a way for Abby to humiliate her. Later in the episode Abby brings in student Payton Ackerman, who is apparently a very good hip hop dancer, to work with Chloe, but it's clearly not the same as having years of training.

Mackenzie is also given a solo, an acrobatic routine called "California Adventure”. The group will do a number called "Gone Too Soon", and each of the girls plays a star who passed away at a young age: Nia is singer Whitney Houston; Kendall is singer Selena; Brooke is singer Amy Winehouse; Paige is model Anna Nicole Smith; Chloe is actress Marilyn Monroe; Maddie is Princess Diana.

The girls work on the group number and Abby tells them it’s important to portray their characters and tell a story, but the real drama, as always, is upstairs in the Mom’s den. Remember during Dance Moms Chatter, Part 1 when Abby said all the girls were invited to LA to perform on AUDC, but only Maddie showed up? Apparently the Dance Moms made a pact to not go to LA because they didn’t like the way Abby was treating the girls (and perhaps the part she played in having Chloe’s win taken away and given to Maddie?), but then Melissa broke her word and went anyway.

Because of this, Christi calls Melissa out for not being a team player, and Melissa responds, “That’s my choice as a parent.” Christi, pointing out how Melissa would do anything to get her kids ahead, says, “If you could sleep with Abby you would, and you know it.” Then Christi accuses Melissa of sleeping with her boss to get ahead. Melissa denies it, but Christi says, “Yes you did – you married him!” Melissa storms out of the studio yelling, “I did not sleep with my boss!”

Abby didn’t hear the fight, but is determined to get to the bottom of it and says, “No one is going to mess with Melissa.” Melissa tells Abby what happened and says, “I have lots of mean things to say about her (Christi), but I can’t because it’s not my make-up.” Then she calls Christi “white trash”.

Abby tells Melissa if she doesn’t want to sit in the Mom’s den she can work the front desk or hang in the studio and watch Mackenzie’s solo rehearsal. The other moms see this and are annoyed: Jill says Melissa sticks with Abby because she thinks “Abby will catapult Maddie and Mackenzie to stardom,” and Christi says Melissa is teaching her kids “it’s okay to step on everyone to get ahead.”

After Mackenzie’s rehearsal (during which Abby yells at her for being tired in dance class due to playing at recess in school), Melissa says she’s through avoiding the other Moms, and she heads upstairs. When Kelly asks Melissa what her meeting with Abby was about, Melissa tells her, “It’s none of your concern… not that you care because you hate my kids,” and then says, “I’m sure you wish I would die in a car accident.”

When Abby rehearses with Maddie, she tells the young dancer there’s no way they are going to let Chloe beat her.

The Moms, minus Melissa, go out for drinks and discuss the situation. Nia’s Mom Holly sums up how betrayed they all feel about Melissa breaking their agreement: “I can’t trust everybody when they give their word.” Later when Melissa finds out they went out without her, she says she doesn't care, but just in case, the other moms, who clearly were happy to be out without Melissa, blame Kendall’s mom Jill for “forgetting” to invite her.

They continue to argue about Melissa’s choice to bring Maddie to LA, then Melissa says, “I never said you guys hate me and don’t like my kids.” Huh? Whatever. Christi just wants Melissa to stop denying that she’s a stage mom.

The team arrives in Syracuse NY for the In10sity Dance competition. Mackenzie is up first with her “California Adventure” acro solo. She wears a blue and gold two-piece costume with a strappy top and a stiff, skirt-like piece. Her legs are nice and straight for her side aerials.

Chloe is pretty in her costume with a black shirt embellished with rhinestones, grey and black distressed pants and grey hoodie. She is a fabulous dancer, as always, but the choreography for “Beautiful” lacks punch.

Maddie does a fantastic job with her "You and Me Against the World" tap solo. She wears a white shirt, black pants and pink apron. The front of the apron falls down during the dance, but instead of flipping out like she would if it happened to Chloe, Abby laughs and says, “…that kid doesn’t miss a beat, she is right on the money the entire routine. That kid was like a pro.”

Backstage Abby barely mentions the apron mishap to Melissa. Instead, she tells Maddie she did an “amazing job,” and then lays into Chloe for forgetting parts of her number. Christi says she blames Abby if Chloe forgot her choreography, because Abby only ran the dance with her twice.

Next we see the group number, “Gone Too Soon”. The girls all look wonderful in their white costumes.

The awards ceremony begins. In the Elite Mini Solo Division, Mackenzie wins 1st place. In the Elite Junior Solo Division, Chloe gets 4th place, Maddie comes in 2nd. The fact that Maddie didn’t win is so distressing to Abby, that she doesn’t even look up when the ALDC is awarded 1st place in the Elite Junior Small Group Division.

The fact that Abby was distracted from the group's win by Maddie’s “loss” makes the animosity between the Moms and Melissa flare up again, and Melissa winds up yelling in front of the kids. We see Maddie, upset and running off, but then she’s back and all smiles when Abby hugs her and tells her the Moms are jealous of her, and that Christi and Chloe are evil.

Next week the ALDC performs in an annual dance concert, and the girls take part in a photo shoot.

So, how did you all like this week's episode? Do you think Melissa was right to break her pact with the Moms? Do you think it was fair to make Chloe dance hip hop? Do you like Abby's new hair and makeup? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

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For our Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition recaps click here

Dance Moms airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime

Photo courtesy of Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013