'Dance Moms' S3 E32 "Dancing Dead": Nia Performs Broadway Baby Tribute

Nia performs a tribute to Abby's poodle Broadway Baby on Dance Moms
Nia performs a tribute to Abby's poodle "Broadway Baby" on Dance Moms

Last week on Dance Moms, Kelly Hyland and her daughters Brooke and Paige were still absent from class and competition following a fight with Abby, so Payton Ackerman was given Brooke’s spot in the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC). Payton’s mom Leslie wants her daughter on the team permanently, and this leads to an argument with the regulars that continues on season 3, episode 32 of Dance Moms titled “The Dancing Dead”. Also this week, Kelly meets with Christi, Holly and Jill, but doesn’t get the response she might have been expecting. Meanwhile, Abby and her Mom pick up "Broadway Baby" (their deceased poodle) from the taxidermist.

Our Dance Moms recap for season 3, episode 32 titled “The Dancing Dead” begins with Abby revealing her pyramid, the ranking system she uses for the dancers of the ALDC. Abby is in a good mood due to last week’s win at the Believe Competition, and she praises the girls for working together. In terms of Paige and Brooke, Abby says they don’t want to be there with the team, and notes that even The Supremes and The Beatles replaced members in their groups.

The pyramid from the bottom up: Brooke (Abby says, “no apology, no text, and I know she has her phone with her”); Paige (“if she wanted to dance she would’ve come to class”); Payton (has a “smart mouth”); Asia (did a good job, needs to be a star AND an ensemble dancer); Mackenzie (also did a good job in the group routine). At this point, Kristie with a K (Asia’s mom) challenges Abby stating, “I’m floored Mackenzie is above Asia.” Abby says it’s because Kenzie did more acro tricks in last week’s group number.

Next, Abby names Chloe (“you did well in the group dance and trio – sometimes you win the battle and lose the war”); Maddie (did well, but Abby says if she wins all the time she’ll stop working); Kendall (was outstanding in the trio and group numbers, and her mom Jill stood up for Abby and the team against the Candy Apples). At the top of the pyramid, it’s Nia! Abby says she earned the spot because after the last competition, Nia was the only one who asked, “What can I do better?” Then, an older girl I don’t recognize says, “I can’t remember the last time I was on the top of the pyramid”. Holy smokes, it’s Nia! These girls are growing up so fast they’re like Sheriff Andy’s faerie daughters on True Blood!

This week the ALDC will be traveling to the Xpression Dance Competition in Orlando, Florida. All of the girls will perform in the group number, a contemporary routine called, “On the Verge”. Later, Abby says the dance is about women on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and it was inspired by recent events with Kelly.

Three of the girls are assigned solos, and Abby tells them they should consider these dances audition pieces for Nationals (which at the time of filming, were four weeks away). Chloe will do a Spanish ballet called “Fired Up”; Kendall will do a contemporary lyrical piece called “Under My Spell”; Nia will do a jazz routine called “Bye Bye Baby” in tribute to Broadway Baby, Abby’s poodle who died in December 2012. Melissa (Maddie and Mackenzie’s mom) says they were close to Broadway Baby and took care of her when she was sick. She says Maddie would have loved to do the tribute dance, but that giving it to Nia is another way Abby is punishing her. Later, Christi (Chloe’s mom) cracks that “all the poop scooping [by Melissa] didn’t pay off because Nia got the solo.”

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While the girls learn the group number, the Moms head up to their den and pick up arguing where they left off last week: Leslie thinks her daughter Payton should be given a permanent spot on the elite competition team, the other moms want her to accept the fact that Payton is just filling in while Kelly and her daughters are absent. Due to the fact that Kelly has quit the team several times, Leslie says, “There has got to be a time when you leave and you’re not welcome back.”

At the next group rehearsal, Abby is missing – she’s at the taxidermist picking up Broadway Baby (she had her deceased poodle stuffed). Abby and her mom are very pleased with the result, saying Baby looks much better than she did at the hospital, and they plan to bring her home and put her in front of the TV. Abby says that Broadway Baby, “had a good life, but I should have put her in commercials.”

Back at the studio, Christi receives a call from Kelly, who invites Christi, Holly and Jill to her home for drinks. Melissa is not invited because Kelly is still angry with her for letting Maddie take the solo at ALDC’s annual recital when Abby took it away from Paige. There is also more arguing between Leslie and the Dance Moms regulars, and Jill (Kendall’s mom) tells Leslie that if Payton was permanent on the team, Abby would have given her a jacket.

While this is going on, Abby works with the girls on their solos. When Nia struggles to learn the choreography as fast as Abby would like, Abby threatens to take the solo away. When Holly and Nia go to the front desk to discuss it with Abby, the solo hasn’t been pulled, so Holly wisely says, “I’m going to walk away while Nia still has a solo.”

While Abby works in the studio with Kendall, Jill tries to bait Kristie with a K by asking if she’s upset that her daughter Asia isn’t getting as much time from Abby as the other girls. Kristie nips that conversation in the bud by saying that Abby contradicted herself (by not putting Asia higher on the pyramid or giving her a solo), and then Kristie adds that if Jill has any other questions about Asia, “I have answers for you outside.”

Christi, Holly and Jill meet at Kelly’s house, but it’s not the anti-Abby-fest Kelly might have been expecting. The moms think Kelly should ask Abby if she can come back, and Holly points out that Abby still has Paige and Brooke on the pyramid, so she must want them on the team. Regarding Kelly’s outburst at Abby (at the recital rehearsal, right before she walked out), Holly tells her, “As an educator it’s hard for me to watch a parent do that in front of a whole room full of kids.” Then Holly tells the camera that Kelly should “suck it up and come back to the team,” and Jill says, “it doesn’t seem like Kelly cares about dance or being a part of this team or anything.”

Then the discussion turns to the pact the Moms made to not go to LA if Abby asked them to appear on the second season of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition (Melissa betrayed them by accepting the invitation and bringing Maddie to LA; it's the reason they are currently angry with her). Jill admits Kendall was invited to attend but not asked to perform, but if she had been asked to dance, Jill can’t say she wouldn’t accept. This confession angers Christi, and she walks out of the meeting.

The ALDC team arrives in Orlando, Florida for the Xpression Dance Competition, and Kelly shows up too. Abby won’t let her sit with the team, and tells her, “You are no longer a member of the Abby Lee Dance Company”, so Kelly stands in the aisle. `

Kendall’s solo is first: she performs her “Under My Spell” solo in a red two-piece costume with a short tutu, and she does well.

Nia does her “Bye Bye Baby” tribute in a pretty blue costume with a chiffon skirt and a bow at the waist. She dances to bluesy music with the lyrics, “My baby’s gone, ain’t coming back to me” and ‘My baby’s gone to heaven, that’s why I sing the blues.”

Chloe goes third with her Spanish ballet routine to “Fired Up”. She wears a red and black costume with a fan for a prop – her lines are beautiful and her turns are sharp and precise.

While the team gets ready for their group number, Kelly is in the dressing room, and she and Leslie get into a spat – Kelly (sarcastically) thanks Leslie for keeping her seat warm.

The ALDC does their “On the Verge” group number in gorgeous costumes with pale pink petal skirts and matching lace midriff tops with turtle necks and long sleeves. During this part of the competition, Kelly sits with the moms. After their number, while all of the competitors wait on stage for the results, Kristie and Asia have a mother-daughter dance-off: Asia does a combination onstage; Kristie answers the challenge by twerking from her spot in the audience. I thought Abby would be mortified, but she laughs.

The awards ceremony begins. Nia gets 9th place; Kendall gets 5th place; Chloe gets 2nd place. In the Junior Small Group division, the ALDC gets 4th place. Abby says, “The only thing worse than 4th place would be Kelly crashing the competition.”

Backstage, Jill remarks that it’s Payton’s second week with the team, then points out that she said “WITH the team’, not “ON the team.” This re-ignites the argument about whether Abby should make Payton a permanent member of the group. Leslie says that she’ll do whatever it takes and use every opportunity that comes to her to get her daughter on the team, and Holly says “shame on you”. Holly says, “We’re not just raising dancers, we’re raising people,” and that they want more for their daughters than fame. Kristie is tired of all of the fighting and she says so, and then she leaves.

Will Kristie and Asia be back next week, or are they gone for good? Will Kelly “suck it up” and ask Abby if they can come back to the ALDC? Will Payton get a permanent spot on the team? 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, August 7, 2013