‘Dance Moms’ Recap Chatter, Part 2: Abby Lee Miller and Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni

Abby Lee Miller, star of Dance Moms on Lifetime

For Dance Moms Chatter, Part 2 (season 3, episode 27), executive producer Jeff Collins hosted a sit-down with cast members from the hit show on Lifetime. Part 1, shown last week, put the spotlight on moms Christi Lukasiak, Kelly Hyland and Kaya Wiley (aka "Black Patsy"); the Part 2 edition featured studio owner Abby Lee Miller and Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni (mother of Abby’s star pupil Maddie Ziegler and her little sister Mackenzie) , as well as “super-fans”, blogger Nadine Rajabi and comic Alec Mapa.

The best moments of Dance Moms Chatter, Part 2 were when the focus was on Abby Lee Miller herself, and finding out what makes her tick. Jeff asks Abby why she moved straight to being a choreographer instead of working as a professional dancer first, and she answers that it was because she had an eye for color and costuming and music selection. She also says, “I was always a star in my own mind, it just took a while for everyone to catch up.”

Alec Mapa asks her how she manages to choreograph routines without moving – this comes up several times during the episode. Basically, it’s because by the time her students are at the level where they are training with her, all she has to do is yell out the names of dance moves and they know what to do. Abby points out that in some cases dancers audition and work in shows with choreographers who are much older, and they need to be able to do the steps without being shown. It's nice when a choreographer does the steps for the dancers – it’s good to be able to see their exact vision – but I agree with Abby, it’s not always how it works. We do, however get to see Abby dance a little anyway – later in the episode Jeff show clips of Abby doing some fly moves (Mackenzie says, “Abby is funny looking when she tries to do hip hop”) and her “drag queen walk”.

They discuss Abby’s love life (she says she’s not dating the bus driver), her speed dating, and her blind date with the male stripper. Jeff asks her, “What’s more terrifying, a first date with a stranger or being attacked by a Dance Mom?” Abby’s answer is no surprise – she picks the date, because she knows how to handle the moms.

We see Abby’s favorite routines over the years – she especially likes Maddie’s “Helen Keller” number because the young dancer really “committed”. They also talk about the price of costumes; Abby says they can run anywhere from $50 to $350 a week for each of her dancers.

Abby is asked if she has ever seen a kid’s reaction to her critique and thought that maybe she was too tough on them, and the talk turns to Maddie. Melissa says Maddie can take the criticism because she’s a perfectionist and works on the corrections right away. Then they all drink a toast to Maddie.

Dance Moms Chatter, Part 2 also features a montage of clips showing the moms and their confrontations with Abby and with each other, most notably, the “Sinister Minister” from season one - she spouts bible verses in the midst of their argument. Jeff also covered the fight between Abby and Melissa (when she sided against Abby during the walkout at the beginning of season 3), but Melissa says that they will always be friends.

There was a segment with silly Q&As, like which Dance Mom is the worst dresser and who has the biggest butt (like Alec, I have no idea why anyone would need or want to know that), and we see a bit of Dance Moms: The Musical, a play performed by The Laurie Beechman Theatre, that pokes fun at the show.

At the end of Dance Moms Chatter, Part 2, blogger Nadine Rajabi asks where she would be on Abby’s infamous pyramid ranking system. Abby says the middle tier of the pyramid, but adds, “Then again, I haven’t met your mother.”


It has now been four weeks since we’ve seen our regular Dance Moms cast: – with Abby in LA filming season 2 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, episodes 24 and 25 were about Cathy Nesbitt-Stein and her Candy Apples Dance Studio – and episodes 26 and 27 were dedicated to Chatter Part 1 and Part 2. Next week on Dance Moms season 3, episode 28 titled, “Tap Versus Hip Hop”, we finally get back to Maddie and Chloe and the rest of our dancelings in competition.

It looks like “Tap Versus Hip Hop” is going to be jam-packed with drama: Abby returns to her studio in Pittsburgh, PA, and finds out everyone but Maddie and Mackenzie has been “slacking off”. Remember how in episode 25 Abby said all the girls were invited to LA to perform on national television, but only Maddie showed up? It's revealed that the Moms had a pact to turn Abby down, but Melissa folded, and THAT’S why Maddie was the only one there. So, the Moms are all angry with Melissa again. And, if “Two Girls, One Solo” wasn’t enough Maddie vs. Chloe heartbreak for you, in this new episode Abby puts them head-to-head again, but this time with opposing solos: one will do tap, one will do hip hop. Also, it looks Asia Ray is back. I can’t wait.

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

Photo courtesy of Lifetime