The popular Lifetime reality show Dance Moms, which aired from 2011 to 2019, was mostly known for its unruly protagonist, Abby Lee Miller. Abby was the studio owner of the Abby Lee Dance Company as well as the coach of the elite dance team the show centered on. While there”s no question that she”s a talented coach considering how successful the team was, she definitely wasn”t beloved by all of her dancers and their respective parents.
In fact, many of the girls left the show because of Abby”s behavior, which often included publicly humiliating, degrading, and screaming at the dancers. Though this behavior did make for some entertaining television, it also proved to be too much for some of the show”s alums.
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Frankly, many Dance Mom“s former cast members have expressed their dislike for Abby after leaving the show and have opened up about their toxic relationship with her. Here are all of the show”s alums that can”t stand Abby Lee Miller.
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Probably one of the most famous Dance Moms alum and Abby Lee Miller”s (former?) favorite is Maddie Ziegler. Maddie was one of the star performers on the team and for this Abby definitely played favoritism with her, but this put immense pressure on Maddie and ultimately caused her to leave the show after Season 6. While Maddie has never said anything bad about Abby and the two didn”t have a falling out, Abby told US Weekly in July 2017 that the two no longer speak. Abby added that she”s disappointed that her former student doesn”t stay in touch and said, “
Maddie, on the other hand, wrote a tell-all book titled The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir, in which she praises her mentor Sia and only refers to Abby as her dance teacher. Though she doesn”t slam Abby in the book as many expected she would, she does talk about the high pressure she was put under at such a young age and how it impacted her.
Maddie also told Seventeen that she feels so much freer and less stressed since leaving the Abby Lee Dance Company and confirmed that Abby”s behavior was not exaggerated for television. Maddie admitted, “She”s exactly how she is on the show. … I feel like I had so much more pressure on me to be the best in the room.”
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Chloé Lukasiak was definitely a fan favorite on Dance Moms, but Abby Lee Miller always seemed to have it out for her — mainly because of the tumultuous relationship she had with Chloé”s mom Christi. Chloé ended up abruptly leaving the show after the fourth season following a verbal fight Abby and Christi had, leaving fans and her fellow teammates reeling. The dancer did come back two years later, but she has been candid about her initial departure and how offended she was by Abby”s words and mistreatment.
Allegedly, Abby made fun of a medical condition Chloé had during an argument with Christi that was not included in the show. In a video that Chloé posted on her YouTube channel (in which she never actually names Abby and instead refers to her as “my former dance teacher”), she said, “As much respect as I have for her as a dance teacher and as a person and, of course, with everything she”s going through right now, what she said was horrible.”
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Nia Sioux was another one of Abby Lee Miller”s least favorite dancers and the target of much of her bullying. Nia left Dance Moms back in 2017, but in 2020, Nia jumped on the TikTok trend of filming a video to the song “Bulletproof” with reasons why one”s feelings can”t be hurt. Other Dance Moms alums recreated this trend while referencing their time on the show, including Mackenzie Ziegler, Brooke Hyland, and Jojo Siwa. Nia”s video was a bit more personal though, as it read: “You think you can hurt my feelings? I was the only black girl on Dance Moms.” She captioned the video, “And that”s on being bullied by the biggest bully in America lmao.”
Throughout Nia”s time on the show, she was constantly made to perform “ethnic” or degrading dance numbers because of the color of her skin and SheKnows reports that Abby made many remarks that were racially stereotyping the young dancer. Nia told Teen Vogue that this mistreatment along with the toxic environment that Abby created was difficult to grow up in. And it turns out she wasn”t the only one to face this kind of treatment.
Adriana Smith, who is another Dance Moms alum to speak out against Abby Lee Miller, accused the dance teacher of being racist and treating her daughter, Kamryn Smith, poorly because of her skin color. Adriana posted statements on social media following the death of George Floyd about her experience working with Abby, writing (via Entertainment Weekly), “A statement from her that sticks in my mind to this day during my time on DMS8 is “I know you grew up in the HOOD with only a box of 8 crayons, but I grew up in the Country Club with a box of 64 — don”t be stupid.” Adriana also accused Abby of using Kamryn as a token during Season 8, claiming Abby told her daughter she was only on the team because they “needed a sprinkle of color!” Adrianna ultimately pulled her daughter from the show.
Another mom, Camille Bridges, then came forward to E! News with allegations about how Abby also mistreated her daughter, Camryn Bridges. Camille claimed that Abby always put Camryn in afros and loved appropriating black culture.
Due to these allegations, Deadline reports that Lifetime cut ties with Abby and canceled plans for her show, Abby”s Virtual Dance-Off. They also announced she will not be returning to Dance Moms if the show is renewed. And while Abby claims that she”s going to try to “do better,” it seems like her long reign of terrible behavior may have finally come to an end.