The Craziest 'Dance Moms' Moments I Refuse To Believe Actually Happened

Once upon a time, a little group of princesses wanted to be the best dancers in the whole land. But to get there, they needed to defeat the evil dragon of Abby Lee Miller. That would’ve been hard enough, but the little dancers’ moms were getting drunk and screaming and tearing down literal children. The end. 

Dance Moms honestly feels like a complete fever dream. Now that all our little girlies are grown up and embarking on their illustrious TikTok careers, I struggle to link them to the wittle babies crying in slicked-back buns and inappropriate costumes. How did this show exist, and no one called CPS? Out of all the absolute mayhem of this show, there are 13 of the craziest Dance Moms moments that truly make me question the multiverse we all exist in.

Bottom of the pyramid: The Strip Tease

I don’t even know where to start with the inappropriate costumes and moves in this show. These were little babies. There’s the horrifying ‘”Electricity’” dance that included them smacking their asses and opening their legs. But this strip tease dance was just another level. They wave those pink feather fans around and wear nude bodysuits, and it’s just something else. Also, Abby proudly says at least one of the girls will grow up to be a showgirl? Okay, aim for the stars with these talented dancers.


12. The Dance Moms Dance

On one hand, it felt like the best revenge for all the moms to have to do a dance together for the ALDC showcase. On the other hand, it was just painful to watch. You would have hoped they’d have learned more from their extensive time in the studio – seriously, why do they always stay and watch? Why don’t they drop ‘em off and go do some errands? Despite all those hours spent sitting around the studio, they were flailing little kids out there. Also, their reactions to Cathy’s unexpected solo were priceless. It was nice for them to see how the tap shoe fits.

11. When Christi yelled at someone else’s kid

I don’t have kids, but even I know this rule of etiquette: Don’t yell at someone else’s child. Even if they’re being annoying or screaming in a restaurant or whatever else. Except in this case, Paige was completely blameless!! Christi went down and took out her frustration at Kelly on Paige. Even star pupil Maddie is shocked at what has occurred and tells the moms. They’re super sweet to Paige and comfort her (except for her own mom?), but like step too far, girlie. 

10. The Anne Frank Dance

Literally, how was Abby not canceled? She choreographed an ANNE FRANK-THEMED DANCE. How is that okay??? The dance involves Brooke wearing a skimpy white negligee (don’t even get me started on that) and dancing around with a little book. I think Kelly said it best, “I don’t really know much about Anne Frank, but what I do know is that I don’t think she was doing cartwheels.”

9. When JoJo ended mental illness

JoJo Siwa cured mental illness with her solo dance “Straighten Up”! It featured her dancing in a straightjacket and genuinely I don’t think I have ever felt so offended as a mentally ill girlie. I think the electric sounds are meant to be like electroshock therapy?? I get that it’s so impressive she is dancing without using her arms at all, but I need a Notes page apology from Abby and JoJo for this offensive routine.

8. JoJo almost dying in a plastic bubble

Look, I’m not saying that Dance Moms predicted Covid-19, but I’m also not saying that they didn’t cause it. In the group dance “Plastic Bubble,” JoJo dances in a literal plastic bubble while the other girls wear masks around her. I genuinely don’t think she had enough oxygen in there, especially for something as physical as dancing. Then the bubble shrinks and wraps around her and I am concerned for her wellbeing. Can you imagine if we’d lost her and never got the musical stylings of “Karma”??? 

7. Brynn’s family trauma becoming a dance

Abby will honestly use anything as inspiration for dances, so one of her dancers’ personal lives is well within reach. Brynn is currently having her parents go through family court, and Abby makes her star in a dance about it. Brynn is clearly so uncomfortable with this and yet they all proceed as if it’s okay. Ashlee tries to goad her daughter into sharing how she feels about it, even though Brynn clearly knows she has no say in the matter. Then Jill tries to get the camera man to go film this young girl struggling!!

6. The Water Fight

I think this was one of those key moments in life when you realize adults really have no fucking clue what they’re doing either. Abby and Cathy’s rivalry is a constant throughout the show, but sometimes it honestly peaks into something else entirely — enemies to lovers? They’re goading each other when Abby throws water at Cathy. She claims it’s an accident and that she thought the lid was on. Cathy responds by hitting her with her handbag. Obviously, Jill hops in and throws some more water, and receives a whack from the handbag. I’m just glad the girls weren’t around to see this one.

5. When Jill thought Kendall should be Rosa Parks

Let’s not even address the fact that Abby thought a Rosa Parks dance was a good idea. Then there’s Abby saying she isn’t sure whether Nia, the only Black girl, will get the role of Rosa Parks: “make no assumptions!” But it gets worse, OF COURSE. Jill doesn’t see why Kendall shouldn’t get the role of Rosa Parks. Also, Abby calls out Holly’s sense of style and takes her on a shopping montage… why? This entire thing was deeply problematic. 

4. Kendall finally snaps at Ashlee

It is insane to rewatch Dance Moms and realize how often they are having these meltdowns in front of their young kids. This case is no different, and it shows just how much this is impacting the girls. Ashlee is claiming that Brynn is more talented than Kendall and that social media has been saying as much — brutal! She also claims that Jill talks shit about the other girls. Kendall finally snaps and defends her mom, before storming up to Ashlee and screaming, “why are you so mean?” She hurries away crying, and the other girls comfort her. It’s especially sweet to see JoJo standing by Kendall, considering they never seemed to really get on — this was before JoJo became the bad girl we all know now. I think this episode just showed how much damage the mothers were inflicting on their daughters, perhaps more so than Abby.

3. Christi and Leslie throw down in New Orleans

I’ve never been to New Orleans, but if I go, I’d like to visit the location of this epic throwdown. Christi and Leslie drunkenly brawl in the streets, and it’s not really clear why they’re the two fighting anyway. A camera assistant immediately tries to break them up (and they say that production doesn’t protect people!!!), and then Leslie starts hitting him instead. Not cool, girlie, not cool. Anyway, can anyone tell me exactly where this was filmed?

2. Abby wheeling herself out

I channel this energy every time I am in a situation I no longer enjoy, which is just about any time I leave the house. During a performance, one of the moms calls out Abby for being on her phone as poor “theatre etiquette.” And as a theatre girlie, she is right!!! Get off your phone!!! People are shaking their booty out there so give them the respect of watching, also they’re YOUR students. Abby obviously responds in the mature manner we’ve come to expect from her: she reverses herself out and says she “thinks [she] is gonna go to Baskin Robbins.” Instead, she heads right to a police station to file a report for verbal abuse… the irony is somehow lost on Abby, the Queen of Verbal Abuse herself.

Top of the pyramid: The Finger Bite

Jill says it best: No matter how bad screaming matches got, the moms never were physical with each other, until this one blow-up pre-competition. Also, they were frequently physical?? Kelly gets into it with Abby when she wants to include a newcomer in the routine and seemingly replace Brooke and Paige. Kelly points her finger in Abby’s face and in return, she attempts to bite it. All of a sudden, Kelly slaps her and pulls her hair. If the Hylands were gonna leave, let it be in the most audacious style possible. Once more, Abby calls the police. Truly one of the best reality TV feuds ever to grace our screens.

Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman, a European-based copywriter. She’s interesting (cause she’s from Europe), speaks multiple languages (again, she's from Europe), and is mentally unhinged (despite socialized healthcare). You can find her European musings on Twitter @ByFleurine and her blog, Symptoms of Living, both of which are written to the sounds of unhinged Taylor Swift playlists.