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|Abby Lee Dance Company|
|Location:|| Pittsburgh, PA (former)|
Los Angeles, CA
The Abby Lee Dance Company (abbreviated "ALDC") is a non-profit organization devoted to educating young dancers, named after its founder, Abby Lee Miller. Some of its competition members (along with their mothers) are the focus of the television show Dance Moms.
In 2016, the original Pittsburgh studio was turned into "Appolonia Leake Dance Company".
Dance Moms Teams
Elite Competition Team
The Elite Competition Team (formerly the Junior Elite Competition Team) is the team featured on Dance Moms, with the team members being selected prior to the show's debut in 2011. The team originally consisted of six members in the first season but was brought to a total of seven in the second season- which was the most consistent team over the course of the first four seasons. Since then, multiple members departed from the show and new members were added in their place. The team was finally disbanded in S7-E22, following the departure of Abby Lee Miller.
Former Elite Team Members (At the time of the disbandment)
|Left||S06E01||S07E25||58||Brynn was often referred to as "The New Maddie" and was originally invited to be a guest on the team after attending Abby's auditions in Wild Wild West Coast, Part 1. She was brought back a few episodes later but ultimately this was her final appearance in that respective season. In Season 6, Brynn was brought back. In Brynn's Big Moment, she was given a permanent spot on the team. She remained on the team until S7-E25, where she and her mother chose to depart from the show after the disbandment of the elite team.|
|Elliana Walmsley||Left||S07E04||S07E25||18||Elliana had originally been part of the ALDC Mini Team, however, after the disbandment, she later went on to join the elite team. Elliana remained on the team until it's disbandment.|
|Lilliana Ketchman||Left||S07E04||S07E25||18||Lilliana had originally been part of the ALDC Mini Team, however, after the disbandment, she later went on to join the elite team. Lilliana remained on the team until it's disbandment.|
|Maesi Caes||Left||S07E05||S07E25||17||Maesi was invited to join the team after being called back from Abby's and the Dance Moms audition process for the seventh season. She was eventually made a permanent member on the team and remained until it's disbandment.|
Junior Elite Line-Up Gallery
Former Elite Team Members (Prior to disbandment)
|Vivi-Anne Stein||Left||S01E01||S01E08||7||Vivi-Anne joined ALDC in the first season, because Cathy wanted Vivi to have a stricter teacher.|
|Brandon Pent||Graduated||S01E08||S01E08||1||Brandon joined the team for his part in "Snapshot," and also joined an unseen group dance called "First Class", which was filmed for Season 2. He has since graduated from the ALDC.|
|S02E18||S02E18||1||Nina came in as a guest for the group dance. She has since graduated from the ALDC.|
|Katherine Narasimhan||Guest||S02E18||S02E18||1||Katherine came in as a guest for the group dance. She has since been dancing at the ALDC, just not on the team.|
|Auriel Welty||Guest||S02E18||S02E18||1||Auriel came in as a guest for the group dance. She has since been dancing at the ALDC, just not on the team.|
|Nicaya Wiley||Left||S02E24||S02E24||1||Nicaya joined because her mother wanted her to be on the team. However, they left shortly due to the mothers' behavior.|
|Bella Hoffheins||Dismissed||S03E02||S03E03||1||Bella joined the team after Abby sought to replace the entire team. She only joined for one week before Abby dismissed her because of her mother's behavior. She later competed against ALDC.|
|Kaeli Ware||Dismissed||S03E02||S03E03||1||Kaeli joined the team after Abby sought to replace the entire team. She only joined for one week before Abby dismissed her because of her mother's behavior. She later competed against ALDC.|
|Ally Serigne||Left||S03E01||S03E03||3||Ally won the Season 3 audition and joined the group for 2 weeks. She left the ALDC after bullying from Bella and Kaeli's mothers but rejoined the ALDC for their dance at nationals.|
|Sophia Lucia||Left||S03E02||S03E07||5||Sophia was brought in after Abby sought to replace the entire team. She stayed with them for two weeks before having to return to L.A. for work. When she returned, she only stayed for a little while. She and her mother left again, with it later being revealed that they left due to Sophia's grandfather having a heart attack.|
|2||Nick came in to be a guest for two group numbers. Nick left the ALDC in 2013 due to personal issues but later re-joined the studio in late 2014. He has since graduated from the studio.|
|Asia Monet Ray||Left||S03E14||S03E37||23||Asia joined the ALDC as a full-fledged team member after being invited by Abby. She was a competitor on AUDC, and presented as a rival to Mackenzie. She and her mother left when Kristi decided Asia would retire from competitive dance, and move on to being a full professional.|
|Paige Hyland||Dismissed||S01E01||S04E07||c. 83||Paige was one of the original members of the team on the show. She and Brooke were dismissed from ALDC after the infamous fight between Kelly and Abby.|
|Brooke Hyland||Dismissed||S01E01||S04E07||c. 82||Brooke was one of the original members of the team on the show. She had left before to join cheerleading but then returned to the team. She and Paige were dismissed from ALDC after the infamous fight between Kelly and Abby.|
|S04E06||S04E06||1||Chloe was brought in after her successful audition for ALDC. Abby loved her during the audition and enjoyed working with her. It's unknown if she and her mother left ALDC, or if Abby dismissed her due to her mother's behavior.|
|Fallon Chapman||Dismissed||S04E11||S04E11||1||Fallon was invited by Abby after her successful audition. However, Fallon struggled and was dismissed by Abby.|
|Payton tried out for the team before but did not make it due to her height. She is commonly asked to join the team for group dances, but is removed just as often due to her mother's behavior. Payton has since graduated from the ALDC and has moved out to LA. It is highly unlikely that Payton will make another appearance on the show.|
|Chloe Lukasiak||Left||S01E01||S04E31||Chloe has been one of the dancers since the team's creation. She has been suspended once before due to her mother's behavior, however, it was only for one week. She was recently seen competing for the Ensemble but returned a week later. Chloe didn't perform in the ALDC recital due to an injury but was healed up enough for her to participate at nationals. After the nationals blow up between Christi and Abby, the Lukasiaks left the show.|
|Sarah Reasons||Dismissed||S05E07||S05E08||10||Sarah is from Club Dance Studio in Arizona, the same studio as Kalani. Her mother Tracey is often at odds with Kalani's mother Kira. They have been very active in Season 4, and Sarah has danced for the original team on multiple occasions. Sarah competed with both teams at Nationals. Sarah and the rest of the Ensemble members were dismissed from the ALDC. However, Sarah joined the Elite team after Abby's L.A. auditions. She was invited to join ALDC as a swing but was not invited back by Abby because she was too old for the ALDC Junior Elite.|
|Sarah Hunt||Dismissed||S04E22||S06E14||Sarah was initially part of the select ensemble that was formed in Season 4. She also featured on the elite team in various episodes but was usually kicked off due to her mother's behavior. After the disbandment of the select team, Sarah was later asked to be a guest on the team in JoJo with a Bow Bow- where she competed against JoJo and Mackenzie. Sarah didn't make another appearance in Season 5 but in the following season, she was invited to perform a duet with Brynn in JoJo Steals the Show Show. She has not been back with the team since.|
|Maddie Ziegler||Left||S01E01||S06E20||Maddie had been one of the dancers since the team's creation. She had been Abby's favorite since the very beginning and had proven herself as hard working dancer. In Melissa's Announcement, it was announced that the Ziegler family would be departing. The Ziegler sisters made their final appearance just a few episodes later in the mid-season finale.|
|Mackenzie Ziegler||Left||S01E01||S06E20||Mackenzie was one of the original members of the team. She rarely had a part in the team during the first season due to her being the youngest, but become more active as the seasons progressed. In Melissa's Announcement, it was announced that the Ziegler family would be departing. The Ziegler sisters made their final appearance just a few episodes later in the mid-season finale.|
|Left||S05E03||S07E29||c. 59||JoJo was originally a member of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition in its second season. JoJo auditioned for Abby in Season 4 and even performed a solo that was filmed but did not appear in the show, only online. JoJo started working with the ALDC in Season 5, as Abby wanted someone who could perform. JoJo remained on the team until JoJo Is a No Show, where she and her mother decided to depart from the show to pursue other projects.|
|4||Daviana made her first appearance in Two Teams, Two Studios Part 2, where she beat Kalani in their division. She was later invited to join the team after being called back from Abby's and the Dance Moms audition process for the seventh season. She remained on the team for three episodes, before being dismissed at the end of Winner Takes All. Thereafter, she was invited back to be part of the group dance in The Fresno Curse but did not return again.|
|Nia Frazier||Left||S01E01||S07E20||Nia was one of the original members of the team since the Teams debut in Season 1. Nia was praised as a constantly improving dancer, including winning a scholarship for that very reason in Season 2. She was one of the most unchanging members, never once leaving the team until S7-E20, where she and the other teen dancers chose to leave the ALDC and compete separately as "The Irreplaceables".|
|Kendall joined the team in Season 2 after winning the first audition. She later was removed from the team by her mother in The Runaway Mom and joined Candy Apple's Dance Center. She returned to the ALDC in Guess Who's Back?, but was not an official part of the team until Solo Fever. Kendall was part of the team until S7-E20, where she and the other teen dancers chose to leave the ALDC and compete separately as "The Irreplaceables".|
|Kalani was invited to join ALDC after competing in AUDC. Kalani and her mother took a temporary leave but returned 2 weeks later. Kalani and her mother were absent for the entirety of the second half of season four, as they refused to sign a contract that would lock them into the show for seven years. Kalani later re-joined the team in Season 5 to fill in for Chloe and remained on the team until S7-E20, where she and the other teen dancers chose to leave the ALDC and compete separately as "The Irreplaceables".|
|Camryn Bridges||Left||S07E02||S07E20||18||Camryn was invited to join the team after being called back from Abby's and the Dance Moms audition process for the seventh season. She was eventually made a permanent member of the team and remained until S7-E20, where she and the other teen dancers chose to leave the ALDC and compete separately as "The Irreplaceables".|
Junior Select EnsembleIn 2013, Abby announced she would be holding auditions nationwide to find new members for the Junior Elite Competition Team. However later that year she decided to find an entire new team rather then just new members for her current team. The team was officially formed in February 2014. All current members currently dance at other studios. The team debuted in the episode Presenting My New Team, where Maddie Ziegler was added to the new team. Each team member (with the exception of Maddie) was selected to rival a member of the Junior Elite Team.
In the second half of Season 4, the members of the ensemble have fluctuated. Only Kamryn and Tea' have stayed as consistent members. Sarah H, Sarah R, and Jade have all competed for the Original Junior Elite Team while Ava was dismissed from the Ensemble before Nationals. Most of the time, the girls only stayed for the week. Maddie and Chloe only performed for the team for one week before returning to the Junior Elite Team. In Hollywood Here We Come, Part 2, Abby officially disbanded the Ensemble.
Former Junior Enemble Members (At the time of the disbandment)
|Sarah Reasons||Inactive||S04E16||S04E31||Rival of Nia. Sarah is from Club Dance Studio in Arizona, the same studio as Kalani. Her mother Tracey is often at odds with Kalani's mother Kira. Sarah has been active with both teams.|
|Kamryn Beck||Inactive||S04E16||S04E31||Rival of Chloe. Kamryn was seen as the "Maddie" of the Ensemble.|
|Tea' Adamson||Inactive||S04E16||S04E31||Rival of Mackenzie.|
|Jade Cloud||Inactive||S04E16||S04E31||Rival of Kalani. Jade was recently seen competing with ALDC without the other members of the Ensemble. Jade then returned to the Ensemble.|
Former Junior Ensemble Members (Prior to disbandment)
|Ava Cota||Kicked Off||S04E16||S04E26||Rival of Kendall. Ava had auditioned for Abby in Season 3 but lost to Ally. After the events of Chloe Gets Revenge, Jeanette brought Ava back to a competition with her studio. Abby was furious and thought of it as a sneak attack. Abby then cut her from the team.|
|Sarah Hunt||Inactive||S04E16||S04E31||Rival of Mackenzie. Sarah was dismissed from the group dance due to her mother's behavior. Sarah performed with the Junior Elite team but only joined them for the week. Sarah has since been joining and getting kicked off both teams due to her mother's behavior.|
|Chloe Lukasiak||Moved back to Junior Elite||S04E25||S04E26||Chloe has been one of the dancers since the team's creation. She has been suspended once before due to her mother's behavior, however it was only for one week. She was recently seen competing for the Ensemble and but returned to the Original Junior Elite Team.|
|Maddie Ziegler||Moved back to Junior Elite||S04E16||S04E21||Maddie was added to the new team and received no rival, because Abby thought she was too good. In the Season 4.5 premier she will re-join the Junior Elite competition team, probably due to Kalani's absence.|
ALDC Mini Team
At the start of Season 6, Abby formed a mini team as she was hoping that these dancers would carry on the legacy that the elite team created. The mini team was featured on the show for the entirety of the sixth season but was finally disbanded at the start of Season 7.
Former ALDC Mini Team Members (At the time of the disbandment)
|Alexus Oladi||Inactive||S06E03||S07E02||Alexus had been part of the team since its creation. Her mother's beliefs that Alexus was the best on the team often got them both in hot water, with both Abby and the other mini team mothers. Alexus remained on the team until Abby's Worst Nightmare, where the mini team was finally disbanded.|
|Areana Lopez||Inactive||S06E03||S07E02||Areana had been part of the team since its creation. She was believed to be Abby's favorite on the team. Areana remained on the team until Abby's Worst Nightmare, where the mini team was finally disbanded.|
|Peyton Evans||Left||S06E03||S07E01||Peyton had been part of the team since its creation. Her mother often got into fights with the moms and Abby, which ultimately doesn't go well in Peyton's favor. She is also portrayed to be the weakest link on the team, with the moms stating that she struggled to keep up with the rest of the girls. Peyton remained on the team until Fight for Your Life, where she and her mother decided to depart from the show.|
|Elliana Walmsley||Inactive||S06E17||S07E02||Elliana joined the mini team towards the end of the first half of Season 6. Elliana remained on the team until Abby's Worst Nightmare, where the mini team was finally disbanded.|
|Lilliana Ketchman||Inactive||S06E22||S07E02||Lilliana joined the mini team at the beginning of the second half of Season 6. Lilliana remained on the team until Abby's Worst Nightmare, where the mini team was finally disbanded.|
Former ALDC Mini Team Members (Prior to disbandment)
|Mia Ciociano||Left||S06E04||S06E04||0||Mia was announced via social media that she was on the new mini team. Eventually, however, Mia and her mother decided that it was too much pressure for her, so they left.|
|Alysa Owen||Left||S06E03||S06E06||3||Alysa was a member of the time since it's creation. However, she and her mother made no more appearances on the show after Abby's New Favorites. The reason as to why they left is unknown.|
|2||Kendyl initially joined the team to bring the total number of dancers on the team to four. Her mother decided to pull her from the team by the end of the episode, stating that she didn't agree with Abby's teaching methods. Despite this, they returned to compete with the team once again but left again due to the same reasons as before.|
Other information on Dance Moms
Weekly schedules for the show's dancers differ between weeks when filming, and weeks when not filming.
- Monday - No filming.
- Tuesday - Interviews.
- Wednesday - Pyramid. Christi indicates this one tiny segment actually takes two or three hours to film. This is the first day they learn who will have solos or who will get to participate in a duet or trio, and what the group dances will be about.
- Thursday - Dances are actually learned. Solos are typically taught in two "private" sessions (one of which may be filmed), each lasting an hour or less. The short amount of time is the principle reason Maddie does not perform tap on the show, as those routines take more time to learn. Group dances are taught in about two hours. Although the girls attend normal schools before going to the studio, they also do additional work with a tutor when the instructors are busy teaching solos to other members.
- Friday - Travel to the competition.
Kendall and Nia indicate that they usually stay at the studio until 10:00 p.m. or later after filming for dance. Abby complains that [child protection labor] laws have made scheduling needlessly complicated around cameras, and they actually do more dancing in periods when they are not filming. (Christi indicates Chloe dances around ten to twelve hours a week.)
Off the Show
Jennine Wedge classifies the different companies as follows:
- Senior Company
- Elites - What is on the show
- Petites - Mackenzie's other team
- Hot Shots
- Hot Tots
- Tiny Tots
Abby has stated she started the ALDC at age fourteen, probably in 1980; later dates for its foundation have also been indicated, possibly attesting to no formal status until Abby reached legal adulthood.
Relationship with Reign Dance Productions
Abby is also owner of Reign Dance Productions, which shares the same building, but which does not make the same claims to non-profit status as the ALDC. Additionally, the ALDC selects young dancers by audition only, and is geared towards competitive dance.
Reign Dance Productions offers a variety of classes for dance and the performing arts. It was formerly known as the Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio, and was started by Abby's mother, Maryen Lorrain Miller.
The address of the Abby Lee Dance Company is 7123 Saltsburg Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. It is located on the border of Penn Hills, Plum Boro, and Monroeville.
According to abbyleedancecompany.com in Spring 2015, visiting was welcome Monday through Thursday from 4pm to 8pm. On Friday through Sunday, hours varied with rehearsals and competitions, and requested those interested call first.
In 2016, with declining membership and Abby threatened with jail time, the Pittsburgh building became home of the Appolonia Leake Dance Company (still ALDC acronym) in July 2016.
A second studio in Los Angeles had its Grand Opening on May 30th, 2015. Its location is 11419 Santa Monica Boulevard. At nearly 10,000 square feet, its building is more spacious than the one in Pittsburgh.
ALDC Dance Off
- Tate McRae (2013, 12 and under, for "Swallow")
- Addison Moffett (2013, 13 and over)
- Brynn Rumfallo (2014, 12 and under)
- Chloe Smith (2014, 13 and over)
- According to Diane Pent (in a message amidst extremely polemical accusations against Abby), the ALDC competition team had over 130 students prior to financial problems, but dwindled to less than 30 students around the period Abby filed for bankruptcy in 2010, owing to various cost-cutting and cash-raising measures that alienated clinetele. A 2012 team photo suggests somewhat over 30 students at the time. In mid-June, 2014, the ALDC reportedly has 50 to 60 students.
- The minimum age for being a member of the company is usually five or six. Dance training at Abby's studio prior to that age would likely be done only as technical recreational students for Reign Dance Productions, not as ALDC members.
- Recent alumni Taylor Ackerman, John Fiumara, Jesse Johnson and Miranda Maleski performed on the finale of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition as the "Abby Lee Professional Dance Company."
- In 2007, Reign Dance Productions had 200 students, paying an average of $200 per month for 14 hours per week in training. Abby commented, "That amounts to a little over three dollars an hour -- less than a baby sitter." In a 2015 Ireland interview, Abby stated that the price for Melissa's mom was $262 per month, the price had not changed in three years for students, repeated her cheaper-than-a-babysitter comparison, and that this included 16 hours per week in training.
- The preschool program was started by Abby's mother Maryen beginning for students at age two; combining tap, ballet and tumbling; and this program has been continuing in that form since the mid-1950's.
- Abby has indicated that the show has not been good for her older business, losing students to other local studios, and not attracting new students despite having no higher prices.
- When asked if Maddie was her favorite student, Abby instead mentioned Mark (last name unclear; possibly alumni Mark Myars); alumni Katie Hackett; and then Gianna.
- Among a wide variety of other activities and accomplishments, alumni Brittany Markle has served as a dance instructor at San Diego Dance Centre, home studio of Sophia Lucia.
- Official website abbyleedancecompany.com
- Official website reigndanceproductions.com
- Twitter page @ALDC_official
- Instagram account @aldcstudiola, official instagram for ALDC LA (websta version)
- Instagram account @aldcstudiopgh, official instagram for ALDC Pittsburgh
- Archives of Reign Dance Productions Official website
- Older archives of Reign Dance Productions Official website with internal links to 2006 to early-2011 results, FAQ's, members at the time, other information
- More archives of www.abbyleedancecompany.com
- More archives of www.abbyleedancecompany.com/rdp
- ALDC's Dance Off competition, judged by Abby and other faculty
- @aldcprobz Twitter publicly anonymous student legacy account, endorsed/promoted by Abby and in communication with studio members
- Ages of the Junior Elite team over its history