The Abby Lee Dance Company gets an extra helping of star power this week in the form of Rachelle Rak, a scrappy professional dancer with Broadway credits and years of experience. Rak's star may be shiny, but she's not above helping the ALDC craft a winning number. The Flashdance
performer is a personal friend of Abby's, so she lends her teaching skills and hairography to the ALDC with pleasure, polishing the group dance, "Gold Digger," with Fosse-caliber choreography. It's too bad Abby doesn't fully appreciate her friend's contributions.
Rachelle Rak Brings the "Sas"
Abby and the girls briefly celebrate their Ohio victories at pyramid, but they don't rest on their laurels. With another big competition coming up, Abby focuses on the business at hand. Brooke is excluded from this week's group dance after forgetting her part in "Rosa Parks." Kendall and Chloe get solos, while Maddie and Mackenzie perform a duet together. The group dance is a Bob Fosse-inspired number called "Gold Digger," and as a surprise treat, Abby's Broadway pal Rachelle Rak will be choreographing the dance and directing the girls.
Rachelle introduces herself as "Sas" and shows plenty of that while teaching the girls, whipping her Flashdance-ready hair around and giving some personal coaching to Paige. The moms are in awe of Sas and her fitness, wondering how they could possibly look so terrific in dance clothes. Meanwhile, Abby taps away on her cell phone and tries her best to relinquish control of the team. Of course, she's only able to take a back seat for so long.
In other mommy gossip, Melissa outstretches a gold-and-diamond bejeweled hand and announces that she got married recently. And on a Monday, apparently! The moms are blindsided by the speediness of the nuptials (and the randomness of a weekday wedding), especially since they were trying on dresses with Melissa just a few weeks ago. Christi wonders about the quick marriage and Abby's choice of group numbers. "Abby is the queen of subtleties," Christi says in an interview. "Is 'Gold Digger' a tribute to one of the moms?" Ouch! Poor Melissa just can't win with these ladies. It's true that "Gold Digger" could be a jab at the moms, but I doubt it's just pointed toward Melissa. When Abby coaches the kids to flirt with the audience like they are their mothers sniffing out money in a bar, Abby doesn't seem to spare any of the moms.
The criticism is unfair on some levels. Being a mother can certainly be a full-time job, and the nature of private, romantic relationships isn't for outsiders to judge. Then again ... it's hard to respect a group of grown women who wrap themselves in cellophane trying to look like Broadway dancers, all while drinking wine and complaining about their fading figures. Ladies, let's focus on diet and exercise, not plastic wrap meant for leftovers.
Despite Rachelle's killer credentials, Abby just can't give up control of her dancers. After Rak leaves, Abby makes some changes to the group number, cuts poor Mackenzie for being distractingly short and puts Kendall through a series of stamina-boosting exercises that seem like boot-camp torture all over again. Christ gives Chloe some rock-and-roll pointers for her edgy 80s dance, "Black Heart," which appall Abby. When Rachelle returns, she demands that her choreography be restored (including Mackenzie's spirited presence). Abby begrudgingly gives in and actually seems upset when Rachelle's choreography helps the group to a first place finish.
Technically, it was another winning week for the ALDC. The group dug for gold and won, plus Maddie and Mackenzie won their duet competition, Chloe won first place for her solo and Kendall took a respectable bronze for hers. Still, Abby doles out the criticism after the wins, all in the name of preparing the kids for the harsh realities of professional dance. Abby notes that Rachelle Rak serves as a reminder: these kids could find themselves with serious dance careers in the future, and Abby hopes they do. As the competition wraps up, she leaves the girls with some wisdom: "As Mr. Fosse said, 'It's all in the timing.'" If the dancers play their cards right, they could trade their prizes for Broadway lights someday. Want to add Dance Moms to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)