Lifetime has become the channel for dance. Not only have they brought us Dance Moms but they now have a new series called Bring It. Bring It tells the story of the Dancing Dolls, a hip hop troupe from Jackson, Mississippi. Just like Dance Moms, they’re under the direction of a keen-eyed teacher known as Miss D (Dianna) who runs the Dollhouse Dance Factory. Like Abby Lee Miller, Dianna expects to win. Unlike Abby, Dianna’s girls are ready to shake it with hip hop and twerking. With two different styles of dance, is Lifetime hedging its bet or could Bring It actually replace Dance Moms?

Air Time

With both shows beginning new seasons, the commercials and viewing schedule has begun to raise questions. Could this be the final year of Dance Moms? With only two families remaining from the original cast, changes must be made. Is Abby ready to make a move? She has announced that she plans to move to LA and take a more active interest in managing her star students. Lifetime has given Bring It a flashier promotional look and has been given more air time to the commercials. Could Lifetime be moving away from the Abby Lee Miller‘s franchise and looking to Dianna’s Bring It to take over.

Dance Styles

Dance Moms does competitive dance but in lyrical, tap, acrobatic, and Broadway. Abby expects her dancers to be Broadway/Hollywood ready and the girls are supposed to be able to learn dances quickly. The problem is that technique may lack due to her urge for speed. The competition must always be centered and play to a stage audience which limits creativity and originality.

Miss Dianna on the other hand draws her inspiration from hip hop and the streets.With an African American heritage, Dianna plays to her students’ strengths. If a girl can handle lyrical, Dianna lets her do it. Step dancing is the basis of the company’s routines. For those unfamiliar with “step,” it is a combination of tap and hip hop. The majorette component comes with the addition of pom-poms to the routine. Stand Battles, which pits two dance teams against each other, often are decided in a matter of seconds and must rely heavily on the team’s skill. 

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Teaching Styles

While both teachers want their students to succeed, Abby Lee Miller uses a pyramid and harsh words for her girls which leaves them in tears. She withholds solos and, if they don’t win, she complains about shortcomings. Dianna on the other hand encourages her girls and offers positive compliments whether the girls win or lose. She can be harsh in rehearsals with cuts from Stand Battle but there is always a reason given and encouragement offer.

The Moms

The moms from Dance Moms have a viewing room and must stay for rehearsals. Everything that Abby says to the girls is heard by the moms. As television time has increased, the Dance Moms dress has changed to more dressy, less casual apparel.

Dianna does not allow the Bring It mom’s into the studio or to be present at rehearsals. They are stuck outside looking in with no clear idea of what is happening inside. Dressed in casual attire, the moms look like they came from a soccer game and as most moms dress. Dianna does not allow parents to argue with her. Unlike Abby, behavior does not play a role in whether a student will be allowed to participate in a Stand Battle. It’s based on talent.

Can Bring It Replace Dance Moms?

Both shows feature dance companies that compete weekly. While Dance Moms is traditional dance, Bring It features hip-hop and majorette. Both competitions are fierce but Bring It has the added Stand Battle component which Dianna cannot control. The last team standing and makes an impression with the judges wins.

So will this be the last year of Abby’s Dance Moms? Will Bring It,introduce more of the viewing public to hip-hop and Stand Battles? Abby’s ratings are slipping and she’s moving more to being an agent than a teacher. Is that what viewers want? Will traditional dance viewers accept the hip-hop style of Bring It. This battle of styles may be intriguing. The nice thing is that a channel is representing two different style of dance for their viewers to see diversity.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime) 

Linda Martindale

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV