Previously on Dance Moms, Abby devised a March Madness bracket-style dance battle to determine which girls would have a solo at Nationals. Kendall beat JoJo in the head-to-head contest. And after weeks of losing in LA, the girls finally found their footing, sweeping the competition. Will the ALDC be able to sustain the momentum? 

After weeks of bickering and losing, the waters have finally calmed a little. Abby is getting closer to the grand opening of her new studio. She is planning on holding the opening the same week as Nationals. This has Jill worried that Abby’s focus isn’t going to be directed where it should be, which is with the girls. But at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and Abby seems to be in a good mood.

Dance Moms Recap: JoJo and Kendall Dance for a Spot at Nationals >>>

The Pyramid

In this episode, “Baby Dance Mama Drama,” Kalani finds herself at the bottom of the pyramid, which is to be expected. She was not in the previous group routine. I mean, there was a short period of time where we didn’t even know if she was in the company! JoJo is next. She was pitted against Kendall and lost. Then it’s Nia, Kendall and  Maddie. Mackenzie takes the coveted top spot.

Kendall vs. Maddie

This episode finds the girls traveling to Spokane, Washington, to compete in Sheer Talent Competition. After besting JoJo, Kendall is moving on to the next round, where she will face off against Maddie. She is given a Little Red Riding Hood-inspired solo called “Blowing Red.” Maddie will portray a tree come to life in a solo titled “The Woods.” Mackenzie isn’t even allowed to say the name of her solo, which is “Bat Shit Crazy.” The moms seem to think Mackenzie’s solo might be a reflection of Abby Lee Miller herself. I’m thinking it should be the name of her new studio. 

The group is doing a musical theatre number called “Always a Bridesmaid.” It’s supposedly inspired by the movie Bridesmaids. I don’t see any of that other than “bridesmaid” being in the title of both. Sometimes, I wonder where Abby makes these connections. 

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

The moms are watching rehearsal when Jess flat-out asks Kira if she’s going to get married. I wish I had a better segue into this, but it’s sort of out of nowhere. Kira says her boyfriend had planned on asking her, but it didn’t work out. She admits to not being traditional, in case there was any question.

Abby is called over to the group of moms, where Kira announces that she is five months pregnant. Abby is genuinely excited for her. Abby’s happiness about the news is shocking considering the knockdown drag-outs she and Kira have had lately. I guess it’s okay since Kira can blame her crazy mood swings on the pregnancy. Abby decides they need to throw Kira a baby shower. For some reason, Abby thinks the shower should be bridal themed. Melissa looks at her and basically says, WTF? No.

It’s Never About Nia

During rehearsals, Holly receives a call from Mikey, Nia’s music video producer. She pulls Nia out of class and takes the call outside. Mikey says he wants to shoot another music video with Nia next week. Abby isn’t too thrilled. Holly makes the point that Abby won’t help Nia with her career and doesn’t support her when she goes out on her own to pursue opportunities. If you’re confused as to what Holly is talking about, go back and watch the entire first half of season 5. It’s the same argument on repeat. But she does have a point. 

Holly returns inside and tells the other moms about the upcoming shoot. They’re happy for Nia — if happy consists of groans and eye rolls. I’m surprised Jill didn’t blurt out, “Why are we talking about Nia? This is Kendall’s week!”

Smoke and Mirrors and Props

This is an important episode in the world of Dance Moms. It’s even more important than the previous episode because now there are only two weeks until Nationals, as opposed to three. 

Everyone is wondering who will be assigned solos for the big competition. Jill knows that it’s not just going to be tough for Kendall to beat Maddie, but it’s going to be tough for anyone to beat her. Maddie is a rising star, and that’s hard enough to compete with. The only way anyone else is going to get a solo for Nationals is if Maddie can’t go because she’s booked a job. #fact

Kira points out that Mackenzie is the only one to beat her all season, so it can be done. Holly believes the whole dance-off Abby has created is just smoke and mirrors. She thinks Abby already knows who she wants to dance at Nationals.

It looks like Kendall might actually have a chance until it’s revealed that yet again she’ll be dancing with a prop. This time, it’s a headscarf that she has to throw in the air and catch. Abby lets her know that if she drops the scarf, she loses. We all know how difficult headpieces are to dance with. Kendall is going to need all of the luck she can get. 

“You’re a Baby”

Mackenzie is in a different age group, so she isn’t directly competing against anyone. That doesn’t mean that Abby isn’t piling on the pressure, though. Her routine is fairly difficult and contains a lot of acrobatics. She is struggling a little to keep up with the choreography. After rehearsal, she starts crying. This conversation happens:

Abby: I don’t understand why you’re 10 years old and you cry. You’re a baby.

Mackenzie: No, I’m not.

Abby: Babies cry.

Mackenzie (in the sincerest tone): Everyone cries. 

She has a point, Abby. Stop putting so much pressure on these kids and just let them dance! Mackenzie is my favorite. 

Spokane, Solos and a Backstage Baby Shower

It’s the day of the competition. The moms had planned on surprising Kira with a baby shower backstage, but she is nowhere to be found. Kalani tells everyone that she is in the hospital. She’s had a tough pregnancy so far and everyone is concerned. 

The competition has started. Mackenzie is up first. Her music starts early, before the moms have even had a chance to take their seats. Like the true professional she is, Mackenzie doesn’t miss a beat. Her bat routine is actually pretty adorable for being so tough. 

Kendall is up next. She has one job! All she has to do is catch the scarf, and she can’t do it. She keeps her composure, though, and is able to finish the rest of the routine flawlessly. 

Maddie does what Maddie does. She dances her amazing routine in her amazing costume with her amazing music. 

The group dance is really good too. The ALDC has done musical theatre numbers in the past, but they’re always hit and miss. This one seems really light-hearted and fun. 

Kira is able to leave the hospital and make it to the competition. Everyone is really happy that things are okay. They continue with the surprise baby shower for her baby boy. He even gets a onesie with ALDC printed on it. I wonder if he’ll grow up to be a dancer with the Candy Apples. 

The Results

Junior Solo Awards

1st place — Mackenzie

Pre-Teen Solo Awards

2nd place — Kendall

1st place — Maddie


1st place — ALDC

Next time on Dance Moms, the ALDC dances with more props.

Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Lifetime.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Casey Cummings

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV