In the Dance Moms season 5 reunion special, “Seeing Stars,” Holly and Abby explore the deterioration of their relationship. Abby not only faces off against a few of the moms, but her arch nemeses as well.

The ALDC are getting ready to pack their bags and relocate to LA, but before the big move, Abby and the moms sit down to hash out old grievances. Also making an appearance in the reunion show are two of Abby’s arch rivals, who have plenty to say about the controversial dance teacher.

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It’s Called Taking Action

Holly and Abby both give their own takes on their tumultuous relationship. Abby attributes her problem with Holly to her being tired of her daughter being stuck in the shadow of Maddie’s spotlight. Part of the reason aspiring dancers long to be a part of the ALDC is because they want a piece of what Abby’s star pupil has, but Abby says Nia’s day will come.

Holly calls out Abby for not being able to handle disagreements with a parent without dragging the child into it as well, a fact Abby doesn’t deny. Abby’s justification is that the girls are her students, and ultimately they know the truth. It’s more likely that she can bully the girls and take out her frustration on them without fear of retaliation. 

During the season, Abby vehemently denied telling a photographer during a shoot that only Maddie, Mackenzie and Kalani were likely to get booked for jobs, but the camera caught her remarks. When confronted, Abby doesn’t get much of a chance to either defend herself or apologize because Holly jumps all over the dance instructor for not taking responsibility for her bad behavior, saying, “When you do something wrong, own it! You can’t erase it!”

These two will never be fast friends, but it’s questionable if they have the capacity to even engage in civil discourse.

Holly also addresses her conflict with fellow moms Melissa and Jill. The women don’t vocalize their support for fear of getting on Abby’s bad side. More importantly, they don’t want their children to suffer the consequences that are an inevitable outcome of disagreeing with Abby and her methods. It’s Abby’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

Holly may be miserable, but she’s not blind to the opportunities that Nia has had being a part of the ALDC, and she has no plans to leave. Abby states that if that is the case, then Holly needs to stop complaining and shut her mouth. Abby goes as far as to state that Holly “doesn’t know her place, though, as a woman.”

Holly explains the difference between complaining and taking action. If Abby can’t deliver on what she’s supposed to do as Nia’s manager, then Holly will take action on her own as a “momager.”

Parental Guidance Suggested

Another mom who has issues to hash out with Abby is Jessalynn. Abby, after deflecting criticism from Holly, decides to go after Jessalynn and her daughter, JoJo. She practically accuses Jessa of child abuse for not taking JoJo, who has an obvious speech impediment, to a therapist. Abby claims Jessa is doing detrimental harm to her daughter. Jessa’s only defense is to point out that Abby is not a parent, but she doesn’t really address Abby’s “concerns.”

Haters are Going to Hate

As if there isn’t enough conflict within the ALDC, the studio has its fair share of haters, including Candy Apples Dance Center’s owner Cathy Nesbitt-Stein. She enters the arena, still glowing from her latest victory against Abby, with a megaphone. Cathy is obviously a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta because this prop comes straight out of the Kenya Moore playbook.

Cathy addresses the motives behind her antagonistic behavior towards Abby, stating that the best part of going to competitions is pushing Abby’s buttons, and if she can rattle her nemesis, that’s the win. Spoken like someone who doesn’t win many competitions.

Also on hand to add to the melee is Jeanette Cota, owner of the Broadway Dance Academy. She’s got no love for Abby or the way the brash dance diva treated her daughter, Ava. Jeanette addresses the accusations that she’s a stalker and a user. Jeanette claims that if anybody is guilty of parasitic behavior, it’s Abby, who Jeanette believes is using Maddie for personal gain. Jeanette also clarifies that she’s been told by Abby to show up at events, a claim Abby vehemently denies.

Abby promises that big things lay ahead for the ALDC, including a trip to Australia, where the group is likely to give a whole new meaning to the term “thunder from down under.”

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.