‘Dance Moms’: How the Producers Baited the Girls to Create Drama

Most fans of reality TV know that the shows are heavily produced and Dance Moms is no exception. Of course, there was natural drama between the original cast because of the history they shared and the imbalance of treatment at the Abby Lee Dance Company. However, the producers also did plenty of things to heighten tension between the cast and to create additional drama. They even baited the dancers at times in order to make the show more dramatic.

cast of 'Dance Moms' season 2 show
Dance Moms Season 2 cast | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

But just how did the Dance Moms producers heighten the drama for the show? There were plenty of tactics they used to fuel the fire. Because the original cast had no experience on reality TV, they didn’t know to turn off their microphones when the cameras weren’t filming them. Naturally, the producers listened in on private conversations and then used that information to create arguments. They also utilized clever editing to serve the narrative that they wanted to tell even if it wasn’t the truth.

The ‘Dance Moms’ producers didn’t accurately portray all of the cast members

Another tactic that the producers weren’t afraid to use was baiting the dancers into saying specific things for the camera. They also left out lots of footage that dispute the archetypes that they created for each dancer. For example, Brooke Hyland was stereotyped as the “brooding teenager” when, in reality, there were plenty of moments where she was having fun and enjoying the company of her fellow teammates. In an interview with Crazy Stupid Fangirls, actor and dancer, Chloé Lukasiak, revealed that she was really lucky that the edit she got on Dance Moms was fairly accurate.

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“I think I was lucky enough that I was like definitely accurately portrayed, I think,” Lukasiak shared. “I mean just clips I see on Instagram that people post or something. I’m like ‘Ok, I’m definitely like that.’ Like I was always like ‘I just want everyone to be happy.'” Continuing on, the Dance Moms alum shared that sometimes she knew she was being treated unfairly, but she was determined not to feed into the drama.

Chloé Lukasiak learned how to avoid the drama early on

“It wasn’t always in my control like if I did well or not,” Lukasiak shared, referencing the times she competed solos on Dance Moms. “I just did what I could and I was like I’m not gonna feed into that. I’m just gonna, like, support my friends and, like, be who I am because I’m not gonna let them turn me into someone I’m not. We would sit there and they’d be like ‘Well don’t you feel this way?” and I was like ‘No.'”

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Lukasiak also shared that she could see how other dancers could be easily baited into saying something that was against their character or that they didn’t really feel. This was especially true if the girls weren’t paying attention to the exact words that the Dance Moms producers were using.

How the ‘Dance Moms’ producers baited the girls in cast interviews

“So they would accurately be like ‘OK so like what’s your solo this week’ and then you would describe it,” Lukasiak shared about how the Dance Moms producers approached cast interviews. “But then sometimes [they’d] be like ‘So how did this make you feel about what she did to you or what Abby said to me.’ And that’s where like, some of the girls, I feel like they just — I don’t know if they listened or not but I was like ‘That’s not me. I’m not going to say that. Like I’m going to tell you how I really feel.'”

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Clearly, the Dance Moms producers had no problem manipulating the dancers to get the footage that they wanted. Fortunately, the original dancers seem to be in touch today, so the show didn’t completely destroy their friendships.