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Spanning eight seasons and 224 episodes, Dance Moms was nothing short of a phenomenon. The reality TV show pulled the curtain back on competitive dance and made household names of some of its cast members. Considering the show was so wildly popular, some fans will have trouble believing that the hit show was only supposed to be a few episodes. 

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

The original cast of Dance Moms, which consisted of Dr. Holly Hatcher-Frazier, Christi Lukasiak, Melissa Gisoni, Kelly Hyland, Cathy Nesbitt-Stein, and their daughters were initially told that the show was only going to be six episodes. And because none of them had any experience with reality TV shows, many of them thought the show was something of a joke and that nobody would watch it. 

How ‘Dance Moms’ expanded beyond the six original episodes 

So how did Dance Moms go from a few episodes to a multi-season show? Once the producers started filming and saw firsthand the dynamics between Abby Lee Miller and the moms, they knew they struck gold. And after showing the footage to the Lifetime network executives, the producers approached the cast about filming additional episodes. In a recent YouTube video, Lukasiak recalled the conversation that the producers had with the cast. 

“‘Listen, the network wants more episodes,” Lukasiak shared about how Dance Moms first got extended. “And we were like, ‘Wait, it was supposed to be six.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, no, they think this is going to be a great show.’ And we’re like, ‘It’s not even aired yet.’ And they’re like, ‘It doesn’t matter, they think it’s great. They want more episodes so we’re going on the road this summer.’”

Christi Lukasiak almost didn’t go on the road with the cast because of her daughter 

Funnily enough, Lukasiak nearly turned down the opportunity to go on the road. As she had a one-year-old daughter, she couldn’t just pack up and leave home so easily. However, the Dance Moms producers weren’t willing to let her go without a fight. In fact, they hired a nanny to go on the road with the Abby Lee Dance Company Junior Elite Competition Team just so the Lukasiaks could come. 

The Dance Moms cast had only a few weeks off before they packed up their lives in Pittsburgh and got on the road. Of course, clever editing on the part of the producers made fans believe that “the road to nationals” was the plan all along instead of a decision that happened after the fact. 

‘Dance Moms’ has become a global phenomenon 

“Drove to the studio parking lot, got on a bus, and started at our cross-country trek,” Lukasiak recalled about taking Dance Moms on the road. “And what’s funny is that we were filming the show as it premiered. So the show actually premiered the week that we did the Vegas episode in season one.”


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Clearly, the executives at Lifetime knew they had struck gold with Dance Moms. The show developed a staggering fan base, many of whom are still invested in the original cast to this day.