Do the Kids on ‘Dance Moms’ Like Abby Lee Miller?

We’ve been keeping up with Abby Lee Miller and her dance company for years thanks to Dance MomsWhile the Abby Lee Dance Company has proven to be successful and produce some of the finest young talent we’ve seen, the star herself still proves to be a polarizing figure. And from bankruptcy fraud to jail time to her health crisis, we’ve watched Abby have it all, lose everything, and rebuild her life from the ground-up.

For Season 8, Abby will be rejoining the Dance Moms crew and helping cultivate talent once again. But do the kids enjoy her as their teacher? Here’s what we think.

Abby Lee Miller is known for her tough-love approach to teaching

She may be effective at pushing the young dancers to be the best they can be on Dance Moms, but Abby’s tactics have still caused quite a stir amongst fans. Daily Mail Online reports Abby has said she’s strict on the kids because their parents aren’t. “I have bigger dreams for these kids than they have for themselves. I want them to be better — I want them to win … Life is a competition,” she said.

Abby also mentioned that while some may call her a bully, she isn’t rude the first time she tells a child to do something on the dance floor. If they fail to follow directions, however, they’re likely to feel the pressure. As she said, “When I tell a child something the first time, I’m nice. The 15th time, I start to get aggravated. By the 30th time, they’re doing 100 push-ups and I’m screaming at them.” She also explained that there’s proof her methods work, as many of the kids in her dance school have gone on to become ultra successful.

Off the show, it appears she also may have a soft side we rarely get to see. As she said, “I’m a schoolgirl at heart … There’s still an innocence to me. I’ve done a lot of nice things for my girls. … I take them to dinners, to movies, to Broadway shows. Most of my kids, over the years, have never seen a plane or been to a five-star hotel.”

Her students seemingly respect her and like her

So, how do her students respond to teachings? While the moms and fans may not be too happy, it seems the kids are mostly grateful for her strict rules. JoJo Siwa, another Dance Moms kid who has gone on to do bigger and better things, has spoken kindly of Abby’s teachings to People. “I have a lot of respect for Abby and she taught me a lot of things, not only about dance but simple things like manners in a restaurant,” JoJo said. Not only that, but JoJo also gave Abby a $10,000 check from Dancers Against Cancer.

Also while Abby was in the hospital for her cancer treatments, Radar Online reports some of her other little dancers went to visit her, too. Erica Perri and Maddie Pietrusinski visited the ailing star as they were on their way to prom, which certainly was the uplifting boost Abby needed.

Maddie Ziegler no longer speaks to her, however

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Though she left Dance Moms at the end of Season 6, Maddie Ziegler still stands as one of the most talented and popular young stars to ever appear on the show. Fans have noticed the young star barely mentions her previous mentor, however. And for an interview with Seventeen, Maddie noted that the show was stressful, and Abby was just as intense in real life as she appeared on TV. The young dancer did say, however, that Abby had her redeeming qualities. “But the thing that I like about her most is she can actually be funny sometimes. And she also wanted me to be good,” Maddie said.

Still, it seems Abby isn’t loving how little credit Maddie has given her in the past. On her Lifetime special, Dance Moms: Abby Lee Tells All, Entertainment Tonight notes she said she was disappointed Maddie never speaks to her or mentions her. Abby also said that she doesn’t think Maddie would have had the success she has today without her. “And I can confidently say that. I’m not gonna say that I ‘made’ anybody, I didn’t make her, her mom and dad created her, but I certainly added my two cents in,” she said.

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