The Real Reason Abby Lee Miller Left ‘Dance Moms’ (and Why She’s Coming Back)

For reality TV fans, Dance Moms offered an in-depth look into the world of competitive dance and what it takes for talented kids to become stars. Since 2011, fans have followed the most talented of the bunch through their wins, losses, and for some, eventual fame. And through it all, there was Abby Lee Miller — the owner of Abby Lee Miller Dance Company who taught the young girls everything they need to know to succeed in the industry.

Abby Lee Miller may have been a great dance teacher, but she wasn’t without her drama. And there even came a time when she left the show. Here’s why she quit — and also why she’s rejoining the crew again soon.

Abby Lee Miller first announced on Instagram she would no longer be a part of Dance Moms 

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The majority of children that follow me may be fast asleep, however now is the critical time to make the following statement: I WILL NO LONGER TAKE PART IN DANCE MOMS. FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS/ SEVEN SEASONS I HAVE ASKED, BEGGED, AND EVEN DEMANDED CREATIVE CREDIT FOR ALL THE IDEAS, AWARD WINNING ROUTINES, THEMES, AND COSTUMING – TO NO AVAIL! TODAY, I WAS SO PROUD THAT I WENT AGAINST THE PRODUCER'S IDEA (ONCE AGAIN) TO ENTER A COMMAND PERFORMANCE OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE NUMBERS… "WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?" ALONG WITH THREE BEAUTIFUL SOLOS! I don't have a problem working with any kid, I love children and have dedicated my life to making other people's children successful! I JUST HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING MANIPULATED, DISRESPECTED, AND USED – DAY IN AND DAY OUT BY MEN WHO NEVER TOOK A DANCE LESSON IN THEIR LIVES AND TREAT WOMEN LIKE DIRT! #dancemoms #season7 #ALDC #aldcalways #newbeginnings #aldcla #alllovedancecourage

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While Miller had been working on the show since the very beginning in 2011, it appeared that her frustrations really came to the forefront in 2017. Entertainment Tonight explains in February 2017, Miller expressed her frustrations with the producers at an OK! Magazine party. She alleged that she was done doing the costume design because, as her accountant said, she was “losing money, wasting time and not getting paid.” And just a month later, she took to Instagram to announce that she’d finally had enough with the production team and was quitting the show altogether.

On her announcement post, she said she’d no longer be taking part in the show because “FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS/ SEVEN SEASONS I HAVE ASKED, BEGGED, AND EVEN DEMANDED CREATIVE CREDIT FOR ALL THE IDEAS, AWARD WINNING ROUTINES, THEMES, AND COSTUMING – TO NO AVAIL!” She then added that she finally stood up to the producer ideas, which she felt were not appropriate. “I JUST HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING MANIPULATED, DISRESPECTED, AND USED – DAY IN AND DAY OUT BY MEN WHO NEVER TOOK A DANCE LESSON IN THEIR LIVES AND TREAT WOMEN LIKE DIRT!” she added.

According to Deadline, one insider said Miller was prone to these outbursts, so no one was too shocked by her declaration. And the producers were also planning on continuing the show with or without her.

Miller was then out of the spotlight due to legal and health battles

Leaving the show was a huge decision for Miller — but her troubles were seemingly just beginning. Deadline reminds us early on in 2017, she was hit a number of charges related to fraud and current reporting violations. And People reports she was set in July 2017 to begin her 366-day sentence for the fraud. Not only that, but she was also fined $40,000 and was ordered to pay an additional $120,000. “I have to stay busy. If I thought about it every day, I’d just sit around and cry,” she said at the time.

And that wasn’t all. People reminds us just one month after she was released from prison in 2018, Miller started experiencing severe neck pain and arm weakness. This turned out to be from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Since then, she’s received chemotherapy and rehab, and fans have gotten to see her cancer-fighting journey on social media. As one insider said, “She’s getting a little stronger every day, but we don’t know if she’ll ever walk again.”

She’s now returning for Season 8 of Dance Moms

As for some good news for Miller, she just announced she’s returning to Dance Moms for the upcoming season. On Instagram, she posted a photo of herself with the caption, “Can you believe I’m going to film Season 8 of Dance Moms! Yes, it’s official! We begin the end of Jan!” As for why she’s returning, she’s proven that dance is her life — and she’s mentioned how much she loves working with the talented kids at her studio before.

Entertainment Tonight reminds us Miller completed her fifth round of chemotherapy less than six months ago, but she’s been thinking positively for awhile now. As one source told the publication, “She’s going through therapy, she’s going through all the things that she needs to be going through, chemo obviously. [I] think she only has one or two more rounds of chemo, so that’s really, really good for her, but she’s happy, she’s in good spirits.”

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