Dance Moms in Phoenix!

Hello lovely bloggers, I hope you’re all well! I’ve been extremely busy recently, completing my sorority service projects and having lots of fun in the process. It’s such a crazy time as over the next few weeks, I’ve got to complete all my hours and get involved in lots and lots, but I do truly love it. I couldn’t imagine my American life without my sorority. I’ll be helping pack bags for giving out to the homeless people, assisting a walk in Sedona and lots more, so make sure you stay tuned for that.

However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t do anything fun! In the midst of my year abroad studies, I want to make sure I do as many fun things as possible. This was done in style on 29th October 2016. I saw that the cast of Dance Moms were going to Phoenix and I could NOT turn the opportunity down. My friend Rosa and I planned our little trip down to the state capital for a day trip. We set off at 7:15am and got back at 10:00pm, but what a wonderful day it was!

I’m very fortunate in that this was my second time with the company. In August 2014, I went to the Abby Lee Dance Company masterclass in London which was INSANE. I went as a present from my parents for completing my A Levels and getting into Warwick University. I got a professional photograph done with Abby Lee Miller herself, I met the girls and wished that I could fly over to America to live…

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In 2014, I had long hair and looked super happy to meet Abby Lee Miller!
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Back when I was flexy, flirty and fun! (OH CMD IS WONDERFUL). I’m having ‘circle’ withdrawal symptoms out here.

That whole day was wonderful, so wonderful I’ve been wanting to recreate it again and again. Well, Little Old Me was extremely fortunate to be able to get the chance. As I’ve said, my friend Rosa and I made the drive down to Phoenix, arriving at the location for 9:15am. Initially, we worried that we were slightly too late however we timed it perfectly. As we were driving into the school, we saw the cast filming some of the show and managed to get some incredible close up shots as we drove past in Rosa’s SUV. It was at this point that I started to fangirl crazily in the car, I couldn’t believe that I was so close to all of the girls and their moms.

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The drive in to the school…
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The girls and Kira!

The episode that I went to see be filmed is Season 7, Episode 8. I don’t know when it’ll be aired, but make sure you check me out because it is very likely I’ll be on TV, which is super exciting. If only I was the next Maddie Ziegler though…

Anyway, Rosa and I got out of the car and walked up to the entrance of the school, but not before we saw Abby Lee Miller herself do some tapping. I couldn’t believe I could finally see Abby do some dancing! At the masterclass in 2014, she was an excellent teacher and presence, but you rarely saw her actually move. To see her doing a Suzy Q was so American and wonderful. (If you check out my instagram, you can see the video). One thing that I immediately took from this is how kind Abby actually is, the programme does make her out to be a monster which isn’t the case at all. The fame may have got to her head, but imagine if your students were catapulted into stardom and you had to deal with a million and one things at once!

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The moms and Abby doing some filming with the fellow competitors.
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Getting closer to the moms! Here is Nia, Holly and Gianna!

Rosa and I then crossed to the side in which the moms were and I managed to get a picture with Jill Vertes which was super exciting! Jill is without a doubt my favourite mom, and probably the most similar to my mum herself, in the fact she has children who are also my age. When I went to the masterclass in 2014, I happened to be in a lift with my friend Leanne, her mum Kathy and Jill, so being able to get a photo with Jill is a completion of many happy memories. Even if she says this to most people that she meets, she did compliment my dress which was super cute and it was a PERFECT start to my Dance Moms filled day.

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Note the outfit disparity, America is such a bizarre climate (This was 26 degrees celsius, how is Jill in thigh highs and a scarf?)

The actual event was so cool! Considering it only cost me $11 for a ticket, it was 100% worth it and if the Dance Moms girls are performing near you, I would definitely go out of your way to go and see a show. It was a wonderful TV experience and finally go to a dance competition. During the competition, there were over 60 dances with so many ‘Junior Advanced Contemporary’ routines, I’ve easily seen enough for a lifetime now. When you’re at a Dance Moms event, you also have to sign a disclosure form stating that you can be on TV if you’re in the background of a shot etc etc…

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My original seat!

… I didn’t actually think I’d be on TV until I realised how good my seat was! There was a woman in front of us who was barring people from sitting in a specific part of the auditorium because this is where the MOMS would be sitting! I couldn’t believe my luck, I’d be in the presence of the Dance Moms and their kids! I happened to be sitting directly by Kira Girard and Ashlee Rumfallo who are both bloody beautiful (can someone give me Kira’s figure please?), with Abby 2 rows in front. Being in her presence at a dance competition has made my American experience a little bit more complete. She was also handing out sweets because it was Halloween and I managed to get one, so I can’t wait to rot my teeth on that. Kira also asked me where I was from which was super cute.

The way in which the competition worked was in 2 halves, in which the Dance Moms girls ended both halves. They would dance their routines, then the judges would leave, leaving the girls to dance it again purely for camera purposes. I knew that this was the case, but I thought it was the other way round. Having it in this way means that they can’t improve upon their scores, which makes the competition fair. Seeing all of the other kids competing in awe of the minis and the original team was a delight and I realised just how important competitive dance is to so many of the girls.

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THE MOMS. At this point, I was shaking!

Without wanting to spoil surprise but fill in on the event, I’ll do a few bullet points:

  • There were 3 solos performed on this day, one by Kendall Vertes called DOA. This placed 1st in the teen category.
  • There were 2 mini solos, performed by Liliana and Eliana. These placed 1st and 2nd in the petite category, with Liliana winning the best solo of the day and receiving the only Diamond score. I can fully vouch for this, it was so deserved and incredible and I can’t believe that she is only 8 years old!
  • The group dance was called Six Feet Under and placed 1st in the groups. Again, thoroughly well deserved, and an excellent piece of choreography by Miss Abby.

I managed to get a sneaky picture of the team receiving their group award, which I’m impressed by myself in! So much so, Holly (Nia’s mom) has liked this photo on Instagram which has surpassed the inner expectations I had of this whole event!

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The girls from the ALDC LA. 

Overall, the whole event was an absolute delight and I’m so happy I went. I’m hoping that I feature on TV, so make sure you check it out! But, I have to say how wonderful my friend Rosa is and how thankful I am for her driving us all the way there and back! We’ll be on TV together! Due to our drives together, I’ve now got a song totally in my head which you should too.

Enjoy,

Sophie x

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