Lifetime’s reality hit, “Dance Moms,” follows the lives of pre-teen competitive dancers and their no-nonsense teacher, Abby Lee Miller.
However, the dancers and the teacher aren’t the only stars of the show. As the title suggests, it’s the mothers that bring the drama as they try to protect their kids from a somewhat overbearing coach, instill a sense of pride and teamwork in their children and maintain the friendships among the moms.
Sister 2 Sister asked Holly Frazier, the proud mother of dancer Nia, if what’s on TV is true to life. Is Abby Lee really that bad? What are her goals for her daughter, and what does she think when Abby tells her daughter, “Your mom doesn’t love you”?
Check it out.
Tracy: What made you decide to do the show?
Holly: Nia had been asked to audition for the show and she had to ask me several times before I seriously considered this opportunity. Initially I did not think we were the type of dance family that the show was looking for so I did not want Nia to get her hopes up about being selected. I also found it difficult to believe that a TV show centered around our dance studio would generate viewer interest.
Although I am a person who normally values her privacy, I did not want to go through life wondering "what if" if I told Nia "no" about auditioning for the show.
Tracy: How has it been becoming somewhat of a celebrity?
Holly: I still do not see myself as a celebrity even though when I go out in public people may act as though I am one. I always tell people that I am like their next-door neighbor. I still find it odd when people get excited to see us. It’s weird to have people sneaking to take pictures of us when we are doing our routine activities. You forget that you are always on display and you never know when you will be spotted or recognized. Giving up my privacy has been difficult. Although we were warned to expect that some people would consider us celebrities, I never imagined that it would really happen…but it has.
Tracy: Are you surprised by the success of the show?
Holly: The success of the show continues to surprise me and I am amazed with the show’s popularity. I think “Dance Moms” was a sleeper hit and no one expected it to be so successful. We thought we would film for six weeks and that was it. Then six weeks turned into 13 weeks and season 1 turned into season 2.
Tracy: Is Abby as no-nonsense as she seems on TV?
Holly: In my view, what you see is what you get with Abby. In some ways, I think the editing makes Abby appear nicer and softer than she acts in everyday life.
Tracy: What are your future professional goals for Nia?
Holly: I would love Nia to go to college and have a career. I know she wants to be a performer and would love to be on Broadway or have a role on a Disney and/or Nickelodeon show. Nia has expressed interest in dancing, music videos and singing as well. I am not sure what the future will hold for her, but I can envision her in the performing arts as a profession. As Nia’s mom I want to support her in fulfilling her dreams.
Tracy: From the editing, it doesn’t seem like you raise much fuss when Abby accuses you of not loving Nia. Why don’t you protest more?
Holly: I have objected to Abby’s misguided and hurtful accusations. Although the audience does not always get to see the full context of my arguments with Abby, I rarely let a cruel comment go unaddressed. However, I must stress what is most important to me is Nia knowing that I love and support her. Nia knows that I love her. When all is said and done what I really care about is Nia’s opinion, not Abby’s. As long as Nia knows that I love her, she knows that whatever Abby is saying about me is untrue, unfair, baseless and wrong. I can’t control Abby’s actions, but I can and do address them whenever appropriate to do so. We have instilled a sense of pride in Nia so she does not react in a way that lets Abby steal her joy or diminish her self-esteem.
Tracy: Nia and the other girls have left the dance company (at various times) and said they want to return. Do you think that’s really because they’re fine with how Abby treats them and speaks to them, or is it just because the girls feel united against a common enemy and because they don’t want to let one another down?
Holly: My take is that the girls love dancing at the studio. The girls have a connection and a shared dance team experience, but they also are truly like sisters. I believe that no one benefits from negativity and so who wouldn’t want Abby to tone down the negativity? My perspective is that the girls respect Abby and want and value her constructive feedback. The instructive wisdom in Abby’s message may be on target but at times it can be muted by a too harsh or insensitive delivery. The girls are a support network for each other and share a strong bond stemming from a shared unique experience that many probably cannot understand. Abby’s formula at times needs tweaking and that’s why dance moms are an important part of the equation!
Watch as Holly has some news that’s better than cake. Watch this clip from the show.
—Tracy L. Scott
Do you watch "Dance Moms"? Do you think Holly is too nice to Abby? Do you agree with Holly’s decision to take a year off work to support Nia’s dancing? Leave your comments below.