Miami Heat Wave (My "Dance Moms" Episode 10 Recap)
Where do I begin? Wow! The intensity of emotions the week leading up to our trip to Miami was incredible. It is an experience that I never want to happen again. Although some may disagree with my actions, I stand behind my request to meet with Abby in the hallway. If she did not want to meet with me, she could have said no, but she agreed. Abby’s hostile and negative reaction to my reasonable and polite request that Nia be considered for the trio IF Paige was unable to perform was outrageous and uncalled for.
It has become increasingly apparent that Abby has a double standard when it comes to dealing with me. She does not have an issue with the mothers who throw shoes at her or who burst into her classroom yelling and disrupting class or rehearsal. Yet when I ask to see her in a hallway to meet she is outraged. Somehow, the transgressions and outbursts of other moms are repeatedly overlooked, supported, or ignored.
When I left the studio after my argument with Abby I had no intention of ever coming back unless an apology was made. It was critical that I received an apology before I was able to agree to let Nia return. Nia never wanted to leave the dance and she woke up the next morning wondering if she was going to dance. However Nia and I had several heart to heart conversations about returning to the studio and she understood that certain boundaries were crossed and I had to reconcile those issues with Abby before she could return.
One of the things that I find most frustrating with Abby is how she lashes out at the girls when she has issues with the moms. She is able to use her power by exhibiting the limited control she has over the girls when it comes to dance, i.e. placement, attention, choreography, and performance.
I had to pray a lot about this decision and I finally have a certain sense of peace about our resolution. I can’t say I can forgive and forget, but I can forgive. Sometimes forgiving is hard to do and I had to model the act of forgiveness for Nia’s sake. I am not a perfect person or mother and I never claim to be. Motherhood is not sainthood. I try my best as a mom and I hope I make the best decisions for Nia. Part of my job as a mom is to teach Nia what it means to be a good person, not a perfect person. We all make mistakes and we have to learn from them and accept responsibility for our actions and move on. In some ways that was the core lesson of the week.
Watching Nia start off the dance with such energy and vigor was fabulous, but the mood quickly changed when she froze. My heart plummeted and I got sick to my stomach when I started to see the tears well up in her eyes as Nia stood motionless on stage. There was nothing I could do for my daughter at that moment and I felt helpless. For a mom, it was a heartbreaking scene to watch. It seemed like the longest 20 seconds of my life and it all happened in slow motion.
My first reaction was to scoop her up and console her. I wanted Nia to know that I love her and not to worry about anyone being upset with her that she forgot her dance. (Honestly, Nia knew that dance inside and out as she later proved…her freezing was more complicated than that.) It is so hard to watch your child fail in general, but to fail in front of hundreds of people is especially tough. A public failure can be humiliating and I would not wish that on anyone, especially a child.
Dancers forget dances. Nia has forgotten dances before, but she usually can choreograph something else so no one ever knows except her dance teacher. When she did not improvise, I knew that the stress of the week had gotten to her. Although I did not expect her to forget her dance, I am not surprised that the strains of the week took their toll on her.
Nia performed under adverse conditions, more than most will ever know, and she made the most out of a horrendous situation.
Yet, Nia never ceases to amaze me. I am not sure I could have returned to the stage to perform after forgetting a routine, but I would hope that I could do that. I wanted her to do it, but I knew it was a tough thing to do- but the right thing to do. She is the star of her own life and she gets to direct her actions. I wanted Nia to regain control and to prove to herself that she could do the dance. I believed in her and now she needed to believe in herself. I would say this week was a turning point for us.
Her courage and resilience is a shining example for all, adults and children. I saw this experience as an example of a “blessing of a skinned knee”. Nia’s ego was definitely bruised, but she learned from this experience. I think she handled the situation well for a 10 year old. I also had to help her keep this situation in perspective. Nia is not always going to get a second chance in life. This time she did and I am thankful to the competition director for allowing that second chance. Nia made the most out of that second chance and she had some closure to a very emotional week.
Yes, the end result of the week was a proud third place victory, but most importantly it was a personal victory for Nia.
**Don't miss new episodes of "Dance Moms" Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.