Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition
"Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" Episode 2: The Eliminated Mom's POV
In the second episode "Unleash the Monsters," Abby and the judges decided to send Kristen and her daughter Kyleigh Jai back to the studio! Here Kristen shares her thoughts about the episode. "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.
When I heard that the group challenge was “physical strength” I was excited because Kyleigh Jai is a strong dancer and her body type is more on the muscular side, so I thought she had a good chance to win. At the end of the combination she stood out to me because her free style movements as she moved toward Abby were slow and controlled with a unique muscular-posing approach. I thought it would be between either Kyleigh Jai or Brianna. I was very surprised when Jordyn was picked because the last thing I think of when I watch her dance is “strength.” What does “good eye contact” have to do with physical strength?
I did think it was smart of Jordyn to pick Zach to do a solo because he is a boy and does not impose as big of a threat as another female dancer, at least at that point in the competition.
I liked the theme of Monsters of the Night and I was excited for Kyleigh Jai to dance with Amanda and Brianna. They are both 3 years older and very talented dancers, and I think Kyleigh Jai held her own. Anthony even told her during rehearsals that she was “hanging with the big girls!” I did not like the fact that the girls never changed places in the trio to allow each one of them a chance to dance in the middle and have a moment to shine. Abby made a comment about how Kyleigh Jai “got lost in the corner” but I don’t feel it was her fault. On stage, Kyleigh Jai slipped on her cape and missed a kick, but I thought she finished strong and I applaud her for coming back from a traumatic mistake.
Whether or not Abby was referring to Kyleigh Jai when she said, “one of you sucked” didn’t really matter as much to me as the fact that she would even use those words when referring to children. In 20 years of teaching and coaching I have never told a student or player of mine that they have “sucked!” – EVER! I do not believe in falsely praising children when they haven’t earned it, but I absolutely would never harm a child’s soul by telling them at 10 years old that they “suck” at something! Especially when it is obvious that Kyleigh Jai is a very talented dancer. Yes, she made a mistake and it cost her the show, but Abby’s comments were completely unacceptable to me.
I thought Kyleigh Jai kept it together well on stage as she listened to the judges tear her apart, but I knew she was devastated with herself and humiliated by the judges, so of course she cried when she came over to me.
My biggest regret is that I didn’t stand up for Kyleigh Jai when Abby was so cruel! If I had a “do over” I would have confronted Abby on her aggressive manner toward children. Looking back, I would have also been more outspoken with the other mothers and instead of trying to rectify situations I would remind the neurotic moms of how embarrassingly stupid they were acting.
I know how badly Kyleigh Jai wanted to win and felt like she was cut before the judges could see her talent in a variety of genres, but I was relieved to get away from mothers like Kristie, Yvette, Maria, Erin and Kelly. I think these mothers are toxic, fake and trashy. Theirs motives for being on the show go beyond their daughters. It is obvious they are willing to do whatever they need to do in their quest for fame. I feel so sorry for their daughters because I do believe in the cliché’ “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I can only hope their daughters find their mothers as embarrassing as everyone else and figure out what NOT to be in life!
The best part of the experience was that Kyleigh Jai got to work with some amazing choreographers and met some very nice girls. It also strengthened our mother/daughter relationship because I was there every moment supporting her. She continues to train 20+ hours per week, including additional ballet classes and a hip hop workshop. My daughter wants to be a professional dancer, so we will just keep making steps toward her goal. For now, she is focused on maintaining her 4.0 in school, being the best dancer possible and building her inner strength and self-worth, so she can stand strong against the Abby’s of the world.
Watch new episodes of "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime