Catching Up on TV, Part 1: The Summer of the Stage Parents

Yes, it’s October, I know. But between reading, writing, and childcare I’m still working my way through my DVR from August (DVR may be this mom’s favorite technological innovation, behind the iPad which helps me AND Carston). In previous summers I have done a wrap-up of stage moms and dance shows, but this year there […]

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Teaching for a LIFETIME: My thoughts on Dance Moms, Bring It!, and Kim of Queens

Welcome to the world of Anti-Abby Lee Millers… Ironically brought to you by the network that made her famous, Lifetime. Building off the success (or infamy) of Dance Moms (a show I’ve written about quite a bit), the network debuted two new series this year: Kim of Queens and Bring It! Given the descent of […]

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Move Over Child Beauty Pageants: Another Summer of Dance (on TV)

Last year I proclaimed my love for the summer of dance— and it’s true again this year! It’s also been a summer full of “morning” sickness for me, which means less time to write and more time prostrate in bed trying not to move. But one of the perks of being in bed so much […]

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The Competition-Performance Relation and Dance

When I read Matt Richtel’s article, “The Competing Views on Competition,” last month in The New York Times I couldn’t stop thinking about what one of the chess moms I met told me while I was researching Playing to Win: “Raising kids is a big experiment and I won’t know till later if I did […]

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Cheering on Cheer

Today I woke up excited it was Friday– but then I realized I wouldn’t be getting a new episode of Cheer and I had to hit the snooze button to recover. Cheer, which has aired on CMT for the past six weeks, quickly became one of my favorite reality series, warming my normally analytical sociological […]

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Tiger Teachers: The New Stage Moms Aren’t the Moms (from Huffington Post Culture)

This originally appeared in The Huffington Post’s Culture Section. Write a bad mommy confessional and be rewarded with multiple weeks on bestseller lists, riches, and fame/infamy. (See: Chua, Amy [Tiger Mom]; Druckerman, Pamela [American mom, French parenting]; Weiss, Dara-Lynn [Diet Devil in Vogue]). And then there are the television shows. In the grand tradition of […]

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High Kicks: The Latest in Competitive Dance and Soccer from Choreography Theft to Poaching to Year-round Commitments (and Injuries)

Lifetime’s Season 2 of Dance Moms continues to get sillier and sillier as the contrivances spin out faster than a terrible fouetté turn.  What can you say when Kendall leaves Abby’s studio and ends up at Candy Apples in Ohio besides, “Yeah, right! Producer interference!” in Episode 8, “The Runaway Mom?” And Abby’s decision to […]

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Dance Studio Dynamics: Reflections on Season One of Dance Moms (from orgtheory.net)

During the summer of stage mothers, Lifetime’s Dance Moms emerged as a breakout hit for the network.  From its debut in mid-July 2011 to its season finale this past week, the show steadily attracted more viewers (up 62% since its premiere).  With about 1.6 million watching each episode, it’s not surprising that the network has […]

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The Summer of the Stage Mothers

This has certainly been the summer of stage mothers– at least on television. We have the Dance Moms on Lifetime, who continue to bring the crazy. If anything, it’s ramping up as the Abby Lee Dance Company prepares for its big “nationals” in Tahoe. Stay tuned for a smackdown with Crazy Cathy from Candy Apples… […]

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What if JonBenet did competitive dance?: Dance Moms and Toddlers & Tiaras

Wednesdays at 10 pm are really must-see-TV for me. Thanks to my DVR I can watch TLC’s tried and true Toddlers & Tiaras and Lifetime’s newcomer, Dance Moms. I’ve long said that in many ways competitive dance and child beauty pageants have a lot in common. Imagine if JonBenét had been a competitive dancer and […]

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