As we watched Ashley's campaign to be an ALDC dance mom, we thought we'd make it a bit easier for her and any other wannabe stage parents out there and lay out the basic ground rules for becoming a dance mom.
Being a good mother has nothing to do with it
Melissa (the Godfather of Dance Moms) effectively set the tone for the entire programme when she said in the pilot episode, “I can't stand. A child. That's sick,” right before pushing her own, teary and ill child straight back into practice. Melissa and her daughter are number one. Forget all maternal instincts, societal expectations and basic human rights; being a dance mom has nothing to do with being a good mother, as Holly will tell you. On the bright side, fame and a multi-million dollar mansion mean more that a ‘world's best mum' mug anyway. Am I right?
Dance is your new job
Sort of like motherhood is, but without the option for a career. Remember the halcyon days when Holly ran a school? Well those days are over and woe betide the woman who tries to work outside of Abby's studio.
Sacrifice any and all other children
Fun fact: Kendall has two sisters. Ashley has two other children whose names Jill doesn't even know. Kira has barely given birth and Abby is already questioning her commitment to the team as she dares to spend the postnatal period with her child. There is a baby daddy to do that for her. If they're not making bank, they're not your focus now.
The same applies for the men in your life
Ashley and Kira are just two examples of moms who have drifted out of the ALDC, claiming they have ‘lives' to consider, ‘families to think about' and ‘husbands,' all of which are incompatible with raising a child star. A season later and they are back, tails between their legs, as they have realised none of that compares to being a dance mom. Once again, we must look to Melissa for guidance, who's had more husbands at this point than Elizabeth Taylor.
Expect to pay your dues
Swanning in and demanding all the solos on your first week, whilst proclaiming your child is the ‘new Maddie' won't get you anywhere. Jill's been doing just that for years now; she's earned the right. And Kendall still isn't the new Maddie.
Make peace with the moms
As Jess learned in season five, no good can come of going against the other dance moms. Get it right and you'll be welcomed into the sisterhood; get it wrong and you're basically where Ashley currently is. This includes backing the other moms up when they question Abby, which means walking a fine balance between this and the next rule:
Never question Abby
Because ultimately, it's Abby and Abby alone that has the last word on whether or not you make the cut. The sooner you learn this, the happier you will be (in theory, at least).