‘Dance Moms’ Recap: Abby Puts the Pressure on Nia to Finally Step It Up


In Abby Lee Miller’s mission on Dance Moms season 7 — to bring her ALDC back to its glory days by forming a team with the perfect eight girls — she is relentless in cutting those who aren’t pulling their weight. Abby has been frequently setting up two dancers against one another, with the loser most likely being sent home.

Now, in “No Clowning Around,” Abby will pair up a veteran and a newbie to face off in the competition. However, this battle may end up causing even more drama between the moms.

Second Chances

Maesi and mom Jamie know that they have something to prove. At the end of the recent competition, Abby cut Maesi from the team. However, Yolanda pulled daughter Elliana from the team due to the other moms’ treatment of her, giving Maesi a second chance. Will she be able to redeem herself?

Elliana and Yolanda are also given another chance by Abby because they have returned for the upcoming competition. Abby is happy to see them back, especially since the other moms tried to persuade Abby to cut them. Abby wants them to know, once and for all, that no one has the power to send anybody home except for her.

When announcing the pyramid, Abby reveals that the order, from top to bottom, is Maesi for ruining the group dance, Nia for never being present, then Camryn, Lilliana, Elliana, Kendall, Kalani and Brynn.

The team will be traveling to the Dream Dance Challenge. Abby has chosen three of the girls to perform solos. Abby will look to see if Maesi can perform better as a soloist than in a group setting with her solo, “Encore.” Abby also has Camryn performing “Endangered Species” and Nia with “Getting Away with Murder,” which Abby says is a Maddie-inspired solo.

The ALDC is excited for the routines this time, but they are nervous that Nationals are right around the corner and the team still isn’t set in stone. Abby continuously brings in new members to form the perfect eight to win another Nationals title, but could this prevent the girls from being able to work as a solid team when the eight members are finally chosen?

Defending Your Spot

The pressure is on both Nia and Camryn in this competition. Abby lets them know that their solos will be going up against one another because she needs them to prove why they deserve to be on the team. Nia is the only Junior Elite veteran not to win first place this season for a solo, while Camryn, on the other hand, hasn’t shown her true talents just yet.

Holly and Camille believe Abby is only setting them up to compete since they are the only black girls on the team. Based on Abby’s history, they may be right. But no matter what the true reasoning is, each girl should step it up because Abby promises that one of them could be cut if they lose.

The girls will also perform the group routine “Clowning Around,” which Brynn will lead. Abby’s inspiration for this routine is coming right from the headlines of the epidemic of clowns scaring people all around the country. To instill the seriousness of this issue, Abby has a clown stalk the moms from outside the studio, which, rightfully so, terrifies them. “Maybe now they’ll put a lot more into the routine,” Abby says.

After the moms recover from the chilling clown, Jill says the routine sucks and asks Ashlee if she truly wants Brynn to lead this one. Ashlee could care less because she is just happy that Brynn is still getting all of Abby’s attention. She then calls Brynn the true face of the ALDC, which the other moms find to be hilarious.

As Maesi rehearses “Encore,” Jamie tries to come in and watch the routine. However, Abby is beyond irritated by her and tells her to “back off, bitch.” Does this mean Maesi and Jamie will be sent home for good after this competition?

Abby does give Maesi the opportunity to show off her talents in front of the other girls. This only frightens Camille because she wants Camryn to show off her skills as well. She then pulls Camryn aside to figure out why she is holding back. Camryn can only break down, and she tells her mom to stop pushing her. If this is truly her final week on the team, Camryn doesn’t want any more drama.

The Competition

Of course, it isn’t a true Dance Moms competition without some drama from the mothers. As the team arrives to the competition, the moms question which of the girls will be cut from the team. Despite all of their issues with the Mini moms, the Junior Elite moms do not think Elliana or Lilliana will be cut. Instead, they think it will be either Maesi or Camryn.

This doesn’t sit well with Camille. She quickly comes to her daughter’s defense, but the rest of the moms let her have it. They don’t think Camryn has any personality, and they have had enough of Camille’s attitude. Will the moms be able to push Camryn and Camille off of the team?

Maesi’s solo is up first. She clearly redeems herself after her disastrous performance in the recent competition. “Encore” is fierce and full of incredibly challenging moves. She may be a stellar soloist, but her time on the team could be limited if she fails to bring in yet another group routine.

The moms may have criticized Camryn for not having any emotions while performing, but she proves them wrong in “Endangered Species.” Her dance moves are just as strong, making this a solid performance. Nia certainly has her work cut out for her to beat Camryn in the competition.

The pressure has been on Nia all week to step up and match her Junior Elite teammates’ first-place wins. However, “Getting Away with Murder” just isn’t as strong as Maesi’s and Camryn’s routines. Holly believes that Abby may now actually consider making Nia the new star of the team, but that certainly seems to be a long shot at this point.

“Clowning Around” is the last number to go on for the ALDC. Going into this routine, the moms are worried that this could be another tacky themed dance from Abby. Luckily for the team, Abby’s vision works perfectly on stage because the girls deliver a creepy, chilling dance, which is sure to impress the judges. Brynn also does a great job of leading yet another routine for the ALDC, possibly solidifying her, once and for all, as the new star of the team.

The Awards

The first awards given out are for the solos. Things don’t look good for the ALDC because none of the three soloists win third or second place. It seems to be a given that either Maesi or Camryn will win first, but Nia somehow ends up pulling out the victory.

When the group routines are announced, Abby says she noticed mistakes in “Clowning Around.” However, the judges were clearly impressed because they end up winning first prize.

Backstage, the moms immediately come for Camryn and Camille. They, along with Abby, agree that Camryn made some serious mistakes in the group routine. This isn’t enough to get her cut from the team because Abby was impressed by her solo and lets her stay. She does the same for Maesi, which may prove that Abby is coming closer to forming her perfect eight.

The veteran moms are irritated that Abby lets Camryn stay after messing up in the group routine. They attempt to fight with Camille and take her down, but she stays strong and doesn’t back down. The moms may need to get used to having Camille and Camryn around because they are determined to stick around for the long run.

What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that Elliana and Yolanda returned? Which solo was the strongest? Did the group routine deserve first? Should Abby have cut either Maesi or Camryn? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.

Dance Moms
season 7 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)