Why Dance Moms?

So, by now you should know that Lifetime is launching in South Africa, and with it, a host of pretty awesome shows and content. In a coincidence that can only be described as magical, I was asked by Lifetime to share my love for Dance Moms.

My love for Dance Moms might seem strange to you, but that’s probably because either you’ve never watched an episode of Dance Moms, or because you don’t know me very well.

Here’s the backstory – I was “performer” as a kid. By that I mean that I did ballet, gymnastics, singing and played a few instruments too. This all started at around age 4/5. The gymnastics was hard, I had a Russian coach (terrible stereotype I know) and she was terrifying. My ballet coach was a nice woman, but demanded perfection from us. My music teachers, bar for 1 or 2, were all part of some underground musical militia, I hated music lessons. Hated.

I remember having panic attacks in music class, being pushed in gymnastics until I cried, and just generally feeling sick every time I had to answer to one of the many coaches or teachers I had. That is why Dance Moms resonates with me so much. This woman is the epitome of all of my horrifying coaches and teachers rolled into one. The little girls remind me of me…. well, some of them. I wish I could say I used to be a Maddie, but I was never the teachers pet really. I was more the Chloe. Constantly being made to feel like I was not trying hard enough or “didn’t want it” enough.

In all honesty, these young girls inspire me. They are stronger than I ever was. I gave up ballet and gym and music. All because of teachers. I was a coward and hated the way my stomach felt for the hours before classes. I hated the way I felt during class. I loved the relief of walking out of class… but then the cycle would start up again the very next day. As an adult, I wish I had stuck with it; I had a perfect ballet turnout, my double-jointedness meant that I didn’t have to spend hours trying to stretch myself out and make my hip flexors loose, etc.

Watching these episodes gives me something I can’t quite explain. In some ways it’s insight into what I was going through as a kid, and partially because I get to vicariously love through these kids. It’s reminded me that I truly did love to dance, but I let a few people spoil it for me. I shouldn’t have.

As i’ve mentioned before, Dance Moms starts out a little rough around the edges… maybe a bit too similar to Toddlers & Tiaras, but it falls into its own rhythm. The show changes throughout Season 1 and it’s Season 2 where things really start to turn up. These girls are worth getting to know, their stories are worth watching.

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Tune in tonight! On DStv, channel 131 at 19:10 for the premiere!

Dance Moms! 5 Days And Counting!

Last week I let you know that Lifetime is launching this month on DStv and they are showing Dance Moms. So there goes my social life for the next few weeks…

They’re starting it off on Season 1, obviously, which suits me fine, because the only S1 footage I’ve been able to see so far is what. Is available on the Lifetime youtube channel. I comparison to the following seasons, it is a bit rough. Reminiscent of Toddlers and Tiaras, but Dance Moms really falls into a groove towards the end of S1 and from Season 2 onwards, it’s pure magic. I’m sure Lifetime will broadcast all seasons once it gets going in SA.

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In preparation for the first episode and season, here are a couple of cool things I picked up during my Dance Moms addiction (if you don’t know any of these names, you will very shortly):

1.

Abby Lee Miller began her self-named company at age fourteen! Her mom was a dance teacher too, but admittedly employed a very different teaching style.

2.

Neither the Dance Moms nor their daughters are paid to be on the show. Which baffles me.

3.

The girls dance between 12 – 18 hours a week! And THAT is why I call them professionals. These kids have dedication and resolve that I haven’t ever seen in the majority of people I meet. Myself included.

4.

Abby Lee Miller was bankrupt before Dance Moms, and was about to shutter studio down. She is a heinous human being, but that studio was her dream, and I am happy for her that she didn’t have to see that die.

5.

The show is edited, but not scripted. So this is NOTHING like the majority of reality tv we are fed these days. I’ve seen numerous interviews with the moms and kids, and they all say the same thing: there are absolutely no scripts. What you see is coming from the individual person, not from a producer cooking up drama in a room somewhere.

 

Here’s what you can expect:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RMm4jXO_Xk

 

Book the couch, grab your popcorn, and tune into DStv, channel 131 on 22 July at 19:10 for the premiere. Can’t wait!

DStv Is Launching A New Channel In South Africa – LIFETIME

I am no stranger to Lifetime, and for quite a few years now, i’ve been jealous of the USA and their ability to watch this channel and the awesome shows and movies they screen. The good news is that they are launching in South Africa this month, and will be bringing some seriously addictive and entertaining content to our tv screens. The tv show that i’m most excited about though – Dance Moms!

If you ever danced as a young girl, or ever wanted to dance, or just wish you were a dancer… this show is for you.

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Up until this point it’s only been available on Lifetime overseas, making it hard for me to satisfy a pretty real addiction. I’ve written about Dance Moms before when i posted the Sia “Chandelier” music video that stars Maddie Ziegler, all-round talented kid, and teachers pet on the show. Now before you judge too harshly, i feel like it needs to be said that i am not one that is often sucked into reality tv shows. I have very selective tastes, but for some reason i have fallen into the rabbit hole and been 100% consumed by this show!

Here’s a preview of what to expect on Lifetime and all the crazy that Dance Moms provides:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NukXHwwc7jY

Essentially the programme is about the careers of children in dance and show business and the drama of their mothers trying to get their kids to the top. I say “careers” because these kids really are professionals. They compete every single weekend at a different dance competitions throughout the country. These girls also learn a brand new routine every single week…. most competitive dancers and teams learn 1 or 2 solos and a group dance or two and then compete that same routine every single week at the different competitions for different judges. So these girls are doing something that is almost never done!

Lifetime will start the show off with Season 1, obviously… the best place to start. I will say though, that the first season is like most shows “pilots”… a little rough around the edges, but stick with it, and you will fall in love with the girls just like i did! The show itself matures along with the girls and it really is great to watch the progression.

I thought i’d start off by introducing you to the original team:

Maddie (left): Teacher’s pet, and super talented dancer. Mackenzie (right): Maddie’s adorable little sister. Such a cutie!

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Chloe: Direct competition to Maddie, equally talented. Not the teachers pet, in fact, the one that gets picked on. A lot. Absolute darling.

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Nia: Underdog. Always the “back up” dancer and pushed to the back. Miss Abby: Tyrannical Dance teacher.

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Brooke (right): Oldest in the group, very talented contortionist. Doesn’t particularly like dancing now that she’s older. Paige (left): Brooke’s younger sister. Quiet and probably gets picked on the worst. Pretty and sweet little thing, but Miss Abby seems to hate her.

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 If you want to find out more about the Dance Moms and their lives behind their dancer children, tune into DStv, channel 131 on 22 July at 19:10 for the premiere.

Lifetime Logo 2013

Bring Me The Horizon’s KERRANG! Awards Acceptance Speech

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Bring Me The Horizon wont Best Live Band at the Kerrang! Awards this year. Unfortuantely the band couldn’t make it, so they submitted a video to serve as proxy and thank the audience and voters on their behalf. Matt, the drummer, was the star of the video – or should i rather say his ass was. If you’re ok with looking at a speckled hairy bottem be pulled apart to imitate speech… then by all means, check the video out after the jump.

If the King could’ve done his speech like this, then possibly he wouldn’t have had a problem with stuttering.

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#ExploreTheNight With Smirnoff!

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By now, whether you follow me on Twitter/Instagram or you just read my blog, you’ll know that just over a year ago i made the move to Johannesburg from Cape Town. Having lived in Cape Town my entire life, i knew that place better than the back of my hand! I had my regular drinking spots, and chill spots, and party spots… i had friends at every spot too.

Moving to a new city means you have to start from scratch. I must say, i’m a stubborn thing, so I still haven’t really found the right “spots” in this town. I’m hoping that Smirnoff can help me change that with their new website: ExploreTheNight.com.

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