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Dance Moms: Former stars blast ‘traumatizing’ show on TikTok

Former Dance Moms stars are alluding to the emotional abuse they faced while on the Lifetime show in a series of viral TikTok videos stating that their feelings can longer be hurt. 

JoJo Siwa, Mackenzie Ziegler, Chloe Lukasiak, and Nia Sioux all put a Dance Moms spin on the popular TikTok trend that has users sharing videos of themselves with multicolored lighting and the song ‘Bulletproof’ by La Roux playing in the background as they highlight the difficulties in their lives that have made them stronger.  

‘Think you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms,’ they captioned the clips, with some seemingly calling out their former coach Abby Lee Miller in their posts. 

JoJo, 17, was the first to post her video over the weekend, and in addition to the shared caption, she elaborated on the public criticism she has received over the years. 

‘Thinks you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms,’ she wrote. ‘And was a meme of the month Oct. 2018. And get made of 24/7 for my hairline. And get called a giant toddler every other day. And had strangers shout out awful things to me in public all the time. But I’m a boomerang.’ 

‘Hi, I’m JoJo, and….. I’ve heard it all,’ she captioned the post. 

The teen singer was a top-five finalist on the second season of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition before appearing on Dance Moms for two seasons.  

She is one of the few Dance Moms stars who are still in contact with Abby, 54, who has been accused of bullying and emotional abuse. Her TikTok post appears to be at odds with her recent comments about her relationship with the coach. 

‘I actually talk to Abby the most out of anybody from the show,’ she told Us Weekly in May. ‘She’s great. I think Abby got hurt by a lot of people and it’s really, really, really sad that a lot of the people don’t talk to her anymore. The same thing with a lot of the producers from Dance Moms. 

‘It’s just sad because Abby really is a good person,’ she added. ‘I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for her. Maddie and Mackenzie [Ziegler] wouldn’t be where they are today without Abby.’    

Mackenzie, who is Maddie Zielger’s 16-year-old sister, was next to take part in the trend, though she didn’t share any additional messages. 

The singer appeared on six seasons of the dance reality series beginning in 2011, but there is no love lost between her and Abby, who has shaded her and her sister on social media.  

In Mackenzie’s 2018 book ‘Kenzie’s Rules for Life: How to be Happy, Healthy and Dance to Your Own Beat,’ she seemed to slam Abby’s harsh coaching, though she never mentioned her by name.     

‘I always felt like I had to live up to people’s expectations of me,’ she wrote, according to RadarOnline. ‘I thought everyone was constantly judging me, watching each move and tearing it apart, nitpicking everything I did, and laughing at me behind my back. The competitive dance world and reality TV can get a little crazy.’

Nia, 19, was next to share her video, writing: ‘You think you can hurt my feelings? I was the only black girl on Dance Moms.’

‘And that’s on being bullied by the biggest bully in America lmao,’ she added in the caption, seemingly alluding to Abby.  

‘Before anyone says anything I do know there were other black girls on the show here and there…but I was the only one for the majority of the show,’ she wrote in the comments.  

During a 2017 interview with J-14, Nia revealed that Abby was actually even crueler in person than she appeared to be on the show. 

‘Whenever I meet a fan they always ask me, “Is Abby really that mean?” And usually what I say is, what you see is what you get but also they don’t even show everything that happens on the show,’ she said. 

‘So, I mean, other people might say differently but from my point of view, it’s much worse off camera. Nothing changes. That’s just her personality.’ 

Earlier this summer, Adriana Smith, who appeared on season eight with her daughter Kamryn, accused Abby of making racist remarks while filming the Lifetime show. 

Meanwhile, season seven mom Camille Bridges told E! News in an email that she also felt her daughter Camryn had been discriminated against because she is black.

She alleged Abby ‘loves appropriating our culture and never appreciating it.’

Chloe, 19, was the last of the group to share a video, but hers was one of the most damning.  

‘My experience was so traumatizing I don’t remember those 4 years. It’s an actual coping mechanism!’ she wrote in the caption of her time on the show. 

Last year, she revealed that she quit Dance Moms because Abby used to make fun of her and her eye condition silent sinus syndrome, a rare disorder that can cause painless facial asymmetry.  

‘The reason I left Dance Moms was because my former dance teacher made fun of a medical condition I have,’ she said in a video shared on her YouTube channel. 

Chloe said she overheard Abby making fun of her while in an argument with her mother, Christi Lukasiak. 

‘I heard everything she said and they didn’t show it on Dance Moms and it’s not really said a lot, but she made fun of me,’ she explained. 

‘As much respect as I have for her as a dance teacher and as a person and, of course, with everything she’s going through right now, what she said was horrible,’ Chloe added, referring to Abby’s battle with cancer that she has since beaten.

Dance Moms premiered on Lifetime in 2011 and ran for seven uninterrupted seasons.

It centered on Abby and the dancers she trained at her Abby Lee Dance Company. The girls, who were ages six to 15, appeared on the show along with their mothers.   

Following Abby’s release from prison for felony bankruptcy fraud in 2018, Lifetime announced there would an eighth season of the show which would focus on Abby’s cancer diagnosis as well as her training of a team of eight young dancers. 

The season debuted in June 2019.

This past May, Abby announced via Instagram that she is parting ways with Lifetime after nine years and hopes to pursue other projects.

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