Given everything that Abby Lee Miller has been through in recent years, the existence of Dance Moms season 8 is something of a reality tv miracle. And we couldn’t be more excited about it! Neither, it seems, can the folks at Lifetime: They’ve used precious airtime to introduce ALDC fans to the new team. In case you deleted your series recording on your dvr when the series officially died nearly two years ago, thus missing the season 8 pre-game, here’s a quick rundown of Dance Moms season 8 spoilers.
The original Dance Moms stars have happily moved on with their lives; and really, they shouldn’t have been “junior” anything last time we saw them, anyway. So, before getting back to what she does best—screaming at children, per one Dance Moms season 8 trailer—Abby Lee Miller had to find herself a new batch of
victims dancers and, of course, dance moms.
Here’s what we can gather from network has told us about the new team so far, pieced together with a little bit of extra info gained from our fine friends at Google:
Joanne & Gianina Paolantonio. Joanne wants Abby to know that she has “chased [her] around this country.” Which isn’t at all stalkerish. Joanne is a dance teacher, who brought her daughter to the studio; and—boom!—she won a National title by age five. Crazy mom quotable: “If you’re another mom, and you get in my daughter’s way, then I will put my cat ears on. And I will caaat attack you.”
Gianina, apparently, also rocks the glittery cat ears. I mean, if the bow gimmick worked for JoJo, why not? But the real question is whether or not she brought them with her to Broadway, or her performances with Mariah Carey, or on The Greatest Showman, or…? And can she be the next J-Lo? Will she get her own dance competition series and all?
Ashley & Pressley Hosbach. Pressley has won a “Queen of Attitude” award—which is totally going to fit well with Abby’s own attitude, I’m sure. Ashley, like, Joanne, has a dance background. She owns a studio, has been a dancer for the Knicks, and decided to enroll her kid in some dance classes. In the beginning, Pressley hated dance, but she was totally a future star by the time she performed in a recital.
(All snark aside, shoutout to Ashley for starting out as a single mom and surviving that life.)
Buuut Abby Lee Miller, it turns out, isn’t impressed by her technique (interesting, given the middling technique of some of Abby’s past favorites). Apparently, she “was a hot mess in the ballet class, and [Ashley] didn’t want to believe it.” Ashley was in so much denial, in fact, that she could be seen storming out of the studio after Abby told her she would have to “camouflage” Pressley’s feet, knees, neck, ribs, and basically everything.
Let the games begin!
Tricia & Brady Farrar. Full disclosure: I’ve seen what Brady Farrar can do, thanks to none other than Elliana Walmsley’s social media (and a ton of great YouTube channels after that), so if Dance Moms season 8 wasn’t already an exciting enough prospect just by being a continuation of all the Abby Lee Drama, Brady would have sucked me in.
Brady trained at Stars Dance Studio (remember Dance Moms: Miami, y’all????), has won the YAGP Hope Award, has taken home Best Dancer at The Dance Awards—twice (mini in 2014, junior in 2017)…and those are just the biggest details. He totally only wins things because he’s a boy and not before he’s good, though. At least, that’s what the rest of the Dance Moms season 8 moms are going to want you to believe, in a bit of ridiculously manufactured drama.
Bonus credit: “He’s good at killing people with kindness when they’re not being nice.”
Tricia thinks she’s not going to have any friends once the other moms see how good Brady is; but that’s ok because she’s also bound to be “Abby’s favorite mom,” so here’s hoping she gets to bring presents like “original team member™” Jill Vertes used to do.
Spoiler alert: Literally nobody needs friends when their kid can do this.
Ann & Hannah Colin. Hannah started dancing at 18 months old—as soon as she could walk—and can basically do it all. She’s about the billionth Dance Moms season 8 kid whose mom is a dance teacher, and she wants to put that lifelong training into becoming a professional dancer. Ann doesn’t know how to make Hannah a star, though, so that’s where Abby Lee Miller comes in.
Seeing other dancers on social media and wanting to be perfect have both led Hannah to believe she’s not as good as the others. Um, and her mom apparently likes to speak for her. Abby’s going to love that!
Stacey & Lilliana Ketchman. Lilly! Is! Back! Lilliana Ketchman has been there, done that, with the ALDC insanity before, and her mom expects her to be in “the sweet spot” for special parts in season 8. Unbelievable Stacey quote: “I’m a team player.” There are already clips of other dance moms calling Stacey “a mean girl,” so it looks like some things will never change.
Dance Moms fans already know how dazzlingly wonderful Lilly is when she’s on and how her details (feet especially) can get just a wee bit sloppy when she isn’t. Now that she’s no longer the little mini on a team full of “original” juniors, it’s going to be a blast seeing how she’s improved.
Michelle & Sarah Georgiana. Sarah’s a Pittsburgh girl, but she’s not an ALDC native; she comes to Dance Moms season 8 courtesy of Studio 19. Just like every other young dancer, her mom knows she was “born to be a star.” She started dancing at age 2—immediately after becoming potty-trained—and can do everything from ballet to improv. In this context, “improv” seems to mean doing acro content, barefoot, on the kitchen counter.
…maybe politely decline any dinner invitations, folks.
Sarah can’t keep track of how many trophies she’s won; so we can safely say that we’ve confirmed: it must be more than 5, 6, 7, 8…
Erin & Savannah Kristich. Erin “used to be a first grade teacher but quit [her] job to support Savannah and be a full-time dance mom.” Shoutout to Holly Frazier, who was Dance Moms‘ original the resident intellectual-turned-full-timer! Here’s hoping Erin has more of her energy and less of Stacey’s…
Savannah loves Abby Lee Miller “so much because of how she teaches the kids. She’s very hard on them, but [Savannah knows] she is just trying to make them stars and better dancers.” She’s not completely wrong, but what if someone told Savannah that you could create stars without throwing chairs at them? Please tell me there’s no furniture-tossing at her home studio, The Rock Center for Dance…
Erin claims not to do anything but focus on her own daughter, but just one clip of her fighting with the others is enough to prove that Dance Moms season 8 is exactly where she belongs. And, considering the already insane level of talent on Abby’s new team, Savannah definitely belongs here, too.
Adriana & Kamryn Smith. Hello! Adriana is already our favorite mom from Dance Moms season 8, and it’s all thanks to one quote: “Dance is a sport.” Say it louder for the dudebros in the back!!!
And as for the athlete in question…Kamryn is fresh off a 2018 Petite Dancer of the Year title from Rainbow National Dance Competition. Like Sarah, she started dancing at age 2. Kamryn’s favorite style is jazz, and she turns heads at every competition—or so her mom says. Honestly, the goal here is to believe the hype because we don’t need Dance Moms season 8 telling the same “bad technique” lie about Kamryn that the original series did about Nia.
And last but never, ever least! Yolanda & Elliana Walmsley. Ellie! Is! Back! My! Favorite! I’m not biased or anything, though…
How nice that the Dance Moms season 8 cast special saved the best (Ellie) and the absolute worst (Yolanda) for last!
Elliana Walmsley has been busy since we last saw her. Like Brady Farrar, Ellie has won a YAGP Hope Award and a Best Dancer title at The Dance Awards. As part of her reign as
Queen of Dance 2019 Mini Best Dancer, she’s been an assistant at competitions and conventions all over the country; and she’s gotten to work with some pretty huge names.
So, when she tells you—perfectly sassy personality still in place—that she’s an even better dancer than last time she danced for Abby Lee Miller, believe her.
And when Stacey tells you that Yolanda choked her, or Abby tells you that Yolanda is “a total whack job,” believe them. For sure.
The sneak peeks. Even if the level of talent is far greater than ever before, that doesn’t mean Dance Moms has sacrificed anything in the drama department to get there.
Lifetime aired two Dance Moms season 8 sneak peeks—on actual television, as opposed to just dumping them on social media—this past week week, and all they were jam packed with all the ridiculous behavior we’ve come to know and loathe.
The first sneak peek promises everything from Abby having some kind of health crisis (breathing trouble, maybe, by the looks of it?), to the new team members admitting that they don’t act like a team, to a visit from JoJo Siwa. I was also able to catch evidence of at least one mom throwing a case in a dressing room, as well as far too many children—including Lilliana, the veteran—in tears. In the same video, Abby Lee Miller promises to be “tougher and meaner than ever before,” and Stacey and Yolanda are back at each others’ throats (hopefully not in quite as literal of a sense this time).
But wait, there’s more! Sneak peek #2 features Stacey getting upset about Lilly having to do a “cute” acro number, even now that she’s 10 years old and doing pointe work in real life. Abby: “You can’t control my choreography.” A hero. Wait. No. A monster: She also told Lilliana to “go back to ballet school” when the kid said she wanted to show Miss Abby all the ballet she’s worked on…
Is she really going to be gone after only one week? Probably not, but with Abby Lee Miller, you never know. Everyone’s replaceable, after all.
Dance Moms season 8 premieres tonight at 9/8c on Lifetime.