I've tried to ignore my burgeoning angst about the show Dance Moms on Bravo tele.

I have memories of myself as a stick insect kid who signed up for ballet classes at the local primary school when I was eight.

The cost was 20 cents a class, our teacher was a 15-year-old ballet student, her best friend played the piano for us and we all were congregated in the scout hall behind the school.

We skipped and stepped/hopped wearing everything from old tartan skirts and jerseys to corduroy trousers.


I was pretty hopeless from the outset; a ballerina I wasn't. But no one told you you were hopeless. Instead I was told I had "stage presence".

No "moms" sat about, which brings me back to Dance Moms.
Where, if you're in Abbey Lee's competitive "pyramid" team, you're being trained and groomed to be either a Vegas show girl, a stripper or a lithe pole dancer.

These sylph-like girls arrive at class escorted by their moms dressed in designer gear.

The girls twinkle about mostly in shiny, tight two piece leotards.

The Abbey Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh is exclusive and the local moms with kids as young as five and six are convinced and determined Abbey will make their daughters dance stars.

Abbey's choreography is based mostly in contortionist acrobatics, and the "little girls" are smothered in slap, false eyelashes, hairpieces and an abundance of sequins.
But this show is not about the dancing or the company; it's a serious, bitchy commentary on the mom's behaviour.

Abbey greets them at each class then shunts them off to a glassed in viewing room upstairs which immediately puts one in mind of a snake pit.

This is a very clear view of the mothers living vicariously through their daughter's lives.

Abbey pulls no punches and snarls in her raspy voice - smoking too many fags or suffering a constantly ruptured larynx - berating everyone from the tiny dancers to the snivelling moms.

If you're a person keen on sinking your teeth into a shrieking reality show knock yourself out.

A dance recital with sweet girls it's not.

Instead prepare to enter the Abbey Lee dance arena starring witches and tiny pixie dancers munching their fingers and tugging their pony tails.