Oh, Dance Moms — your shenanigans make me feel so many uncomfortable feels, yet that old dance school competitor in me sometimes wishes I could be part of that world of tiny girls and their beautifully pointed feet again. The newest addition to Dance Moms is JoJo Siwa, who will join the Abby Lee Dance Company in Season 5 as a guest. JoJo will be a familiar face for Abby Lee Miller fans (and I know it's not an easy road for you Abby fans out there), because JoJo was in Season 2 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. Her mother, Jessalynn, was also prominently featured on the show and caused some drama with her little prima donna (and don't worry — I'm sure she'll bring that drama to Dance Moms too).
JoJo may not have won Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (she placed fifth), but now she gets the real prize of being on Dance Moms. Jessalynn owns her own dance studio, Just Dance Co. in Omaha, Neb., but JoJo stands a better chance of fulfilling her dream of becoming "FAMOUS" (as she stated in her Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition bio) if she joins ALDC — just look at Maddie Ziegler! As Abby told the girls in the Season 5 premiere (the fantastically-titled "99 Problems But a Mom Ain't One"):
"You're not gonna do a dance competition every weekend for the rest of your life. You're going to do a show. You're gonna be in a movie. You're gonna be dancing backup for a video. Or — you're gonna be the lead singer out there. That's what I'm preparing you for and that's what this journey has been all along."
And Jessalynn said in Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, "I would say it's my mission in life to make JoJo a star."
So with JoJo officially joining the girls on Dance Moms (even only as a guest), it looks like she will have a real shot at her dreams. In the preview for Episode 3, JoJo did not hesitate to ask Abby, "Do you think I could replace Chloe?" so we shall see if her guest spot will turn into more. But in the meantime, Jessalynn has a Twitter account and YouTube channel promoting JoJo, so let's check out if this girl's groove is good enough for ALDC.
"Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now"
This adorable performance proved that JoJo clearly had some star power, even as a toddler.
"Little Annie's Song"
Only six years later, JoJo showed the foundation of an accomplished dancer. At 8 years old (what had you accomplished at 8?), JoJo proved she has emotional range in her performances with this lyrical piece.
JoJo's dance to the song "Be Italian" from the movie version of the musical Nine (as sung by Fergie) shows that the girl can deliver some flawless extensions.
"Walk the Plank"
This trio number from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition in 2013 shows JoJo doing one of her favorite dance styles — hip hop.
JoJo was really strong in this other Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition number where she turned fellow dancer Kalani into a vampire. Oh, and you will also recognize Kalani from Dance Moms. She has returned for Season 5 with her mom Kira, and has received preferential treatment from Abby — at least, according to Dance Mom Holly.
In this 2014 routine, JoJo showed that she grew up a bit since her stint on TV (and did a gazillion pirouettes along the way). She seems so sweet and soulful in this lyrical dance, but anyone who watched JoJo before knows she can show a ton of different sides of herself in her performance.
JoJo's first episode of Dance Moms as a guest (entitled "JoJo with a Bow Bow" — Jessalynn and JoJo love them some bows) will be on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m. And though I'm excited to see what JoJo will bring to the company, I think I'm more excited to see if Jessalynn will annoy me more than Mom Holly normally does, if that's possible.
Image: Danny Feld/Lifetime