How Do You Get Cast On 'Dance Moms'? The Audition Process Is A Lot More Hollywood Than It Seems
Is anything what it seems on reality TV? Here I've been thinking that all the stars of Dance Moms are just Abby Lee Dance Company dancers (and their moms) who have trained with Abby and happen to be on the show. Turns out, I am a gullible gal, because there's a lot more Hollywood pizzazz thrown into the casting of Dance Moms than you'd think. If you ever found yourself wondering, "How do all of these moms who want their daughters to be stars just magically show up on this series?" it's because the only magic involved is Hollywood magic. So what does that casting process look like?
Well, the show doesn't just pick any mom of the Abby Lee Dance Company parent pool. Why? Because some of those moms could be noncompetitive, and supportive of every child, and basically, a total bore to watch on television. Dance Moms lives on highly emotional situations, and to ensure that the current season is as drama-packed as the next, casting needs to be a little more selective.
That's why there is a website for an open casting call for Dance Moms ! Now technically, I, a 23-year-old non-mother, could apply too, but I wouldn't be selected (or maybe I would if I put my Creative Writing degree to good use... In that case, watch out Maddie Ziegler, my imaginary daughter is coming for your solo). But after the casting directors weed through the phonies (like me), they are left with a special pile of names of potential new Dance Moms cast members, and the picking begins.
So what does this application look like? First, it has the usual questions:
- Name of parent(s)
- Name of dancer
- Current studio
- Video links to dance solos
Then, things take a turn for the specific. This is where the casting producers will separate the Brookes from the Maddies (if you will). Here are a handful of questions the casting application will ask you, and how I think a real Dance Mom would respond.
How Good Is Your Kid?
What Casting Is Looking For: Here is where a Dance Mom says how amazing her dancer is. This is not a place to hold back the dedication to making sure people know that you've got a star on your hands.
How You Should Answer: "On a scale from 1-10? My child is a Beyonce. Whether she is doing pirouettes or tumbling, those that watch her think they've been touched by an angel."
How Important Is Dance To You?
What Casting Is Looking For: You live, breathe, die, dance.
How You Should Answer: "I live, breathe, die, dance."
Who Is Your Kid's Biggest Competition In The Dance World?
What Casting Is Looking For: Here is where Dance Moms have to show their knowledge of the dance competition world. You can't just say, "Someone who can spin around four times, 'cuz my little baby can only spin thrice."
How You Should Answer: "Maddie Ziegler"
Which Moms On Dance Moms Would You Butt Heads With?
What Casting Is Looking For: Again, you want to show some knowledge of the show, so this is a great time to name drop.
How You Should Answer: Name every single one of the current season moms.
After the applications are sent in, there is a open call where mothers and dancers attend. That's where the face-to-face happens, and you actually have to show up with a child dancer (so, I'm officially out). From the looks of sites promoting the open call, the casting call for the 2015 season was in Los Angeles. It's a long way from Pittsburgh, but the most dedicated Dance Moms hopefuls wouldn't let that get in their way.
Images: Scott Gries/Lifetime; Giphy (5)