'Dance Moms' Highlights Transgender-Themed Routine & It Was A Beautiful Moment On The Show
The routines on Dance Moms have tackled a number of difficult subjects, but, on the July 21 episode of Season 5, Dance Moms featured a dance telling a transgender story. Although it wasn't the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) that took on this difficult subject, the dance was performed by the Broadway Dance Academy (which performed as the Candy Apples in the previous episode of Dance Moms), and it was an interpretation of the struggles that transgender people face. The dance was set to the song "Run, Run, Run" performed live by the cast of the It Gets Better tour and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles as the girls competed. By putting the spotlight on this issue, Dance Moms hopefully created more awareness and allies for the transgender community.
The Candy Apples, the dance company created by former Dance Moms star Cathy, came back to compete against the ALDC during the July 14 episode of Dance Moms under the direction of Jeanette, Ava's mom. With Cathy out of the picture, Jeanette invited the Candy Apples to perform under her studio for the July 21 episode, and she choreographed the dance that featured this emotional subject. Three of the dancers took off their pink dresses mid-dance and accepted the fact that they identify as male. Transgender activist Jay Pryor spoke to the dancers about his own experience transitioning in his 20s. His story helped the girls place a real face to the subject matter, and the young dancers did the material justice with an excellent performance.
Even though the Broadway Dance Academy is not the focus of Dance Moms, the show did the right thing by spending a good part of the episode featuring this important message and dance. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and the It Gets Better tour will continue their work of highlighting lesbian, gay, transgender, genderqueer and straight stories infused with music through workshops to help end bullying. If their performance on Dance Moms made you interested in seeing the group perform live, their website includes tour dates for the fall.
With a performance on a show as popular as Dance Moms, even more attention has rightfully been brought to the transgender community, and that's a win for everyone — no matter who walked home with the competition trophy.