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This series provides examples of the following:
- Age-Inappropriate Dress: As mentioned in an episode where the girls received NO awards for their 'barely-there' costumes.
- Arguably the outfits the girls wear to practice in as well - most of the time, they wear crop-tops and booty shorts. In the spinoff series, the girl who wears the shortest top is the oldest girl, Jessie, even though she's technically the only one of the group (except maybe Sammi) who actually needs to wear a shirt...
- Always Second Best: Again, according to her mom, Chloe
- Ambiguously Gay: In the spinoff series "Dance Moms: Miami", the dance instructors, Victor and Angel.
- My Two Moms: Possibly Kimmy. In the episode where she has to be a "bad girl," it sounds like Angel asks her, "Have you ever talked back to your momS?" It's unclear if he actually said "moms" or if the accent just made him sound like he said it, though.
- Sadist Teacher
- Abby Lee is strict, but mostly reserves her screaming for the mothers, and isn't in fact especially harsh as dance (gymnastics, skating, etc) coaches go. The mothers, on the other hand, tend to overreact just a bit to any implication their daughter is not a star....
- The Smurfette Principle: Inverted. Justice (in the original series) and Lucas (in the spinoff series) are both treated as "special" because they are both male competitive dancers.
- Fille Fatalons Comes up in many forms, often to hint at precocious skill and professional quality of many of the dancers
- Stage Mom: All the moms! Especially Cathy, who seems to have no realistic take on her daughter's ability (or lack thereof.)
- Token Minority: According to her mom, Nia
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Lucas. In just about every single episode, he wears no shirt during the competitions.
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