Pop Culture

'Dancing With the Stars' pro Derek Hough calls 'Dance Moms' abusive

Kevin Lynch / GSN / Today
"Dancing With the Stars" pro Derek Hough has some harsh words for "Dance Moms."

When it comes to the on-stage and off-stage drama on Lifetime’s reality TV hit “Dance Moms,” vocal viewers tend to fall into one of two camps. There are those who think instructor Abby Lee Miller is a tough-but-effective leader for the little ladies on the show, and then there are those who find her methods over-the-top and dangerous.

As a series of Tuesday night tweets revealed, “Dancing With the Stars” pro Derek Hough falls firmly in the latter camp.

“I'm sorry but this Dance mom show is straight up abusive,” the three-time “Dancing” champ wrote. “Kids Run!!!!!!! It ain't right. Child abuse isn't right. I'm livid right now.”

Hough knows a thing or two about how talented, young hoofer hopefuls should train. Not only were his parents and grandparents dancers, too, but both he and his younger sister Julianne moved to London as children to train under fellow “Dancing” pro and ballroom vet Corky Ballas and his then-wife Shirley.

“There’s a difference between being strict and being abusive,” he went on to write. “I believe in discipline and a strong work ethic. But there is nothing productive about screaming and making little girls cry over being on the wrong foot.”

When Miller visited TODAY last year, she defended her sometimes scream-filled approach.

“All children learn differently,” she said. “Some children you can speak calmly and nicely to. ‘You need to open up your hip and press your knee back. Turn out on your passe.’ I can speak to them that way. Other children you have to yell at ‘til you’re blue in the face.”

For more from Hough and his fellow pros, watch the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars” starting March 19 on ABC. To get a look at “Dance Moms” and judge the show for yourself, tune in to Lifetime Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

“Dance Moms” viewers, what do you think? Does Hough have a point, or do you think Miller’s methods are appropriate? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.


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