'Dance Moms': New Lifetime Reality Show Tough on Girls, Their Moms

PHOTO: Stars of TLCs Dance Moms appear on Good Morning America.
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Meet the newest reality show superstars. They're sassy, dedicated, and they can contort their bodies in ways most people would find impossible. And they're kids.

The pint-size dancing phenoms range in age from 6 to 13, and they're starring in a new show on Lifetime that's all about them and their moms.

"Dance Moms" features the dancers and their mothers -- a group of Pittsburgh women who at times can make the pageant moms on the TLC hit show "Toddlers and Tiaras" look laid-back.

There's only one woman who can keep the girls and their moms in check: Dance coach Abby Lee Miller, owner of the Abby Lee Dance Company.

More drill sergeant than dance coach, Miller's no-holds-barred dance coaching style puts the girls through intense daily boot camp-style classes -- sometimes more than four hours a day, turning little girls into big dancing sensations. But it comes with a hefty price tag. Classes, wardrobe and travel can run upward of $20,000 a year.

"Good Morning America" caught up with the coach, her pupils and their moms in Las Vegas, where the group is competing in the Thunderstruck Dance tour.

Some of the girls started dancing as young as 2 years old, and they're now so poised that it's easy to forget that they are just children.

The pressure is immense. Asked if she sometimes wonders why her mother pushes her so hard to dance, one girl replied: "She says, "I'm just trying to help you.'"

The children's competition seems to bring out the competitive spirit in their moms.

And it seems as though some of the mothers are even jealous of one little dancer, Maddy, the strongest performer of the group.

But the girls defend their mothers.

"They're just normal dance moms," one girl said. "I think every dance mom would do that. They just make them look crazy, they're not like that at all."

Crazy or not, the pressure cooker environment of the dance life can cause stress at home. It can also cause stress at school, one girl acknowledged.

"My math teacher told me I need to focus more on schoolwork," she said.

One of the biggest criticisms these mothers face is that the sexy costumes and makeup their children wear are just too much for such young girls.

It's the same type of criticism targeted at the young girls and boys featured in the TLC reality show "Toddlers and Tiaras," but dance moms say their daughters are no "pageant girls."

"The beauty aspect of it, the costumes the hair, the makeup, that's one glimpse of their whole experience," one mom, Holly Hatcher Frazier said to "GMA."

Dancer Chloe's mom says her husband doesn't like to see his daughter looking older than she is.

"He doesn't always agree she's in the right place," Christi Lukasiak told "GMA." "He doesn't like fake eyelashes either. There's nothing my husband hates more than seeing my daughter dressed unlike a little girl."

The girls' dance training is tough, and Miller has earned a reputation for being a demanding teacher.

Her students find her intimidating, and say Miller sometimes makes them, and their moms, cry.

But Miller doesn't care if they think she's mean. She doesn't care if they think the costumes are sexy. The only thing she cares about is turning out winners.

"The difference between these girls and the pageant girls is that these girls are truly talented," Miller told "GMA."

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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