‘Dance Moms’ Cast Wanted to Take Back Narrative With ‘Healing’ Reunion

The Dance Moms cast once left their moves on the dance floor, and now they’re leaving their emotions out on a reunion stage.

Lifetime enlisted the OG reality stars — save for Nia Sioux, Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler — to return for a special sit-down and revisit their collective Dance Moms tenure.

“I kind of closed it out, blocked it out of my mind. So I was like, ‘OK, I have to go back and think about it and talk about it. Do I really want to do that?’” Brooke Hyland exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the Lifetime premiere. “But I was like, ‘It’ll be healing, it’ll be therapeutic. We should do it.’ And Chloe [Lukasiak] was saying this yesterday, but if we didn’t go, people were just going to talk about us regardless. So at least we can be there to speak up for ourselves and voice our opinion and how we felt and why we did what we did in those moments.”

Brooke and her sister, Paige Hyland, were two of the original cast members on Dance Moms, which aired between 2011 and 2017. The show followed the junior elite competition team — also consisting of Maddie, Mackenzie, Nia and Chloe — at Abby Lee Miller’s eponymous dance company in Pittsburgh. Brooke, now 26, and Paige, now 23, left the team in 2014 before Kendall Vertes, Kalani Hilliker and JoJo Siwa eventually took their spots on the squad.

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Related: ‘Dance Moms: The Reunion’ on Lifetime: Everything to Know

Lifetime/YouTube The Dance Moms girls and their mothers are about to leave it on the dance floor once more on Dance Moms: The Reunion. Lifetime confirmed in November 2023 that the OG dancers and their moms would come together for a new TV special. The network revealed new details on Wednesday, March 6. “Dance Moms: […]

According to Kalani, 23, Lifetime tried to reconvene the troops for a reunion several times to no avail.

Dance Moms Cast Says Reunion Was Healing and Therapeutic
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“They just reached out to us and said, ‘Would you be interested?’ And I feel like now’s a good time because we’re all a lot older and we’re all adults and we can all have adult conversations,” Kendall, 21, added. “So I think if not now, it probably would’ve never happened, only because our lives are only getting busier, and so luckily it worked out.”

Kendall further noted that they revisited many traumatic show moments during the reunion special.

“A lot of [the] memories I’ve locked away because a lot of them are trauma or something that I don’t want to talk about,” Kendall, who joined the show during season 2, said. “So I think that [was] the hardest part. We can all say it was physically and mentally draining after filming it. I mean, as much as we had fun, obviously, it was really hard to have to look back on your childhood and be like, ‘Wow, that was not a normal childhood.’”

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Related: Dance Moms’ Most Memorable Stars: Where Are They Now?

Who’s at the top of the pyramid? JoJo Siwa, Maddie Ziegler and more stole the spotlight on Dance Moms — and their parents weren’t afraid to bring the drama. The Lifetime reality series premiered in 2011 and followed the Abby Lee Dance Company’s junior elite competition team as they rehearsed and performed rigorous new routines […]

Brooke and Paige, meanwhile, weren’t always on board with returning for the reunion after their season 4 exit.

“We never had a voice on the show,” Paige explained. “So I feel like to be able to say what we want and show the world who we are now was necessary because if we didn’t, they would’ve made their own narrative about us.”

The Dance Moms girls were joined at the reunion by their respective moms: Kelly Hyland, Jill Vertes, Kira Girard, Christi Lukasiak and Jessalyn Siwa. The reunion was a rare time for all the girls and their parents to get together. (Dance instructor Abby Lee, meanwhile, did not appear on the TV special.)

“How we stay in touch is through our group chat,” Brooke explained to Us. “We’ll send videos here and there, but it’s hard. We all live in different cities and all have very different lives and busy ones. We try to meet up when we are together or in the same city, but it doesn’t happen often, unfortunately. But we’re still talking behind the scenes.”

Dance Moms: The Reunion premieres on Lifetime Wednesday, May 1, at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Aileen Bergin

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