It’s easy to get caught up in the juicy drama of Lifetime’s reality hit Dance Moms, but sometimes the bickering and negativity between the stage mothers and company director Abby Lee Miller can weight on your psyche. So it’s nice to see that some of the cast is still doing some feel-good work in their community.
Recently, three of the dance moms and four of the dancer daughters stopped by Pittsburgh’s Children Institute to put on a show for students with special needs. Those in attendance? Melissa Gisoni, Holly Frazier, and Jill Vertes — along with daughters Nia Frazier, Kendall Vertes, and Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler. Way to go, girls!
In fact, this wasn’t the first time Nia had visited the Children’s Institute. Just four years ago, the reality star was a student at the center herself! At the time, she was diagnosed with reflex neurovascular dystrophy, a disorder that magnifies pain symptoms.
“Nia couldn’t walk,” says mom Holly. “She was in a wheelchair. And at this point, we had this child who was so active, so vibrant, and she was in pain. Nia was determined to be a dancer again, and the Children’s Institute was able to guide her to achieve that goal.”
So it must have been particularly moving for Nia to meet someone like Children’s Institute student Anna Riordan, 13, who has the same dancing interest as she, while dealing with the same symptoms as a RND patient. Plus, Anna has Nia to look toward as an example!
“She’s able to dance like six days a week,” Anna explains, “and still does so much, and be a TV star, and have this pain condition that she’s going to have and just work through it.”
While this may give you the warm and fuzzies, it will also make you happy to know that there’s plenty more where that came from — though it may not always be shown on the show.
“They can’t put the whole 60 hours of your filming in, so they just get, of course, all the bad times in,” Melissa details, before Jill adds, “But the emotions and the feelings are all very real. When you see us crying, it’s because we’re sad and hurt. And it’s the same with the kids.”
Well, that’s a bit of a relief. We love a good Abby Lee face off, from time to time, but sometimes you need some redeemable moments, as well!
Do you want to see more moments like these on the show? Tell us in the comments below.