He tweeted distaste for Dance Moms and Abby’s teaching a few years ago, and his thoughts have not changed. When Maksim Chmerkovskiy spoke out against Abby during the live show, Derek clapped in the background.
Derek’s always a classy guy, but after the Quarterfinals show, he did the usual round of press interviews and explained why he wasn't a fan of Abby. He also blogs every week for TV Guide, and after writing about his Semifinals plans with Amy, the Emmy winning choreographer and five-time DWTS pro champion further articulated his feelings on the subject of Abby as a dance teacher.
"Here's my thing with her," Derek wrote. "I was fortunate to be brought up with mentors and teachers with constant encouragement, love and passion. It in turn created my love of dance to this day. Don't get me wrong — I've worked super hard and was super disciplined, but I was always surrounded by love and encouragement. What worries me is when you have kids who are so young and you put all this pressure on them and this false sense of 'this is the most important thing in the world,' that they will burn out at a certain age. They'll go, 'Oh, you mean I don't have to take this and I can do something else?' They hit 16, 17, 18, and we lose these amazingly talented kids because they had these teachers who were so tough on them."
Derek also segued into the subject of bullying, especially when it comes to teaching dance.
"People think of bullying as between kids, but bullying happens in every age range. You can be a great-grandma and be an absolute bully. You can be a teacher and be a bully. I think a lot of bullying happens with teachers. They take advantage of their authority and power, and bully their students. They think they're disciplining them and doing it for the good of the kids, but listen, there are ways of disciplining and getting your point across without being petty, rude and spiteful. The next generation of kids coming up in dance is incredible and so talented, and they have this amazing vocabulary of styles. But I guarantee you, if they're surrounded by negative, harsh people, at a certain point, they'll quit. I want them to have longevity."
Derek said he wants kids to know that if they feel that kind of stress and anxiety they don't have to settle for that person as their teacher.
"There are great teachers out there who are filled with love and compassion and passion and encouragement, and you'll get better results with that. It may not be immediate, but you'll get it in the distant future. Nothing good can come from screaming at kids and putting all this pressure on them."
Yes. Go for the carrot, not the stick. It's too easy to burn out from negativity, turning something that should bring you joy into something you just dread. Constructive encouragement and positivity are great motivators to continue.
Keep up the good work, Derek and DWTS pros!
Check out Derek's full blog for all this thoughts on Amy!
DWTS Season 18 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Source: TV Guide