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‘Dance Moms: The Reunion’ — See the Original Cast Then & Now + Find Out If Abby Lee Miller, Jojo Siwa Will Be There!

Discover who will be bringing all the drama, and who opted out!


From the iconic fights with dance instructor Abby Lee Miller to the brutal weekly pyramid ranking, Dance Moms had viewers hooked right from the first season. Beginning in 2011 with six young dancers, the series became known for Abby’s rough and tumble teaching curriculum and favoritism of certain dancers.

Unfortunately, most of the original members left the series by season 7 and that was that. But on Wednesday, May 1, the original cast is getting back together for the first-ever Dance Moms reunion on Lifetime.

Cast members from the earliest seasons (and their moms, of course) are finally reuniting in this two-hour special. The dancers and their dance moms will discuss their time on the show, from the catty arguments between parents to the meltdowns from … well, everyone.

MUST-READ: ‘Dance Moms’ Star Abby Lee Miller Has Been Through Hell, but She’s Still As Feisty as Ever

Cast of dance moms; dance moms reunion
Cast of “Dance Moms” (2012) Steve Granitz / Contributor

And if you thought a two-hour special was tempting, Lifetime is dropping a new 10-episode series, Dance Moms: Epic Showdowns. The half-hour episodes, hosted by none other than Christi Lukasiak, will show the series’ most epic fights between all the cast members.

If you’re wondering which cast members you can expect to see in Wednesday’s Dance Moms reunion special, keep reading!

Abby Lee Miller: Not attending Dance Moms reunion

Abby Lee Miller
2011/2023 Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty // Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty

The reason behind the series and the teacher who created fame, fortune and a bit of a toxic environment for her students, is Abby Lee Miller. The infamous dance instructor, who was known best for her tough teaching style and fighting with her students’ mothers, is noticeably absent from this week’s reunion.

The reason? Miller supposedly wasn’t asked to participate. According to People, the girls “decided that they would only be a part of the reunion if Abby wasn’t.”

In 2017, Miller’s luck ran out when she was sentenced to 366 days in prison for fraud. After being released, she was sent to the hospital for an emergency spinal cord surgery, after which she was completely paralyzed from the neck down. Unfortunately, that was not the end of the bad news for Miller, who was then given a cancer diagnosis.

As of today, Miller is cancer-free, but still in a wheelchair since her 2018 spinal infection. As for her TV career, Miller has since been involved with the series Mad House (2023) and started her own podcast, “Leave It On the Dance Floor,” in 2023.  

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Maddie Ziegler: Not attending

Maddie Ziegler
2012/2024 Mike Coppola / Staff / Getty // Presley Ann / Stringer / Getty

One of the most notable dancers from the series, Maddie Ziegler, will sadly not be attending the reunion. An ALDC member from day one, Maddie was considered “the favorite” by Abby, creating an almost-constant rift between her and the other dancers.

Ziegler, who left the show at the end of season 6 in 2016, has had a massive career since. In 2016, she was a judge on the show, So You Think You Can Dance, and starred in multiple music videos for the singer Sia, who has since become her Godmother. In 2021, the dancer and actress got a lead role in The Fallout, alongside Jenna Ortega, and has starred in West Side Story (2021).

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Although Ziegler was considered the best and got a lot of preferential treatment, she didn’t always feel that way. The dancer shared on a podcast, “My thought process when I was younger, through my dance teacher, was like, ‘You have to be the best. If you don’t win, you’re not good.’”

Mackenzie Ziegler: Not attending Dance Moms reunion

Mackenzie Ziegler
2012/2024 Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty // Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty

Maddie’s little sister and original member of Dance Moms, Mackenzie Ziegler, has had a change in careers since the show’s ending. Starting the series at just age six, the youngest Ziegler — and member of the show — grew up on Dance Moms. Leaving in 2016 with her sister and mom, Ziegler turned her focus to her blossoming music career.

Throughout her time on Dance Moms, the singer went by “Mack Z,” releasing songs such as “It’s a Girl Party.” But recently, she has been releasing music under her own name, Kenzie, including 2023’s “Anatomy,” a song detailing the relationship with her father.

Although Ziegler was often compared to her older sister, Maddie, she shared that she was grateful to have her there. “Our teacher, the environment we were in — it was all very stressful as a kid. I’m glad we were doing the same thing so I could have a shoulder to lean on.”

Chloé Lukasiak: Attending

Chloe Lukasiak
2012/2024 Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

Chloé Lukasiak, an original member of the ALDC dance team, was a major part of the crew. Often compared to Maddie, who was close in age with the dancer, Lukasiak didn’t have it easy on the series. Luckily, she will be returning for the Dance Moms reunion to share about her experience.

Obviously, it largely defined who I became, but it doesn’t define who I am,” Lukasiak said of the show. “I am always grateful for it, But I’m ready to leave it in the past and move on as Chloé Lukasiak, not Chloé from Dance Moms.”

Since the series, Lukasiak has written and published her own book, Girl on Pointe: Chloe’s Guide to Taking on the World. In 2019, she started college at Pepperdine University as a creative writing major and just recently graduated. She has also had roles in Loophole (2019) and The Message (2020).

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Brooke Hyland: Attending Dance Moms reunion

Brooke Hyland
2012/2024 Michael Bezjian / Contributor / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

One half of the Hyland sisters, Brooke Hyland, may have felt more pressure than most while a part of the Dance Moms cast. Beginning the series at age 13, Hyland had to deal with being a teenager on top of the pressure put on her by Abby.

The dancer also left the team in season 2 for a stint on her school’s cheerleading team, but returned soon after. She and her sister, Paige, officially left the series in season 4 after their mom, Kelly, got into a physical altercation with Abby.

The oldest Hyland sister went on to attend Ohio Universtiy and graduated in 2019. Today, she is mainly an influencer, running her own food blog and her personal social media pages.

Paige Hyland: Attending

Paige Hyland
2012/2024 Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

The youngest Hyland sister, Paige Hyland, has also had a fairly normal life since the series. Returning for the Dance Moms reunion, Hyland will address her time on the show, as well as the infamous fight that led to her and her sister’s exit.

Leaving in season 4, Hyland went on to attend West Virginia University in 2019, graduating spring of 2023. Today, she is a social media influencer, posting frequently on Instagram and TikTok. Paige shared of her tenure with the series that there were “a lot of good times and a lot of bad times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Nia Sioux: Not attending Dance Moms reunion

Nia Sioux
2014/2024 Jason Merritt / Staff / Getty // Arturo Holmes / Staff / Getty

Nia Sioux, another original member of the ALDC, is noticeably absent from the Dance Moms reunion. However, the dancer was a main cast member until season 7. She shared about how her experience was helpful for her future.

I also learned how to persevere through hard times … I don’t think I’ve been on a job that was quite as stressful as that one, so it definitely prepared me and got me ready for the entertainment world.”

Over the years, Sioux has starred on The Bold and the Beautiful (2019), Sunnyside Up (2020) and even appeared in the new Mean Girls (2024) film. Today, she is attending UCLA, where she is studying American Literature.

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Kendall Vertes: Attending

Kendall Vertes
2015/2024 Jason Merritt / Staff / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

Joining the cast in season 2, Kendall Vertes quickly became a core member of the ALDC team. Vertes left the series officially in season 7 when the show went on hiatus. She spoke about her time on the series and what it was really like for her behind the scenes.

“I think a lot of people, especially with me, they were like, ‘You were such a brat on the show.’ I was going through puberty on national television — like, of course I’m gonna get into an argument with my mom where I’m gonna cry if someone yells at me.”

Vertes is currently attending James Madison University and is a member of the school’s dance team. The dancer and actress has also appeared in films, including Anastasia: Once Upon a Time (2020). She is now also an influencer and has had multiple endorsement deals.

Kalani Hilliker: Attending Dance Moms reunion

Kalani Hilliker
2015/2024 Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

This former ALDC member, Kalani Hilliker, joined the crew in season 4, quickly becoming close with Maddie Ziegler and Kendall Vertes. She initially got her start on the Disney Channel, but rose to fame on the Lifetime series. Kalani shared how being on the show has affected her life today.

Obviously, it brought lots of trauma. And we all definitely went through some hard times … But at the end of the day, I’m so grateful for it, because I wouldn’t be able to advocate for things like mental health or teach dance on the level that I do.”

Today, Hilliker is, as she noted, a dance teacher. She also dipped her toe in the acting pool, starring in Swiped (2018) and Dirt (2019). She also launched her own sock line, Pretty Feet, as well as her own line of prom dresses.  

Jojo Siwa: Attending

Jojo Siwa
2015/2024 JB Lacroix / Contributor / Getty // Jamie McCarthy / Staff / Getty

The dancer, actress and singer, Jojo Siwa, certainly made a splash in the industry. Known best for her giant bows, Siwa started appearing on Dance Moms in season 4 and remained for two years. Although the show seemed insane from an audience perspective, Siwas share it was a little different behind the scenes.

People were also given the illusion that you saw everything that was going on. In reality, Dance Moms filmed 60 hours a week and you saw 42 minutes.”

After the show, Siwa began joined Nickelodeon, appearing in multiple shows including The Thundermans (2016) and her own movie, The J Team (2021). She has also been a singer for many years, most recently releasing her song “Karma,” which has stirred up audiences once again.

Which dance moms are returning?

Melissa Gisoni: Not attending

Melissa Gisoni; dance moms reunion
2012/2024 Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty // Michael Tullberg / Contributor / Getty

Mother of Maddie and Mackenzie, Melissa Gisoni, starred on the series for six seasons. Throughout the show, most of the moms weren’t fans of Melissa, mainly because of the special treatment her daughter received. But all of that seems to be in the past now, as she has reunited with moms Kelly, Holly and Jill for their podcast, “Because Mom Said So.”

Christi Lukasiak: Attending Dance Moms reunion

Christi Lukasiak; dance moms reunion
2012/2024 John M. Heller / Contributor / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

Mom of Chloé, Christi Lukasiak was always stirring the pot with Abby. A fast friend of Kelly Hyland, the two would often band together against the other moms on the show. Since Dance Moms, Christi has become an entrepreneur, influencer and hosts the “Back to the Barre” podcast with Kelly Hyland. She will also be hosting Dance Moms: Epic Showdowns, which is set to release after the two-hour special.

Kelly Hyland: Attending

Kelly Hyland; dance moms reunion
2012/2024 Michael Tran / Contributor / Getty // Bonnie Biess / Stringer / Getty

Kelly Hyland, Brooke and Paige’s mother, was the center of a lot of the show’s drama, mostly with Abby. The dance mom was actually a former student of Abby Lee, which may have been the reason for so much tension between the two. She, along with Christi Lukasiak, is hosting the podcast “Back to the Barre,” as well as “Because Mom Said So”.

Holly Frazier: Not attending Dance Moms reunion

Holly Frazier; dance moms reunion
2012/2023 Jason Merritt / Staff / Getty // Dia Dipasupil / Staff / Getty

Dr. Holly Frazier, mother of Nia Sioux, was always the most rational of the Dance Moms bunch. But she also had to fight for better treatment of her daughter, who would often get the short end of the stick. Unfortunately, we won’t see Holly in the reunion. Since the series ended, Holly has continued with her career as an educator, as well as hosting the podcast, “Because Mom Said So,” with fellow dance moms Kelly, Melissa and Jill.

Jill Vertes: Attending

Jill Vertes; dance moms reunion
2015/2024 Dia Dipasupil / Staff / Getty// Via Instagram @jillvertes

Jill Vertes, mom of Kendall, also had some major drama moments while on the series (but who didn’t!). Prior to her time on the show, Jill was in pharmaceutical sales, but gave up the career for the show. Since she and Kendall left in season 7, Jill has been hosting the podcast, “Because Mom Said So.”

Kira Girard: Attending Dance Moms reunion

Kira Girard; dance moms reunion
2015/2024 Michael Tullberg / Contributor / Getty // Via Instagram @kiragirard

Kalani’s mother, Kira Girard, will also be in attendance of the Dance Moms reunion. Joining the show in season 4, Kira was often on the opposite side of most of the other moms. But since her time on the show, Kira has been growing her social accounts and caring for her family.

Jessalynn Siwa: Attending

Jessalynn Siwa; dance moms reunion
2015/2022 Michael Tullberg / Contributor / Getty // Momodu Mansaray / Contributor / Getty

Joining in season 4 with daughter Jojo, Jessalynn Siwa was not a favorite of the other dance moms. Formerly a dance teacher at her own studio, Jessalynn has since managed her daughter’s career, which has been a success. She also previously had her own podcast, “Success with Jess.”

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