Katherine Heigl Calls It As She Sees It

Katherine Heigl had no idea what she was in for when she recently happened upon an episode of Dance Moms. "Demeaning" and "belittling" only begin to describe this mother's reaction.

Katherine Heigl, Josh KelleyKatherine Heigl is no friend of the reality television show Dance Moms. The actress, who only recently came across the Lifetime creation, took to her iVillage blog to tell one and all how she really feels.

Speaking of Dance Moms, Katherine Heigl wrote, "I watched with open-mouthed amazement as girls as young as seven were encouraged to dress provocatively and shimmy around a stage doing a dance performance that could just as easily been a burlesque routine."

"I kept thinking all these girls were missing is a pole! I was also horrified by the way their instructor spoke to them when she felt they weren't up to snuff," the mother of 3-year-old daughter Naleigh continued, "It was demeaning, belittling and downright unkind."

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The head instructor, Abby Lee Miller, stood out as particularly inappropriate in Katherine Heigl's Dance Moms review.

"There is no reason to break anyone down in order to prepare them for inevitable disappointment or unkindness," she wrote of Miller's actions. "There is no reason to diminish anyone's self-esteem in order to get them to try harder next time. Especially not a child's."

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Vowing that neither she nor husband Josh Kelley will ever treat Naleigh in such a way, Katherine Heigl expressed concern for young girls everywhere.

"It terrifies me, the amount of value we place on a woman's looks, body and ability to drop it like it's hot on the dance floor," the One for the Money actress wrote. "It's one thing to walk into a club and see twentysomethings embracing their sexuality and having some fun, but it's another thing altogether watching seven-year-olds shake their booties, bellies and nonexistent boobies on a stage in a room full of adults and be handed a trophy for it. What in the world are we telling them? That sexy is the prize and is the talent they have?"

Do you agree with Katherine Heigl's reaction to Dance Moms?

Image via WENN


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Comments on "Katherine Heigl: Dance Moms kids only missing a pole"

Simone February 06, 2013 | 6:24 PM

Thanks to Ms. Heigl for speaking out on this subject. Degrading children and bad-mouthing their parents is an ineffective and harmful.

Al January 03, 2013 | 12:48 PM

And this person can comment? When you look at some of her work....Maxim(porn), she comes from money, yet she can beat up the Dance Moms(none of which come from money)and she herself was a child runway star(really no difference...except for the bulimic part) Oh well, maybe she is jealous!!!

Jocelyn June 05, 2012 | 1:46 PM

In my opinion, yes, Abby Lee is harsh, but the discipline is good for the girls. What I have a problem with is the mothers! They are worse than Abby with the fact that they yell and b*tch in front of their daughters and are acting as HORRIBLE role models for them. Half the time Abby is trying to do her job and these mothers act as if they own the place, and half the time the little girls look embarrassed when their mothers start screaming. The mothers should really grow up and take a good look in the mirror.

BETTI February 21, 2012 | 6:20 PM


Angela February 21, 2012 | 6:18 PM


Terri February 18, 2012 | 8:26 PM

When these rich spoiled little girls grow up and face the real world they will thank Abby for all her strict training. You can really see their spoiled Mothers arent getting them ready for the cold cruel world if they want to be a dancer whereyou must have a super strong personality!!!!

Sheryl February 03, 2012 | 9:49 AM

I totally agree with K. Heigl's comments. I have watched the show a couple of times and then saw something on the internet yesterday about how wonderful the mom's were and their lovely homes. The mom's are just the opposite on the show. They are not happy without "Loads of DRAMA". They practically live at the studio or competitions, when do they have time to take care of the house or anything else!!! They are totally living out their dreams through their daughters. How shameful! As I can see there could possibly be one or two of those children that aren't talked to as something that can't do anything right. And socially challenged.

Vicki February 03, 2012 | 8:30 AM

I live in Pittsburgh PA where the show is alleged to be broadcast. The dance studio is actually in a boro of Pittsburgh called Penn Hills PA. I wish the show would give the proper location. I hate the way these children are subjected to the constant yelling, the demeaning of these beautiful children and the rudeness displayed by the instructor. Her attitude with the parents is deplorable as well. I would not let my child be subjected to this woman. I am sure there are other well respected dance studios in our area that are able to produce fantastic dancers that go on to become professionals without all of the abuse. There is a studio in Swissvale PA ( another boro of Pittsburgh) "GNK" that is fantastic- Gina the owner is a fine example of what an instructor should be. I am a colorguard instructor and I am horrified and upset with the way Abbey Lee instructs. As an instructor, I understand having your "name out there" and wanting to make sure your name is well respected but... The way she conducts business should be examined. The name of Abbey Lee should be tarnished after this show! As and instructor, I am always kind to my students and families. Some people liked my teaching style and others did not. I was always firm but gentle and if my student had a hard time grasping onto a dance move, plotting a drill/ routine or had a hard time with a peice of equipment I would take the time to give individual attention on the clock and off the clock. It is about giving back to your community. It is not always about the dollar. I would make it clear I am the instructor but I did it with class and dignity to all. As the instructor I am in charge of creating a tasteful presentation that can be presented at indoor colorguard shows, parades, band shows and venues that call for an age appropriate, tasteful performance that requires dance and the use of equipment ( Rifles, sabers, flags, batons, props) I have had parents try to take over my rehearsals and dictate what I chose as a performance peice. I would properly redirect them to the fact that during my rehearsals, I am the one in charge. I am never mean or nasty but very matter of fact that I am the paid professional, I am a former world champion and have over 3o years of experience. As such, you must allow me to do my job. I have never put together sleezy routines, I always try to keep themes family friendly or a theme that gave awareness to causes that affect our world today. Pleas do not let this show protray Pittsburgh instuctors in a negative light. We are the "Steel City" and the but we are not a city that promotes steeling innocence!

Bob February 02, 2012 | 4:33 PM

Ms Heigel, you are correct. My mother-in-law owns a dance studio(since 1974) and provides a nurturing, positive dance experience to all students. Her kids have gone on to prestigious ballet, dance, and cheerleading teams (Boston Celtics). Her dancers are self assured, Nat'l Honor Society members, and the nicest, classiest kids you'd ever meet. She is appalled by "Dance Moms". It's a parody of what true dance studios are like. It's a car-crash. I watch it and place it right up (down ) there with "Tots and Tiaras" God, I need a shower after watching this tripe-Right on!!

Lisa February 02, 2012 | 4:09 PM

I have watched the show several times. My children have had t-ball coaches, basketball coaches and soccer coaches that coached just like Abby Lee Miller. What is different here? I have 4 children, two are now grown and they don't look back at it as a bad experience. They both completed college and are healthy, well adjusted adults with successful careers. I too had coaches that acted much the same way ESPECIALLY my dance instructor. I think she does an amazing job teaching them! If you want to talk about wanna be hookers maybe you should watch toddlers and tiaras.

Patty February 02, 2012 | 2:49 PM

Have we forgotten children are our gifts from God. Let us love them not belittle them. Please take the show off the air. Thank you Miss Heigl for making this comment.

Robert February 02, 2012 | 2:11 PM

What you all are forgetting one they dont pay for this they are paid by lifetime to participate its scripted its a show and yes its wrong go to youtube and look for the auditions for this show all of the girls were handpicked for this show. So how they can say Ive know abby for years is hilarious

Traci February 02, 2012 | 1:50 PM

Spot on. Dance Moms is a horrific show. I watched it some last season, but refuse to let that into my home. Those little girls are taught that it is okay for someone to belittle them, yell at them, and emotionally abuse them. I understand that the moms talk to their girls and work things through with them, but that really only reinforces the lesson that it is okay for someone to abuse them. It is NOT OKAY, and that show should be pulled.

Rae February 02, 2012 | 1:48 PM

As an educator, I cannot believe that parents would pay for their children to be treted in such a disrespectful manner. The ineteraction between the dance instructor and the children is appalling and would not be tolerated in a public school of instruction. Regardless of how I feel about the dance routines, the entire show seems to thrive on how rude and ugly they can treat each other. What are we teaching our children about appropriate communication and interaction skills. What this world needs is more kindness and respect among others. Children will experience more success through honest praise and realistic goals than with verbal and emotional abuse.

Julie February 02, 2012 | 1:44 PM

You are RIGHT ON Kathrine Heigl. This show should have been cancelled from the first episode. The fact that one of the dance moms is fighting back is even worst, by saying Hiegel flaunted herself in a movie where she was a teenager trying to bed an older man (My Father the Hero). News alert.... she was a teenager, NOT A child.

PJ February 02, 2012 | 1:42 PM

Absolutely....I actually feel it almost borders child abuse! I am all for children learning to dance, but lets be age appropriate!! Shame on the parents (mothers) for allowing another adult to speak/treat their child in the manner Ms. Miller does, and for what????

Janet February 02, 2012 | 1:37 PM

Ms. Heigl hit the nail on the head. I saw the show once and was affronted with how every "adult" behaved on that show and horrified at what they were saying to these little girls by encouraging them to perform the way they do and by setting the poorest example for these innocents.

teri February 02, 2012 | 1:06 PM

K. Heigl is absolutely spot on! When I think about how people trashed the Barbie Doll for teaching young girls the wrong values...what must all of this do?! Yikes!

Krista February 01, 2012 | 1:11 PM

yay! finally a voice for sanity!

Linda January 31, 2012 | 12:13 PM

I agree with miss heigl's view whole heartily.

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