Staff writer Adam O’Reilly talks to Dr Holly Frazier of Lifetime’s Dance Moms about the show, her new book and balancing work and family.
Those of us familiar with the reality hit show Dance Moms will be well acquainted with the drama, crying, screaming and terror that is Abby Lee Miller. The show follows a group of young dancers in the early stages of their careers under the enormous pressure forced upon them from both dancing instructor Abby and their mothers alike. Motley Magazine got the chance to catch up with Dr Holly Frazier, mother of Nia, on Lifetime’s Dance Moms. With her new book Moments of Clarity flying off the shelves we had more questions than ever.
Holly has adopted the title “The Voice of Reason” during the past four years of filming because we rarely see her lose her cool in what at often times can only be described as a battle field. When we questioned Holly on her unusually calm and collected demeanour she told Motley that “Abby is clearly a force to be reckoned with at times, but ultimately, I have the responsibility to conduct myself properly. I try really hard to be positive and not to engage in the negativity.” As addicts of the show and fearers of Abby Lee Miller we commend you Dr Holly. The former Principal tells Motley that when under pressure during filming she tried her best not to let down her family and former students. Even though Dance Mom Holly is known for her self-discipline there have been times on the show where she was put in the direct line of fire. Throughout seasons 1-3 Holly often fell victim to the abuse and taunts of Abby and fellow Dance Moms due to her lack of attendance at dance class and competitions. Was the mother of Nia just bunking off? Absolutely not, Holly explains, by telling of the struggling with balancing family, career, filming and even managing to complete a doctorate in education. Of course we pleaded with Holly to tell us her secret to this great balance and she exclusively shared with Motley “I hope my journey inspires others to conquer their fears and go after their dreams and goals despite the obstacles, including the opinions of others – Abby or the Dance Moms. Don’t give away your dreams to silence the critics!” If Holly can achieve all this and publish a book in the meantime then there really is hope for us all. Despite all this Holly admitted that in her free-time, limited as it may be, she likes to blow off steam by reading a book and of course “…what trumps everything is spending time with family.”
We are obsessed with Holly’s new book Moments of Clarity here at Motley HQ. Filled with 40 positive daily affirmations it’s something everyone can benefit from, but clearly shows that at times Holly is thrown into some very volatile situations during Dance Moms. Naturally we were curious about the craziest situation Holly found herself in with Abby and the other moms. Unsurprisingly, Dr Holly was unable to settle on a final decision and admits that “there are so many bizarre situations it is hard to choose only one. Just when I think I have experienced the craziest situation, another experience occurs.” She went on to confess to Motley that she’s afraid she might jinx herself and gushes “I will not name any specific example” as she fears the emotional impact it may have on those she dishes the dirt on.
Throughout the seasons of Dance Moms Holly’s daughter, acro-dancer Nia, came under the scrutiny of coach Abby on several occasions, so we were thirsty to find out how she is progressing as a dancer. Dr Holly went on to describe her daughter’s steady progression as a performer and praised her continual growth as a talented and versatile dancer. Pittsburgh based Holly continued to rave about daughter Nia, who’s “love of dance, talent, strong work ethic and perseverance has contributed to her ongoing growth as a valued dancer and member of ALDC [Abby Lee Dance Company].” Unsurprisingly, lightning strikes twice in the form of tyrant Abby Lee Millar when the Dance Moms accuse Abby of expressing favouritism to certain dancers – in particular Maddie Ziegler daughter of Dance Mom Melissa. Abby defended herself claiming “some kids are just special” but Dr Holly had something very different to say on the matter insisting that “as an educator and a parent, I like fairness, so it does concern me. Competing on a level playing field is healthy and to be encouraged.” She went on to add that “giving advantages to some students while denying others those benefits is unfair and unjust.”
With so much chaos even Dr Holly at times has to hold in the frustration, especially when it comes to 13 year old daughter Nia. Holly is very protective of her little girl but she also strives to teach Nia how to cope and deal with the difficult situations in life, admitting that “trying to respond appropriately when you feel your child’s pain can be draining and emotional. Sometimes the emotion shows.” For Holly the most important thing she can do is set a positive example for her children. Mother to two other children, Holly confesses that the hectic schedule of the show can sometimes have a toll on her family life, and notably even more so when travelling with the cast. “Communication is critical” Holly explains, while talking about managing this aspect of her personal life. When travelling with the ALDC the former principle tells us how Facetiming her family is what helps keep them connected.
What does the future hold for young Nia and Dance Mom Holly? Dreams of performing on Broadway, music, more books and motivational speaking are definitely on the horizon. This Mother-Daughter team seems unstoppable.