Though Dance Moms is categorized as an unscripted reality television program, viewers have had doubts over the statement for quite some time.

The show is full of drama, and participants often enter conflict with their peers.

Over the last few years, Dance Moms alums, including Maddie Ziegler, have spilled the beans on whether the show is scripted.

Is Dance Moms Scripted?

While none of the alums have stated specifically that Dance Moms is scripted, many have attested to the fact that what’s seen on the screens is not how things truly are.

When speaking to USA Today, Ziegler previously revealed that much of the conflict between the moms in the show was fake.

“It’s hard to do a reality show when there’s so much crying and drama. The producers set it up to make us all yell at each other,” she said. 

“You know how I said that moms do fight? The moms have a fake fight sometimes. Afterward, they just start talking and laugh about it.”


A post shared by maddie (@maddieziegler)

The Truth about Dance Moms

Similar to Ziggler, Payton Ackerman has also opened up about it. In a video posted to her YouTube channel, she revealed how she ended up joining the show.

Ackerman shared she was at a studio for her dance class when people involved with the show asked her and her mother to move back so they could shoot the Lifetime reality show.

But since Ackerman and her mom had driven for an hour to get to her class, her mom refused and got upset.

“She went downstairs, opened up the studio door… and started like going off,” she recounted. “She was like, ‘You’re not going to waste my money, you’re not going to waste my time or her time.’”

During the entire incident, there was a camera guy behind Ackerman’s mom who “loved the drama.” 

Payton Ackerman talks about her time on 'Dance Moms'

Payton Ackerman talks about her time on 'Dance Moms' (Source: YouTube)

Ackerman found the next day that she and her mom were invited to film an episode of Dance Moms.

Various other alums have also said that while not everything that’s said on the show was real, sometimes people certainly meant every word they said.

In the aforementioned video, Ackerman also shared how her portrayal on the show had hurt her image in real life.

When she went into a competition on the first episode she filmed, the producers asked her to say she thought she did better than the other contestants (the other groups).

Ackerman agreed. But when the episode aired on TV, it was edited in a way to make it seem like she made the statement about the other girls she was dancing with.

“From there, everybody that watched the show hated me,” she said. “The girls on the show turned on me. For the show. The moms turned on my mom. It was literally like a crazy entire mess.”

The hate she received continued all the way until she stopped filming for the show. People were calling her home phone in the middle of the night and many showed up at her family’s front door. 

In fact, things had gotten so bad that she had even received death threats.

However, this wasn’t the only issue the show’s alums have opened up about.

Many have also talked about how badly Abby Lee Miller, the dance instructor on the show, yelled at them, revealing that her conduct was even worse off the camera.