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g   Abby Lee Miller
Abby Lee Miller (1).jpg
Nickname(s): Abby
Websites: Instagram
Gender: Female
Born: September 21, 1965[1]
Age: 56
Home: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Studio Owner
Affiliations: ALDC LA
ALDC Pittsburgh
Height: 5' 8"
Friends and Family
Parents: Maryen Lorrain Miller (mother; deceased)
George L. Miller (father; deceased)
Friends: Ashlee Allen
Gianna Martello
Deja Carter
Cathy Nesbitt-Stein
Guy Amir
Rumer Noel
Miranda Maleski
Jessalynn Siwa
JoJo Siwa
Ryan Jenkins
Jill Vertes
Feuds: Kelly Hyland
Christi Lukasiak
Diane Pent
Jo Anne Morales
Jeanette Cota
Dawn Check
Christy Hunt
Holly Hatcher-Frazier
Camille Bridges
Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni
Kira Girard
Liza Smith
Melanie Huelsman
Jaime Caes
Erin Babbs
Yolanda Walmsley
Michelle Georgiana
Joanne Paolantonio
Tammy Croftcheck
Katie Watts
Stacey Ketchman
Leslie Ackerman
Kaya Wiley
Jeannie Quinn
Love Interests: Tom Cruise (celebrity crush)
Pets: Broadway Baby (dog; deceased)
Episode Run
Debut: The Competition Begins
Last: Reunion: Return of the ALDC
Quick Links
Search YouTube for Abby Lee Miller

Abigale[2] "Abby" Lee Miller was the former owner and teacher of the Abby Lee Dance Company/Reign Dance Productions. She is known for her role on Dance Moms of often pushing her students to their breaking point.

Early Years

Originally from Pittsburgh, Abby got her love for dance from her mother, Maryen Lorrain Miller, who is a 50-year member of Dance Masters of America. Maryen owned seven dance studios in Miami, Florida, prior to marrying George L. Miller of Pittsburgh and giving birth to Abby. Maryen taught classes all over the city before opening her main studio in Penn Hills.

Abby took classes at her mother’s studio throughout her formative years. After traveling with her mother to several national dance conventions, she was inspired and captivated by the newest “dance craze” competitions. At age 13, she started her career as a dance choreographer, and proceeded to open the Abby Lee Dance Company at only 14 years old. Since her studio's opening in 1980, it is estimated that she has taught 3 to 4 thousand students throughout her career. Now known for her incredible dedication, discipline and passion, Abby is one of the most sought-after dance teachers in Pittsburgh, as she has turned out numerous professional dance stars, including twelve featured on Broadway.[3]

In September 2013, Diane Pent, mother of Brandon Pent, used social media to support long-standing rumors that Abby was facing bankruptcy before the show.[4] In January 2014, TMZ reported that Abby had filed for bankruptcy in December 2010, finding herself in trouble due to previous real estate tax debts, and declining customer interest in her studio.[5]

In Dance Moms

Abby is a formidable, extremely strict teacher with high expectations for her students, and her harsh words have been known to bring many of her students to tears on an occasional basis. Abby has stated before that she "would rather be the one to make her students cry in her studio than have them break down and cry in an open-casting call in front of hundreds of other talented performers."[6] Despite the severe pressure she often applies to the girls, Abby still seeks to instill in her students a close sense of camaraderie between one another, and has noted "my favorite fruit is corn"[7], to the amazement of the show's crew.[8] Abby often gets emotional if she is very proud of a student, as when she watched Mackenzie grow as a dancer while rehearsing in the episode Brooke's Back; and elsewhere stating "what she most loves about teaching is seeing the joy on a student's face when they first achieve a goal or learn a new dance skill."

Abby commonly fights with the mothers of her students, especially Christi Lukasiak, the mother of Chloe Lukasiak; both have stated openly that they cannot stand each other, their fighting extending even beyond the show's filming.[9] Abby also often gets into passionate fights with Kelly Hyland, a mother who was once a member of Abby's original batch of students when Abby was fourteen[10], but eventually quit in favor of cheerleading. Abby is frequently criticized by most of the moms for favoritism towards Maddie Ziegler, whose mother Melissa tends to ally herself with Abby, unlike the other dance moms. Abby additionally has a rivalry with Cathy Stein, formerly a dance mom at ALDC, who now runs the rival studio, Candy Apple's Dance Center. Abby and Cathy regularly taunt and mock each other on the show, although they have admitted to still being friends away from the cameras.

Abby is known for producing employable dancers and attempts to school the girls in behavior as well. She cares for the girls, defending herself from critics by saying she has served as part time guardian in raising thousands of her students, doing everything from driving them alone to competitions to nursing them when sick and tending their broken bones.[11] She also points out that "with ninety hours of footage filmed per week, edited down to forty minutes often of the most dramatic", many are left with a distorted view on the frequency and severity of the conflicts. Abby maintains close connections to many of her former students, including her co-choreographer on the show, Gianna Martello.[12]

Nevertheless, Abby's critics have charged her from "crossing a line from disciplinarian into the clearly abusive with her verbal assaults on students".[13]

It's also been said that students must first sell their souls before being worthy of dancing at her school, Christi claiming that Abby would blackball her daughter in the world of dance, should they break their contract and move to another studio.

Abby credits her friend and Dance Moms executive producer John Corella as being instrumental with her in developing the show.[6] Abby believes Dance Moms is successful largely because the character relationships were real long before the show's creation, including conflicts with moms over attention given to Maddie. More recently in 2013, Abby has said that Dance Moms: Miami did not work because they auditioned girls to be on the show.[14]

On Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition

For more details on Abby's work on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, please follow this link to a related wiki.

On Abby's Studio Rescue

For more details on Abby's work on Abby's Studio Rescue, please follow this link to a related wiki.


In addition to taking dance lessons from her mother, she also went to Girl Scouts, had clarinet lessons, did roller skating, ice skating, had sewing lessons at Sears, took swim team in the summer and ski club in the winter, and attended Charm School. She hates being onstage and has never enjoyed performing.

On January 24, 2014, rumors emerged that Abby became engaged to her boyfriend Michael Padula based on their exchanges in social media.[15] However, the engagement was later reported as nothing short of a hoax, after Abby later downplayed it, and Abby said it had served to give her dying mother some peace of mind to know someone was there for her daughter.

On February 8th, 2014, at 7:40pm, Abby's mother, Maryen Lorrain Miller, died of Stage 4 Colon Cancer.

Following her mother's death and the airing of the physical altercation with Kelly in Big Trouble in the Big Apple, Abby was named as a co-defendant in a lawsuit brought by Kelly against Collins Avenue Productions, seeking monetary damages from various charges, including infliction of emotional distress. Amongst legal claims as to the background of the case, Kelly's lawyers state that Abby was "caring and nurturing" towards Kelly's daughters before the show; but is paid to be "abusive and bullying" as "part of a deliberate scheme by producers to generate interest in the show." In November 2014, Judge Ruth Kwan dismissed Kelly's charges against Abby and the producers regarding infliction of emotional distress against Paige; and for defamation against Kelly. (On additional charges of breach-of-contract and negligent damage to the Hyland home's floor, a possible trial date against producers was set for April 2016.)[16][17]

In October 2015, Abby was charged with attempting to hide $775,000 of income from Dance Moms, Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition and multiple other projects during Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. On June 27, 2016, she later pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud. Abby was additionally accused of divvying up $120,000 and having her friends carry the money in plastic bags in their luggage in August 2014, which she promised to forfeit in January.[18] On May 9, 2017, she received a sentence of 366 days in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. She was additionally fined $40,000 and ordered to pay the $120,000 judgment. On July 13, 2017, Abby checked into FCI Victorville facility in California.[19] On March 27, 2018, after serving 259 days in prison, she was transferred to a halfway house at the Residential Reentry Center in Long Beach and, after receiving time off for good behavior, was released on May 25, 2018.[20][21]

On April 17, 2018, Abby went into surgery for a multi-level laminectomy after she experienced “excruciating neck pain” and weakness in her arm. The almost five-hour surgery required an 18-inch incision on her back and the back part of several vertebrae had to be removed to relieve pressure on her spinal cord.[22] It was originally believed that she had been suffering from a spinal infection, however, on April 18, Abby was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma.[23]

Miscellaneous Information

  • Her zodiac sign is a Virgo.
  • According to Abby, there is actually something in contracts, specifically for title holders, that leads to fines if they leave Abby as their teacher-of-record ($100,000 according to Christi); but this does not apply to leaving the studio in general. When an ALDC student was asked if the $100,000 penalty was really true for the Dance Moms girls, the student laughed, and indicated it applied to more than just the girls on the show.[24]
  • Abby's membership in Dance Masters of America was reportedly terminated in early 2012 by her own chapter. Abby had been a member since 1986.[25] Her mother, Maryen Lorrain Miller, continues to be listed as a lifetime member (since 1946), and in association with Reign Dance Productions.
  • According to Abby after Season 1, the girls were not being paid, because then they would be considered professionals.[26] However, at the time of filming the early third season episode Out With the Old, In With the New, Abby claimed on Twitter that the moms were on strike to seek better pay and perks[27]; Kelly later echoed this claim regarding the actual nature of the parking lot sit-in dispute.[28] Kelly's 2014 lawsuit against Collins Avenue includes a copy of changes in her Collins Avenue contract, including various forms of compensation to be paid to the Hyland's as a group; a small fraction of which was allotted directly to Paige and Brooke, at $1,050 to each star per regular episode in the season.
  • According to Christi, Abby loves controversy, and her "signature piece" choreography in 2010 "was about a heroin addict who killed herself and kept her baby in a box."[29]
  • Abby claimed that Christi was under contract from Lifetime and Collins Avenue and she couldn't get rid of Christi and Chloe; but that they also couldn't quit.
  • Abby's favorite genre to choreograph is "probably" musical theater.
  • Abby claims that getting hit with Cathy's purse was the most surprising thing that happened on the show.
  • According to fellow high school classmates at Penn Hills High School, Abby's nickname was Abby-whale.
  • Abby gets the girls to tag her in social media posts, in order to gain Abby more followers.[30]
  • Abby wanted to keep Kamryn on the show but the producers kicked her and her mom off because they didn't cause enough drama.
  • Abby revealed during a live stream in 2016 that someone else selects three or four songs and then gives them to Abby, who then makes the final decision.
  • She had a cameo on "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming".[31]
  • Abby has been removed by lifetime due to racist remarks.
  • Abby has admitted in an interview that she never wanted JoJo Siwa on the show, but rather that production insisted and forced it upon her. She clarifies that she likes JoJo now, but also states she would've picked someone with "amazing feet" and "beautiful legs."[32]
  • In an interview, Abby's two most favorite solos was Katie Hackett's "A Child Is Born" and Mark Myars' "I Won't Dance" solo. Her most favorite solos from the show was Diary of Anne Frank, Helen Keller, and Lizzie Borden.[33]

Other Credits

To see Abby Lee Miller's other credits, visit the Abby Lee Miller/Credits subpage.


To view the gallery for Abby Lee Miller, click here.

External Links


  1. says born 1965 Article claims she is 47, published June 18, 2014 Wetpaint effectively using 1965
  2. Abigale:
  3. Abby's Dance-a-Thon
  6. 6.0 6.1
    Q: "If the Dm girls break the contract with aldc and leave do they have to pay one hundred thousand dollars to get out of it"
    A: "Not just the dance mom girls lol"
  32. - abby says she never wanted jojo on the team
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