Scripted or not? Dance Moms fans have been asking this question for eight seasons. The Lifetime reality TV show, which debuted in 2011, follows the ALDC elite junior team coached by Abby Lee Miller and their ultra-stage mom parents as the team rehearses intense choreography, travels across the country to compete against other teams and sometimes, each other. The reality show thrives on drama, and launched the careers of famous dancers like Maddie ZieglerMackenzie ZieglerJojo Siwa and Chloe Lukasiak. Viewers are still itching to know: Is it all for show or is this dance drama the real deal?

Maddie exited the reality show during season 6 and dished inside details about what happens behind the camera. “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,” the Book of Henry star told USA Today in 2017.

dance moms ogs abby lee miller getty images

There you have it, folks — the mystery of whether or not Dance Moms showcases manufactured drama, debunked. According to singer Sia‘s dancing prodigy, the mothers on the show are also instigated.

“You know how I said that moms do fight? The moms have to fake a fight sometimes,” she continued. “Afterward they just start talking and laugh about it.” The grownups aren’t the only ones who don’t stress over the on-camera fights.

Despite intensely emotional and argumentative scenes being instigated or staged by producers, Maddie maintained that all the drama revolving around competitions is 100 percent genuine. “It is really real. We do have a really crazy competition life,” she continued.

At the end of the day, though, these girls are friends. No matter who takes whose spot on the competition floor or whose mother yelled at the other’s, the Dance Moms cast gets along just great.

“All of the girls on the show, they’re my best friends,” she said of her on-screen relationships. “I [had] so much fun getting to work with my friends and my teachers and dance.”

dance moms

Considering Maddie went on to guest star on Pretty Little Liars, has gotten into voice work for animation and has ultimately become the face of Sia’s music career — starring in many of her music videos including “The Greatest,” “Elastic Heart” and most famously, “Chandelier” — we would say she holds no hard feelings toward the show. However, the same cannot be said for her former coach. The reality babe exclusively told Life & Style she is “not in contact” with Abby in April 2019. 

Real or fake, Dance Moms is still super entertaining!