1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Abby Lee Miller--Profile of the 'Dance Moms' Instructor

By

Abby Lee Miller of Dance Moms
Lifetime

Reality TV Credentials:

Abby Lee Miller is the dance instructor on Dance Moms, a position she has held since the show premiered on Lifetime in July 2011. On the show, she's a tough and often gruff task master who frequently clashes with her students' helicopter mothers. Still, she usually pervades and has led her dance troupe to multiple regional and national titles.

Miller is also a judge on Lifetime's Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition which launched in October, 2012.

Personal Background:

Abby Lee Miller was born Abigale Lee Miller, September 21, 1966 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Her mother, Maryen Lorrian Miller, (a 65 year member of Dance Masters of America), owned seven dance studios in Miami, Florida, before she married George L. Miller, moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and had her daughter. Then she taught classes around Pittsburgh before opening a studio in Penn Hills, where Miller took dance classes.

Miller says she learned her skills "from some of the most amazing originals, pioneers in the dance world."

Professional Background:

Miller was just 14-years-old when she launched the Abby Lee Dance Company and began teaching other children how to dance. "I hate to be on stage, she has admitted. "[I] never enjoyed performing--that’s one reason why I am a great teacher. I don’t envy or compete with my students."

Miller opened her own studio in 1980, and taught there for over a decade before building a new state-of-the-art studio in 1992. She estimates she has taught more than 3,000 students throughout her career, many who have gone on to have professions in the field including those performing on Broadway, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Tokyo Disney and stages around the world.

Awards and Recognition:

In addition to leading her students to numerous awards, Abby Lee Miller has been recognized personally for her work. In October, 2012 she was featured on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine. Earlier in 2012, she was nominated for a Logo “NewNowNext” award and Dance Moms was nominated for a "Fan Favorite" Teen Choice award and for a "Best Candid Reality Show" Tubey award from Television Without Pity.

Other Accomplishments:

In 2012 Abby Lee Miller made her acting debut in a guest appearance on Lifetime’s scripted drama, Drop Dead Diva.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.