The 'Dance Moms' reunion cast say they wouldn't have been able to get 'closure' if Abby Lee Miller participated: 'No one would've felt comfortable'

chloe, paige, jojo, kendall, kalani, and brooke from dance moms posing together as young aults. they're all young women wearing dresses, posing together for a selfie in a production studio
"Dance Moms: The Reunion" brings together some cast members from the original Lifetime show.Lifetime
  • Some former stars from the "Dance Moms" cast participated in a reunion special airing on Lifetime.

  • There's one particularly notable absence: Abby Lee Miller, their former instructor.

  • Cast members told BI they don't think they would have gotten "closure" had Miller been there.

"Dance Moms: The Reunion" brings back some of the original cast members from the Lifetime series about the cutthroat environment of competitive dance — but there's at least one former star you won't see.

Abby Lee Miller, the dance instructor who founded the Abby Lee Dance Company at the center of "Dance Moms," doesn't appear in the special, though there are plenty of clips shown of Miller berating the show's young cast (or their mothers). Today, the show's stars have mixed relationships with the woman who helped launch their careers.

In the reunion, six now-adult "Dance Moms" alums — Brooke and Paige Hyland, Kendall Vertes, Kalani Hilliker, Chloé Lukasiak, and JoJo Siwa — collectively process and discuss their experiences on the show. And according to some of them, that wouldn't have been possible if Miller had been present.

"I think that none of us probably would've wanted to do it if she was there because we are each other's safe space," Hilliker, who still works with Miller, told Business Insider.

"For us to be as vulnerable, open, and honest as we were, we felt safe saying that between our group and our core. I think if we had the instigator there, we wouldn't have been able to express how we truly felt and gotten the closure that we needed," Hilliker said.

Brooke Hyland told BI that for her and her younger sister Paige, Miller's potential presence was their "first question" when they got the offer to participate in the reunion. The pair and their mother, Kelly Hyland, left the show in season four after Kelly and Miller got into a physical conflict — the famous "You're eating my face!" moment.

"I think it would've been a whole different atmosphere," Paige told BI. "No one would've felt comfortable. I think everyone was crying and so vulnerable, and we wouldn't have been able to do that."

Fellow "Dance Moms" alum JoJo Siwa has said that she speaks to Miller on a regular basis, telling E! News that Miller has been "supportive" of her career. Hilliker told E! News that though she has a "good relationship" with Miller, she doesn't necessarily forgive the teacher for the way she treated her or her friends.

Kendall Vertes told BI that while members of the cast had varying experiences on "Dance Moms," she appreciated the opportunity to return for the reunion and talk through the events of the series with the other women who were part of its child cast.

"It was nice to come together and talk things through, just the girls," Vertes said. "Not the moms interfering, not Abby interfering, and now we're finally able to close the book, move on, chase our dreams, and kind of leave all of that in the past."

"Dance Moms: The Reunion" airs May 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime and will be available to stream on Hulu Live TV.

Read the original article on Business Insider