Dance Moms came from an idea John Corella had back in 2004. With the success of American Idol, John thought there was a void in reality television involving dance. John then thought what better than to showcase the colorful talented world that he grew up in, taught/choreographed in and judged in... Dance Competitions. He met with his best friend Stacy Kitter, who has been in reality television casting for over a decade, to work on putting this on the air. She then introduced him to another Executive on the show whom she worked with in casting. He and John met and John presented the idea of a reality show about the world of kids dance competitions. John gave footage of these dance competitions and dancers and although they didn’t start pitching the show to production companies right away, in John's eyes, this meeting is where the Dance Moms journey began.

Fun Facts About Dance Moms!

  • Candy Apples teacher Cathy Stein has known John Corella since 1994 when he won Mr. Dance of America
  • Christi Lucasiak was one of the first dance moms to contact John regarding Chloe being on the show
  • The current cast was not the original group presented to follow. They were a group of 5 girls and there moms from Orange County, California. They declined
  • Dance Moms was created to showcase the world of competitive dance and its dancers across the nation
  • A kid dance competition show, which later turned into AUDC, was pitched at the same meeting where Dance Moms was presented
  • John presented 5 out of the 7 original cast members at the first meeting
  • Dance Moms idea did not involve a dance teacher in beginning stages. Moms and young dancers only
  • Television is all about timing, so after a few years of occasional meetings the timing was finally right in the summer of 2010. This was about the same time young girls in dance competitions were starting to be featured in the media. John shared his own experiences with Dance Moms and dancers and they knew there was a market and a void for a show like Dance Moms. John contacted business colleagues, dance moms, and gathered footage and headshots of their young dancers for the first and only official meeting. With no agent and just an idea, they set out to find a production company to help produce this show. There first and only meeting was at the production company that produces Dance Moms now. The company believed in the idea and decided to move forward with John and the other executive developing and casting the show. John being a former competitive dancer himself since the age of 12 and having Corella Dance Company, a competition dance team, had access and knowledge of Dance moms, dancers, and dance competitions. They made hundreds of phone calls, sent out hundreds of emails to moms and their dancers, all of whom would be great for the show. They looked at dancers and their mothers all across the U.S. from Arizona, California, Minnesota, to Pennsylvania, asking them to send footage of a-day-in-the-life of their little competitive dancer. They thought about following different moms and their dancers from a few different studios but finally settled on documenting moms and dancers from one studio. It was a complete whirlwind from September 2010 until shooting began in April of 2011, but Dance Moms found a home on a network that believed in the show – Lifetime.

    John has always believed and understood in the brand of Dance Moms and the colorful, talented, entertaining world that it follows. Like anyone’s reality it has it’s good and bad moments. John is grateful for the fans, the production company, Stacy Kitter and Lifetime network for turning his dream of creating a show and putting it on television to a “reality”. May the series continue to follow dancers, teachers, dance moms across the US and world!

    Mackenzie Ziegler - Click to Listen!

    Executive Producer