In July 2011, “Dance Moms”, a small reality show about dance competitions out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was introduced to the world. Little did we all know that the stars would grow up to be social media stars and the show would be a national phenomenon. Now seven years later, three stars of the show — Chloe Lukasiak, Kendall Vertes, and Kalani Hilliker — are touring the country to dance for and with thousands of their fans.
A day before they launched The Irreplaceables Tour, we had the opportunity to talk to these three talented ladies. Read on to find out more about the pre-show dance workshop, how they feel about the pressures of being role models for young girls, and how they’re trying not to grow up too fast in this crazy world.
Q&A with Chloe, Kendall, and Kalani
Did you ever expect “Dance Moms” to be this crazy of a phenomenon? Did you ever expect it to propel you into your dream careers?
No, I really didn’t. It was [supposed to be] a documentary on dance competition. We kept filming and never stopped. It turned into something else! I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I continued to go to public school; our lives didn’t really change, other than the fact that there was a camera. It wasn’t until I got older when I realized what an impact it made on our lives.
Kendall: What Chloe said — it’s crazy to see how our lives have changed since we began filming. We wouldn’t be going on tour without the fans [of this show].
Kalani: What’s really awesome about the show is that I wouldn’t have ever met the girls or have danced with them if it weren’t for the team. I’m grateful for that [opportunity] to have made my lifelong friends.
Each of you has at least 4 million followers. With so many young girls following you, how does that affect the way you conduct yourself? Does it affect your wardrobe, the words you choose, the people you post about in any way?
Chloe: I think it’s had a positive impact on me; it’s kept me grounded. Before I post anything, I think about how a lot of people are going to see it. I always stay true to who I am without trying to mature too fast. I do feel that it does happen in this day and age.
Kalani: I think with social media, it’s crazy. People do so many things at young ages now. I try to post what makes me happy, do what I want to do, and wear what I want. Most of the time people are cool with it.
With so much talk about feminism, girl power, and reporting sexual harassment, how do you hope to inspire young girls to be strong, confident women throughout your individual brands?
Kendall: We have our Instagrams; I think it’s crazy [how] our fans look up to us. We’re their role models! We try to see a positive outlook on everything.
Chloe: I want girls to feel confident, powerful, and to respect themselves, because it’s a long journey that women have had. I want girls to take advantage of that and earn the respect they deserve, to work hard, and to not let anyone tell them they can’t. Girls can do anything guys can do, but in heels.
Kalani: I think there’s a lot on social media that’s influencing young girls to be somebody they’re not. I try to use my Insta to show that you don’t need to be pretty and perfect every single day and that people are still going to like you.