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Black Girl Forced to Wear an Afro Wig, Dance as “LaQueefa” on Lifetime’s Dance Moms

Avatar • Aug 26, 2011

via Jezebel.com

Normally Dance Moms revolves around the social politics amongst the mothers who are competing with one another when it comes to living their dance dreams vicariously through their children. But last night’s episode was actually all about racial politics as Nia—the only African American child in the troupe featured on the show—was required to wear leopard print and an Afro wig for a number called “LaQueefa.”

Nia’s mother Holly was immediately put off by the stereotyping, and was particularly irked by the Afro wig, although she inexplicably relented and bought her daughter the wig and allowed her to go on stage to perform the number. Abby, on the other hand, was totally upfront about the fact that she’s stereotyping Nia, saying that the girl needs to learn how to do “ethnic” dances for casting calls, because those are the kinds of roles for which she’ll be auditioning. After the performance, Holly and Abby exchanged words, and Abby came off really poorly when she implied that Nia was getting special price breaks on tuition because of the color of skin. Holly was incredulous, responding that she pays $100,000 a year in private school tuition and she can afford Abby’s school. (Where is Holly sending Nia? Yale?)

Honestly, though, if I were Holly or Nia, I’d be more pissed about the fact that the number actually featured very little dancing, and certainly nothing “ethnic,” as Abby had promised was so important. And why wasn’t anyone laughing about the fact that the number was called “LaQueefa!”? The only thing that’s ethnic about that name is that it sounds like French for “pussy fart.”

Click here to view the videos of Nia’s performance.

This is disgraceful! What are your thoughts ladies?

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boho.barbie
boho.barbie
9 years ago

i don’t even curse BUT this is a WTF moment, if there ever was one!!!

freeyourheart
9 years ago

yeah, i saw this last night and was livid. yeah, the afro and outfit was unsettling, but the song is what pissed me off the most. the “laqueefa” song is from a contestant on ru paul’s drag race, who played a “post modern pimp.” NO for that, completely. she’s a child. her talking about being a pimp and having that name is horrible. and when abby lee, the choreographer and owner of the dance studio, said that she wants the child to focus more on her “ethnic” dances because that’s the type of job she’ll mostly be casted for and… Read more »

Nia/Chic Working Mom
9 years ago
Reply to  freeyourheart

Well said! I couldn’t agree more. I’ve tuned in on ocassion because my daughter is in dance class and I like to watch the little girl since my name is also Nia (lame I know) but she’s cute. I have yet to see this episode but I definitely won’t be looking for it either. It’s quite disappointing that the mom went for that. I would’ve been LIVID!

Stacey
Stacey
9 years ago

I would’ve pulled my daughter from the show! Nothing about that routine was ethnic or could be traced to any cultural dance. I’m a dance coach for a college as well and would never send my girls out to an audition with a routine like this. And an afro wig? C’mon mom, that was embarassing.

EG
EG
9 years ago
Reply to  Stacey

I agree. This child was not forced to do anything, her mother allowed her to be humiliated for money and fame. I blame the mother, not the show’s execs. We know that some people’s goal in life is to humiliate us, and bring us down. I don’t blame them, I blame us when we allow it. This mother just let the whole world know that her daughter’s dignity is up for sale.

Anna Renee
9 years ago
Reply to  Stacey

I didn’t see the show, and won’t ever watch it, but I’m wondering why the afro wig is embarassing?

Just asking, not trying to start no mess.

Stacey
Stacey
9 years ago
Reply to  Anna Renee

It wasn’t the wig itself, it was the stereotype about the wig. It was the name LaQueefa, the leopard outfit, the booty popping in the routine passed off as ethnic dance, AND the afro wig and hoop earrings on top of it all. It was Abby (the dance teacher) trying to pass this off as an ethnic dance when it’s not and piling a bunch of stereotypes in there on top of it.

Thelly
Thelly
9 years ago

oh my lord!! smdh

Michelle Hubbard
Michelle Hubbard
9 years ago

Never heard of the show. Thanks for informing me so that I will know not to watch it(the show) if I happen to flip through the channels on a Sunday afternoon to look at the re-runs.

Zyaran
Zyaran
9 years ago

Wow after watching the video clip I thought they were about to get into a fighting match. The Abby lady was so wrong and all of her snide remarks, humph I would have done an Ronnie on her arse like he did to Mike aka Situation and knocked her the effed out. I wonder is the mom still having her daughter go to this rude lady, because I wouldn’t.

CarmelStacks
CarmelStacks
9 years ago

WTH, this is why I stopped watching TV months ago.

Aboogie
Aboogie
9 years ago

There is no reason that a child, any child in 2011 should have to go through this. Particularly a child of affluence. Did you see her flips? Did you see her muscles? That little girl is well taken care of and has beyonce to look up to- Beyonce because I read where a little white girl wanted to be brown so that she could be more like beyonce… in this day in age its just so low of Abby. Ethnic heritage, I get it… but there was not history or heritage in this piece. and most important, did abby not… Read more »

Aboogie
Aboogie
9 years ago

and this may sound low from me, but what ever… i dont want a dance instructor, choreographer or really anyone in a position to tell me how to be, who is extremely obese. Why, because she is obviously not in control of herself. Call me predjudice… but i know because i was very fat myself, and the thinking that a person has while they are sustaining the extra weight is not condusive to their personal growth (for me and all others i have spoken to about it) so while i may have been good at my work and endeavors before… Read more »

Ogo
Ogo
9 years ago

Abby was absolutely ridiculous, but I can’t say I am surprised. It might be wrong, but I have no expectations when it comes to white people with regard to racism and bigotry. Whatever they do or don’t do is par for the course for me. I just got tired of being emotionally invested in bullshit. But Holly disappointed me because I thought being a highly educated woman she should know better and she didn’t. Her continued insistence on how she was not that type of black person (and was rich and how outdated afros were) was so off the mark.… Read more »

Yahlah Yisrael
9 years ago
Reply to  Ogo

I have no expectations when it comes to white people with regard to racism and bigotry. Whatever they do or don’t do is par for the course for me.”

SO true, nothing they do or say shocks me anymore.

Nia’s mother needs to get her head out of the other dance mom’s butts and grow-up. The self-hate in her remarks was quite evident. It made me cringe.

Nkia
Nkia
9 years ago

Between the comments and the description, I am confused and agog. Just what is this show about? Why were the girls dancing to a song about pimping etc? Why was the little girl wearing that outfit with that name? Was she the only one given the wig and routine? I would like to know the show’s premise and concept because it doesn’t make sense. If the ‘teacher’ has said and done all these things then I can only suggest the mother is fame hungry for the child and is willing to suffer the ensuing tomfoolery. This Abby sounds ridiculously immature,… Read more »

Lin
Lin
9 years ago
Reply to  Nkia

You know that show Toddlers and Tiaras?
Think of a dance version of that.

I’ve not seen all the episodes and I don’t know all the names, but the African-American mother seems to be the one with the most amount of sense.

TrainWreckWatcher
TrainWreckWatcher
9 years ago
Reply to  Lin

If that woman had any sense her daughter would not be in that school…
It’s very clear to me after seeing this episode that not only does she lack sense (common or otherwise) that she full of self hate also.

TrainWreckWatcher
TrainWreckWatcher
9 years ago

This was the same “mother” from an earlier episode that thought the outfits/costumes that Abby provided for the girls was too slutty or trashy and allowed her daughter to perform in that over top Prostitot routine as well. Only after she saw the performance did she pull Abby aside and try to express her disapproval. And it was a pretty half-assed attempt at that.

kamille
kamille
9 years ago

I saw this episode, and I can’t even say I’m shocked because Abby(the dance company owner) is downright rude and nasty to just about EVERYONE–not to say that what she said and did was right. However,I was taken aback by what she said because she actually tried to justify her reason for making Nia do the dance; I actually found her justification more racist than the act of making Nia do the dance. As for Holly: I couldn’t be too upset at her comment that the ‘fro is outdated because it seems that they live in a middle America town… Read more »

aiych
aiych
9 years ago

LOL, what kind of mothers even let their kids go on these shows in the first place? The white woman humiliated the child (which is not surprising) and the black woman let her child be humiliated. So much for dignity. I hope that mom is feeling foolish right now.

There would be no way in hell that I would let my child dance to that mess for any audience.

df
df
9 years ago

that poor girl…

luvmylocs
luvmylocs
9 years ago
Reply to  df

yeah. that lady is mean to the girls. nia had cute, curly, child appropriate hair without the wig.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

I think the show is fake like other ‘reality shows’ but I refuse to allow Lifetime to rake in cash on the humiliation of Blacks always cast as the buffoon or constantly reduced to race. This weekend is a time when I’ve begun reflecting on people who underwent violence and humiliation and had their dreams and creativity stifled and for what? So Lifetime’s parent company could increase their stock value with intentional controversy playing on the most hateful and disgusting and false stereotypical images of Blacks? Letter writing is not a waste of time and the least I can do in… Read more »

Michelle Hubbard
Michelle Hubbard
9 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I agree..this episode was done on purpose…programs are thought out very carefully.

Delightbunnie
Delightbunnie
9 years ago

I would have bitched slapped Abby and I am not a violent at all.

There is no way I going let a person( a white woman in fact!)make my child a dancing stereotype and tell her what her expectations should be. Fuck you, Abby.

Why is my daughter the only one being typecast while the other little girls are wearing whimsical and feminine costumes?”

Simple, its because your daughter is black. Just because you have money doesn’t mean that others are blind to your appearance or life style.

yeah
yeah
8 years ago
Reply to  Delightbunnie

News flash: people who aren’t violent don’t say they’d ‘bitch slap’ people.

Ladybug
Ladybug
9 years ago

I’m sick of posts like this. I had never even heard of this show until this post. We need to stop giving ignorant frivolity such as this attention, and maybe these things wouldn’t be so sensationalized, helping to further our own denigration as a people.

Over and out

Fro
Fro
9 years ago
Reply to  Ladybug

I don’t think ignoring things like this will make it go away, however, I do wish BGLH would have a serious downscale on the articles about negative advertisements and reality shows. I like coming here because this site focuses on positivity. If I really want to read about this hot mess show, (which I also never heard about until this post) or all of the other negative happenings of us in the media, I’d head on over to the lipstickally forum or any of those other numerous gossip sites.

Dolores
Dolores
9 years ago

This is one of those “reality” shows that manufactures drama and inflates personalities for entertainment value. It’s basically acting, but it is unfortunate when a child is portrayed in a negative light purportedly as their real self.

M
M
9 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

+1

Lin
Lin
9 years ago
Reply to  Dolores

This show might not be scripted.
I know people that are in the dance world, and apparently, it is very much like this. The psycho teachers and coaches are real, which is depressing.

Gloria
9 years ago
Reply to  Lin

Agreed. I was fortunate to be a dancer at a studio that was owned by a very nice woman, but we still had to deal with all of the dance moms. Dance is LIFE for these moms, and the girls spend a lot of time trying to live up to the ideals that their mothers have set for them. Most of the girls I knew had to come to the dance studio immediately after school and stay there until 8 or 9 at night. They had practices all day Saturday, and they had to travel about once a month for… Read more »

M
M
9 years ago

Yeahhhh…this is questionable on a lot of levels and I bet that’s why this woman’s dance studio was chosen for this show. Having said that, this is between her mother and the dance teacher who from what I’ve seen in brief snippets has a temper and tendency to say and do things just to push peoples buttons. At the risk of being flamed though. It’s no secret that black people (in the arts/entertainment industry) often have to take roles/jobs they’d rather not in order to get experience and connections that come easy for non-blacks. Maybe that is what the dance… Read more »

Lia
Lia
9 years ago
Reply to  M

True. I remember watching a US doc about kids who migrate to Hollywood for pilot season in the hope of getting acting jobs. They all stay in a compound with other wannabes and their families trying to make it. It’s the same place that Greg from EBHC and Zac Efron went to. Anyway there was one black boy who was very well spoken and possibly gay who said that when he got roles, he was often cast as a thug or criminal. Sure enough, they showed him post the doc acting on Law & Order as a delinquent in a… Read more »

Erika
9 years ago

Sometimes, people are just clueless. You can almost not even get mad because it’s pure ignorance.

nana
nana
9 years ago

I watched the show and was appalled but this happens and will get worse the older nia becomes. I had a problem with both sides of the argument. The dance was not great. She was just walking and shaking. However, NiA doesn’t have strong techniques on a lot of basic dance skills/ positions. Shes not as good as the other girls, at least not yet. But they could have choreographed a dance similar to “wade in the water ” by Alvin alley, if they wanted something more ethnic.That dance studio is thousands of dollars a year for a reason.

juicy
juicy
9 years ago
Reply to  nana

i agree. and if they are so concerned about her being a ‘star’ she should be well versed in all technique. The choreography SUCKED, it wasnt ethnic or artistic. But i was also bothered that the mom seemed alot more peeved about the afro than the lack of creativity in the choreography for her daughters piece.

christina
christina
9 years ago

That girl’s name “laqueefa”, is that supossed to be “the female fart in frech?! SMDH

Starla
Starla
9 years ago
Reply to  christina

I was thinking the same exact thing.

Angelina
Angelina
9 years ago

I feel like both of those women were in the wrong here. Abby for how she reacted and Holly for letting her daughter go through it. Because even though that little girl doesn’t realize right now how she was “rented” (any one ever read the Rent-A-Negro book?), later in life she may look back on this and feel ashamed. Holly knew full well what was going down was effed up, while I give her credit for bringing it up and attempting to explain to Abby why it was wrong (another thing I am also sick of the fact we have… Read more »

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

I don’t see what the big deal is. it was a character piece. Some ppl are too sensitive.

Michelle
9 years ago

I saw this episode and yes the instructor was out of line for the outfit. I didn’t really know anything about the song but yea I see the wrongness in that too. But honestly it really didn’t offend me. I don’t think just because it was about her race it does not mean the instructor had any malicious intent. Some nonblack peoplee are just oblivious to the stupidity in that. But the mother’s reation kind of hit harder for me than anything. After being asked to wear an afro wig, her constant remarks about black people being “past that phase”… Read more »

Steel Magnolia
9 years ago

Happy to see that I wasn’t the only one thinking there was a disturbing class and hair issue here. After only a few shows, I expected nothing less than nonsense from this Abby person, but I can understand how Holly would feel conflicted about pulling her daughter from a performance that she had worked hard to earn, especially since she clearly gets the short end of the stick all the doggone time. However, Holly did seem to miss the (culturally and historically)sexual element of putting a black girl in animal print, although Abby seems to like to sexualize these children… Read more »

demoiselle
demoiselle
9 years ago

Holly should be ashamed of herself. She could’ve pulled her daughter out. She should have. But she didn’t. She needs to stop oppressing herself. She needs to find another studio for her daughter instead of acting like an “uncle tom” mom. She was more upset about the afro wig then her daughter being dressed up like a drag queen/hooker and shakin it to a song about pimps. Please. She can put her money and time to better use elsewhere instead of allowing her child to be exploited in that manner.

meow
meow
9 years ago

Why is this shocking to everyone? We all know that kiddie pageants are done in poor taste; being classy is not part of the program.

Fro
Fro
9 years ago

For all of her misgivings of that routine, the mother still allowed her child to dance that demeaning routine. Laquifa? Really? Fail parenting.

Yahlah Yisrael
9 years ago
Reply to  Fro

YES, It was a parenting FAIL. Abby is obviously a bigot and is constantly OVERLY scrutinizing and picking on that little girl in class — to the point were the other girls don’t really like her. Then further ostracizing her by making her do all of the ‘jungle’ crap in an afro wig to a drag-queen song called ‘Laqueefa’?! Her mother is solely to blame for letting her play second fiddle in that dance company anyway. Just so she can fit in with those yuppy, classless, go for nothing dance moms. I think her mom has some self-hate issues to… Read more »

Yahlah Yisrael
9 years ago
Reply to  Yahlah Yisrael

*good for nothing dance moms

Tabatha
Tabatha
7 years ago
Reply to  Yahlah Yisrael

Well Nia gets the short end cause she lacks a bit of technique she has a hard time keeping her legs straight and her toes pointed or unsickled ( guess that is the spelling of it). Abbey is all about winning and she does in fact win, but I don’t think it was a parenting fail for Holly I did a play where I was pretty much in a position where I was a poor black girl who wanted what all the white girls had as in toys, pets, parties stuff like that. i was given a ridiculous ragedy costume… Read more »

Samantha
Samantha
7 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

I never thought of it like that, but you have a truly amazing mother for that. She let you be happy because as children we are often to innocent to realize racism or ignorance. She let you be proud to perform and for that I can really look at this situation different. Because for Nia all she ever wanted was a solo.

Tonna
Tonna
9 years ago

This is appalling!

Liberavi
Liberavi
9 years ago

May I just say right now that I don’t know the song, the routine, or the show that this is talking about. I only know this post, and my own history. I am a multiracial dancer. I have indreda curly fro-ed hair, and i am overweight. I’ve danced ballet for 17 years. However, I have had more prominent black cultural dance roles, some less authentic than others, than well known ballet roles. I can not tell you how many times I have been asked to perform not because of my ability as a dancer, but because of my appearance. I… Read more »

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  Liberavi

You should see the clip at the center of this. The argument is less about the nature of media than the appropriateness of a sexually loaded, low-brow song and routine originated by an adult, drag contestant including terms like “pimp ho”.

Tonna
Tonna
9 years ago

For those interested, you can watch the entire episode here: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/dance-moms/video/full-episodes

sidney james
sidney james
9 years ago

It looks like the mom is not proud of who she is. It was just a wig and that is apart of dance or any type of theatre. white girls wear wigs that always r not what a white girls is

Drea
Drea
9 years ago

I will admit I actually do watch the show because I am intrigued by the lunacy that goes on and I was recently assigned to teach dance(HS)Nia is not as strong a dancer as other students, but Abby doesn’t try hard to fit her routines toward her… she is an excellent tumbler and probably would do better in pure acrobatic routines. Abby does type cast Nia as ethnic.. Her first solo was latin, then the Lateefa (which was not even dancing) and a bollywood piece. Unfortunately~ or fortunately, Holly (Nia’s mom) is a principal and only sees tail end of… Read more »

Sebastain
Sebastain
9 years ago

When I was growing up I was in foster care and there was a point in time where I lived with a white family. Although I could see I was the only black around, I was not made to feel bad or diffrent. When I was placed back around black folks again I felt diffrent and wished I was white because at that time I THOUGHT white folks were better than black people. I wanted to be white so bad. It took me along while to learn that to be black was not a bad thing at all and it’s… Read more »

Tabatha
Tabatha
7 years ago
Reply to  Sebastain

I love how Abbey says take your kid someplace else. They can’t they signed a contract! See I was raised in a mexican Caucasian environment and my own family made my sister and I feel bad because they didn’t think that we were black enough. Because we spoke well and didn’t act up the way they did, so for a really long time I didn’t hang out with black people. It took until I joined the Navy and still I only hung out with the ones that didn’t get too crazy cause I hate being in trouble, but then I… Read more »

Dimplz Phillips
Dimplz Phillips
8 years ago

I watch the show and saw the episode. I could NEVER understand y in the world these mothers would pay so much money and put up with that kind of behavior from Abby. she could never be that good of a teacher for me to continuously PAY her to treat both me and my child like trash.

Tabatha
Tabatha
7 years ago

This is old news. Abbey has a habbit of placing Nia in rolls like this and her mother already raised hoopla about it and told Abbey to stop putting her in choreography that is based on the color of her skin. The thing is Nia had a ball, so that was a good thing. I do have to say just to shine some light on Nia’s talent that drop he did at the end of her routine was SICK and DARING! She worked it! There was another African American girl but the mother’s kind of bullied them out, then there… Read more »

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