Gianna Martello is a choreographer, assistant to Abby Lee Miller at Abby Lee Miller Dance Company and a reality star on “Dance Moms” a show following a team of young dancers focused on the behind-the-scenes drama of the dance world. “Dance Moms” Season 8: Resurrection premieres on Lifetime at 9 p.m. EST June 4.
Abby Lee Miller’s cancer diagnosis changed the course of her life for the better, she told Dr. Oz. Miller sat down for a tearful discussion with Dr. Oz in a poignant episode, “Dance Mom’s Abby Lee Miller: The Intervention Years in the Making.” It airs at 10 a.m. Monday, February 24. On the show, she discusses her cancer diagnosis, why she pleaded guilty in her federal case, and her broken relationships with her former dancers.
Martello tweeted during the show’s returning premiere episode it was “harder to watch” than she thought it would be.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” she wrote.
Martello took a hiatus from the show after Abby Lee Miller was sentenced to prison time for about nine months for bankruptcy fraud, from July 2017 to March 2018. Miller returns to the season free from prison but confined to a wheelchair. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She told People Friday she was paralyzed from the neck down and was 10 minutes away from dying. She said she plans to walk again by September.
Both Martello and Miller are returning for Season 8, which began filming in January. The show returned to Pittsburgh after three seasons in Los Angeles.
While the show focuses on the drama, Martello said she wants viewers to focus on the hard work that goes into the dance competitions.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gianna Martello Returns for Dance Moms Season 8
After a hiatus while Abby Lee Miller spent nine months in prison for bankruptcy fraud, “Dance Moms” returns with Season 8: Resurrection.
Martello said in an interview she did not think it made sense for her to be on the show without Abby.
“We, as a team, made the show, and I don’t think it’s right to do it without one or the other of us,” she said.
The show returned to Piitsburgh from Los Angeles for Season 8.
None of the original dancers appear to be starring in the show. The new team, according to Abby’s Instagram account, includes a boy.
The original dancers, including Maddie Ziegler and Chloe Lukasiak, moved on from the show. Maddie has booked several magazine covers since her time on Dance Moms, and Chloe left to travel with her former teammates Kendall and Kahlani in a dance tour called “The Irreplaceables Tour.”
Miller told Dr. Oz her conviction caused most of her former dancers to “distance themselves” from her. She said she stays in touch with Jo Jo.
“I think everybody else forgot my name,” she said, adding that included Maddie.
“Well, because they needed to distance themselves from me. That was the word that was used, distance themselves, when I was indicted by the Federal Government. It’s funny you use that Dance Mom to Dance Con, because that was the prosecutor’s ending line in court,” she told Dr. Oz.
2.She Wants Fans to Focus on Hard Work, Not Drama
Gianna said she wants to be remembered for her hard work and choreography, during an interview. She said competitive dance is fierce and tons of work goes into choreographing, teaching and perfecting dances.
“There’s more to me, and there’s more to the kids and the show than just the drama,” she said.
3. Gianna Started Dancing At Age 4 and Teaching At 16
Gianna started dancing at age 4 and dancing competitively at age 8 with Abby Lee Miller Dance Company. By 16, she was already teaching dance alongside Abby. When she was in college in Pittsburgh, her summer job was teaching dance at the dance studio. Watch the interview below:
Shortly before her college graduation, she learned the competitive dance team would become a reality show.
Soon, she was being recognized by fans. She said she was at the mall with her mom when she saw a little girl hiding behind a clothing rack at Nordstrom trying to take her picture.
“I was like, ‘Excuse me sweetheart I’ll take a picture with you,” she said.
4. She Thinks ‘Dance Moms’ Shows Only One Side of Abby
Gianna said there are more sides to Abby Lee Miller than the drama “Dance Moms” shows, and she should know. She started out with Abby Lee Miller Dance Company as a child at age 7, and started coaching with her at age 16.
Miller told Dr. Oz that her purpose in life is teaching dance, and opened up about her struggles being confined to a wheelchair and knowing she almost died.
“It’s horrible. It’s awful. I said to my friends many times, I have to save my tears to the pillow, many times, “why didn’t you let me die? Just, why did you save it, do it? Let me go.” I don’t have children. I don’t have a husband. My parents are deceased. I’m done. I came here to teach dance,” Miller told Dr. Oz.
The dance world is competitive, Martello said in an interview, and dancers need a strict coach.
Watch the interview here:
“To have the success that we have, you have to have that tough coach and that figure in your life,” she said.
She said she knows Abby well. She described her as a “generous” and “funny” person.
“I grew up with her so, I really, really know her, and I just think that they show the craziness of her. Like, you really don’t get to see the nice and the funny and the generous side of Abby,” she said.