Asia Monet Ray was on the somewhat notorious Lifetime reality show “Dance Moms” from 2012-2014. The young dancers on the show trained under the instruction of Abby Lee Miller, known for being brutally honest with her students.
In 2020, some of Ray’s fellow “Dance Moms” alums took to TikTok to joke about their traumatic experiences on the show. There’s a TikTok trend “think you can hurt my feelings?” where users of the app share something they’ve been through that proves they’re now invincible, set to the song “Bulletproof” by La Roux.
Jojo Siwa, Kenzie Zeigler, and Chloe Lukasiak all participated in the trend, writing “you think you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms.” Lukasiak wrote in the caption, “My experience was so traumatizing I don’t remember those 4 years.” Nia Soux took the trend a step further by writing, “I was the only black girl on Dance Moms.” Soux called “Dance Moms” coach Miller out for racist remarks in 2020.
But in a recent interview with E News, Ray dished on her experience with the show and how it differed from that of her peers.
How Real Was ‘Dance Moms’?
“Certain things that were on the show were obviously creative editing of just making certain pieces splice together. We had to wear the same clothes for like a week. So certain things could be taken out of context,” Ray told the outlet.
But Miller’s slightly savage coaching style? Ray says that was the real deal, even when the cameras weren’t rolling. “Out of everything, that was the one thing that never changed,” said Ray. “She said what she said.”
Yet, Ray says her experience on the show was a positive one. “I genuinely had a great experience on it. There was nothing that I would change on my experience whatsoever. I learned a lot, I met a lot of people I’m still friends with and pretty close with today and we have so much love for each other,” the dancer and actor told E News.
Ray Was Recruited for a Show With Miller at Just 6 Years Old
Ray told E News about her experience being recruited for “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.”
“Lifetime reached out. And they’re like, ‘Look, we have this new show…We’d love to have her on it. We just want to make sure she’s 9 years of age,” said Ray. She explained that even though she was only six at the time, Lifetime wanted to make it work. “I had to go into a full psych evaluation to make sure that I was mentally prepared,” Ray revealed.
Ray would then go on to do “Dance Moms” as a second-grader. By that time in her life, she was used to harsh criticism from dance teachers, gymnastics coaches, and ice skating instructors. She told E News that she wasn’t afraid of anything Miller might throw at her.
“Like, ‘What, are my feet sickled? My knees bent? Tell me how it is and I’m going to be fine with that.’ There was nothing that I was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to cry about it,” Ray said.
Ray Says There is ‘Nothing But Support and Love’ Between the ‘Dance Mom’ Alums
As for the other girls who were on the show with her, Ray says she is on good terms with all of them.
“I have nothing but respect for the girls that were on the show. I’m still pretty close with the majority of them. We all try to keep in touch. I know people think that there’s issues with us or we’re fighting somehow, there’s none of that,” Ray told E News.