Abby Lee Miller's 10 Rules to Live By

She's unapologetically outspoken, tough-as-nails, and not afraid to put her two cents in. Here are Abby Lee Miller's famous words of wisdom. 

The dance world is a whole separate subculture with its own lingo, etiquette and cray-cray behaviour. If you've picked up a copy of her literary success Everything I Learned About Life, I Learned In Dance Class, you will know that Abby is a stickler for manners, hard work, commitment, and has no time for consoling teary children on the dance floor.

Here we list her 10 rules to live by, as detailed from her first foray into the literary world.

1. "All's Fair in Dance and War"

To Abby, competition is always a good thing. "It may stress you out, but it also forces you to work hard, stay focused and push yourself forward. No one deserves to win. You have to eat, sleep and breathe your dream."

2. "Everyone's Replaceable"

Dance instructors come in prepared, taking their work seriously, and exactly the same is expected for their students. Abby considers every dancer in her team to be replaceable. Whilst you're at her school, you must constantly step up your level of performance, work at improving your skills, and stay humble in the process. 

3. "Save Those Tears for Your Pillow"

If you think things are tough already, they're only going to get tougher in the dance world. Abby tells her students to man up when things get tough and has no tolerance for the weak. "You only cry when you break a bone or somebody dies. That's it!" So if you're sensitive to the odd comment here and there, then best not to enrol yourself at Abby's studio!

4. "Mother Doesn't Always Know Best"

No one drives Abby crazier than those Dance Moms. Instead of taking everything those intrusive mothers take to heart, listen only to your instructor. They will know when each student is ready to progress.

5. "When There's a Crown on Your Head, Someone's Always Watching"

Abby's a stickler for manners and etiquette. When that title is placed upon you, you are the one now in the spotlight. There is no room for error or taking it easy - everything is examined right down to your stride, how you eat your meal, and how you enter a room.

6. "Second Place is the First One to Lose"

It's the worst place to be as you worked so hard, got so close, but didn't get the glory. As Abby states in the book, you need to "be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses." Face your fears head on and "be anything but mediocre!"

7. "Contracts Aren't Meant to Be Broken"

If you quit when the going gets tough, don't expect Abby to be supportive. Abby has "no tolerance for quitters." Not only do they waste her time, but everyone else's too. Once you sign on that dotted line, whether in the dance world or not, you need to make a commitment, make yourself heard, and do the utmost best at all times.

8. "It Takes Fifteen Years to Make an Overnight Success"

"Luck is that place where preparation meets opportunity," says Abby. Kids are to start young. Parents are to encourage their daughter or son to dream big and be prepared with the right tools. The best instructor will get you far.

9. "You're Only As Good As Your Last Performance"

You can't stop at your last performance. There is always going to be someone appraising you, and trying to take your crown. You've dreamed big, worked hard to get where you are, but you need to continue to dream bigger.

10. "You Have to Work Your Butt Off to Be Top of the Pyramid"

"There's working hard and there's working smart. If you do it right the first time, you won't have to do it over and over," says Abby. If you're not giving your all, you're taking up space that someone else could be using. 

To hear more words of wisdom from Abby, be sure to watch re-runs of Dance Moms weeknights at 6.40pm - only on LifeStyle YOU.

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