Local dancers take their talent to the national stage - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Local dancers take their talent to the national stage

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If you've ever seen the show Dance Moms you know that Coach Abby Lee Miller is strict and sometimes just nasty with her dedicated disciples. But two local coaches are taking a different approach to grooming talented dancers for their opportunity on the big screen. 

The competition team at Thr!ve Dance Company in Evansville spends almost every day in the studio working on choreography, techniques, and preparing for their opportunity to star on the Lifetime series Dance Moms.

Yvette Walts has been teaching dance for almost 30 years, and the team prepares seven days a week for competition season.

But practice kicked into high gear after the girls learned just who they'd be competing against. 

"We go compete at a competition and who's there? ALDC, Abby Lee Miller and her dance company," Yvette said. 

Abby Lee Miller, star of the television series Dance Moms runs a rigorous program through strict teaching and what some parents say involves tearing the children down. 

"Abby Lee Miller, she's probably one of the most criticizing people in dance. You never know what's going to come out of her mouth," said dancer Hadley Walts. 

"I call her the Bobby Knight approach to dance," Yvette said.

Yvette and Molly Adams use positive reinforcement to push the girls forward.

"Our teaching style hear at Thr!ve is very disciplined, and we expect a lot from the kids. We feel that we get what we expect and we expect greatness from them. So in turn, they give us greatness," Yvette said.

Performances they usually have a year to perfect had to be mastered in a much shorter time frame. 10 year dancer, Paige Perkins says she was excited for the challenge.

"For this competition we had a weeks notice, so that put a lot more stress on it," Paige said.

Stress that the girls are used to. 

"We had mostly just two hours to learn this routine and about a day to perfect it. We had to have everything perfect because we were going to compete against Abby Lee Miller," Hadley said.

Paige says this might not be the only time we'll be seeing her on the big stage.

"This whole experience opened my eyes to what it's actually like out there and I enjoyed it so I might be a professional dancer, I'm just not sure," Paige said.

But for now, the girls are only focused on one team.

To see how the Thr!ve Dance Company did against Abby Lee Miller, you'll have to watch their episode on Lifetime, Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m.

The Thrive competition team that competed against the Abby Lee Miller Dance Company on Dance Moms included Coach Yvette Walts, Coach Molly Adams, Hadley Walts, Zoe Woebkenberg, Paige Perkins, Megan Centers, Lani Spratt and Lucy Morrison. 

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