OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift on VMAs: Which Dance Moms Were Watching?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

You might’ve missed this. But when Taylor Swift performed “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” at last week’s MTV Video Music Awards, one of her dancers was a product of the Abby Lee Dance Company. So I’m sure those involved in the Dance Moms TV show didn’t miss one second of the dancing. Because their own Taylor Ackerman, who took dance at the now-famous dance studio near Pittsburgh and home to the Lifetime reality show, was putting all those lessons to good use. She admits that taking dance there from 12 to 18 had its ups and downs. “The drama is real,” she told her local newspaper. Her younger sister Payton and her mom Leslie are still on the show.

Ackerman says dancing for Swift was a dream come true and that she was one of only a dozen dancers chosen from a group of 500. She rehearsed eight hours a day, for an entire week. And before the performance, Swift stopped by the dancers’ dressing room with gifts. “She’s super nice. When you’re around people like that, it’s so amazing to see how creative they are. We had to keep telling her to stop singing,” Ackerman said. I’m sure dancing for Swift for a week was a refreshing change of pace from dancing for the verbally-abusive, overly-critical and downright cruel Abby Lee Miller. (Even though Miller claims on the show’s website, “I know that I am with them in spirit every single time they step on a stage or into a class.”)

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.