The “Dance Moms” cast is scheduled to compete at nationals in Riverside, California, on Feb. 27 for the Lifetime series but it appears Season 6 is far from over. Just when fans thought the reality series was wrapping up its latest season by filming episode 18 next week, the network is said to have renewed the program for new episodes.

Deadline reports that Lifetime is “extending” Season 6 “with an unspecified number of additional episodes.” While the extension has the “Dance Moms” community buzzing, it’s not uncommon for the show to have a high count of episodes each season. The 2013 installment of the series, led by coach Abby Lee Miller, had 39 episodes

The new installments are scheduled to begin shooting in April. Though a premiere date for the back half of Season 6 has not been revealed, the episodes will reportedly air later this year.  

With longtime “Dance Moms” lead Maddie Ziegler and her sister, Mackenzie Ziegler, rumored to be leaving the series' elite junior team after the seasons completion, some viewers are questioning if Abby’s new mini team will take over as the new leads. Abby added fuel to the rumors by sharing a shot of her newly formed group on Instagram. “ALDC minis – Will they be the team?” Abby captioned a shot of her posing with dancers Alexus Oladi, Areana Lopez, Peyton Evans, Kendyl Flay and an unidentified newcomer. Abby shared in the caption that it’s ultimately up to the “Dance Moms” production team who makes the final cut. 


IDK? It's not really up to me? Production -Yikes!!! @aldcstudiola @aldcstudiopgh #ALDC #aldcla #dancemoms #season6

A photo posted by Abby Lee Miller (@therealabbylee) on


Abby first introduced her mini team in episode 3. Though they did not appear in the most recent episode of “Dance Moms,” spoiler sites have indicated they will return for future competitions.

abby-mini-team-photo Abby Lee Miller poses with her original mini team members (from left) Alexus Oladi, Areana Lopez, Peyton Evans, Alysa Owen and Kendyl Flay . Photo: Lifetime

If the Zieglers do end up leaving the show after episode 18 — Entertainment Tonight reports that Maddie and Mackenzie’s mom, Melissa Gisoni, announced the news while filming this month — Abby doesn’t only have her minis to lean on. All season, Abby has been priming elite junior team newcomer Brynn Rumfallo to be “Maddie’s replacement.” Her most recent performance, however, left the coach with much to be desired. After failing to win for her solo routine in episode 7, Abby announced that the 12 year old was being put on “probation.”

Catch “Dance Moms” Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Lifetime.