Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler ALDC dancers Maddie Ziegler (left) and Mackenzie Ziegler will perform solos in next Tuesday's episode of "Dance Moms." Photo: DanceMoms/Lifetime

Let the countdown to nationals begin! With less than five weeks to go until the Abby Lee Dance Company takes the stage at In10sity Dance’s national competition in Los Angeles, the battle for first place gets heated on next Tuesday's episode of “Dance Moms.”

In true Abby Lee Miller fashion, three of the youngest ALDC dancers will go head-to-head with solo routines in episode 26, “No More Crybabies.” The winner’s prize: a guaranteed opportunity to perform at nationals. According to Lifetime’s episode synopsis, Mackenzie Ziegler, 10, Tea’ Adamson, 10, and Sarah Hunt, 9, will be the chosen three.

While the youngest ALDC girls are battling for their spot at nationals, junior elite group dancer Nia Frazier is also fighting for her life. “You look strong. You look powerful. Nia, this will be your test for nationals,” coach Miller, 47, tells the 13-year-old and lead performer in the team's lyrical number "Warrior Princesses" in a promo for the episode. “If they lose, you’re going to be the one to blame,” threatens Miller.

Unfortunately for Nia, her attempt at success was not drama-free. “Perform, Nia! Perform!” Miller can be heard yelling at the student during rehearsals before later approaching dance mom Holly Frazier about her daughter's skills. “I am busting my butt with your kid trying to pull something out of her!” says Miller. “She gives me nothing!”

While the dancers fight to show their worth, Miller is also reportedly in the hot seat after rival-team dancer Ava Cota and mom Jeanette Cota show up unannounced to compete against the ALDC girls. “[Jeanette] concocts a plan to try and secure the win and causes a blowout fight between the ALDC moms,” teased the network.


Bad news, Mackenzie fans: Newcomer Sarah Hunt will be replacing Miller’s longtime student at nationals this season. According to one “Dance Moms” spoiler site, Sarah won the award for Ms. Petite Energy and placed first in the petite division with her contemporary solo “Blue Sky” at Energy National Dance competition in Waterford, Michigan, June 7. Mackenzie’s acrobatics number “Dark Side” reportedly placed third in the junior division and second overall. Ensemble team member Tea’ Adamson came in last, her musical theater dance “Making Music” taking fourth.

As for Nia’s fate at nationals, fans of the “Dance Moms” star can rest easy knowing the teen excelled in her leading role in the elite group number. According to competition attendees, the contemporary dance took home a first-place win.

Miller’s group performance wasn't the only win for the "Dance Moms" troop. Despite Cota’s best efforts to one-up the ALDC, Miller's decision to have Ziegler compete her winning episode 25 solo “Happiness” against Cota for a second time proved a smart one. Maddie’s routine reportedly triumphed over Ava's second-place win, securing the title of Ms. Energy and a first place trophy.

“Dance Moms” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Lifetime.