“Dance Moms” fans watching the season-three finale Tuesday night were shocked to hear the news that Abby Lee Dance Company competition member Asia Monet Ray was leaving the series.
While the 8-year-old dancer and former contestant on “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” will no longer dance with the ALDC, mom Kristie Ray says her daughter is moving on to bigger and better things. “@DanceMoms thank you. @AsiaMonetRay and I will miss the cast and crew,” wrote Ray on Twitter Tuesday night following the announcement. “Time to move on!” she added.
According to Ray, Asia left the Lifetime reality series after receiving other unspecified opportunities. “I can’t believe this, how can Asia leave NOW of all times?” wrote fan Julie Jordan Scott on Twitter, referring to the departure happening just days before the team competed at Nationals in New Orleans. “When opportunities knock, sometimes it’s not going to be at the right time!” responded Ray. “Don’t assume there isn’t great opportunities ahead!”
But Ray also hinted that the behavior of the show's other adult stars may have factored into the decision. “[Kristie] made the decision to take her child away from that harmful environment and continue her career!” said fan Team JoJo and Asia on Twitter, calling the mom’s decision “smart.” “Thank you,” replied Ray, saying she wishes Pittsburgh-based choreographer and ALDC owner/choreographer Abby Lee Miller, could continue to teacher her daughter off-camera. “I wish we could take Abby!” she said, also hinting at a possible return to the hit Lifetime program. “It’s been a great journey! We will meet again ;)” Ray later added.
Asia Monet Ray can be seen next at two Eventbrite appearances with fellow former “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” contestant Jordyn Jones. Fans can meet and greet the finalists Oct. 5 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Connecticut from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Stoopher and Boots clothing store in New York City from 4-5 p.m. Tickets, ranging in price from $28 to $65, are currently for sale online. The duo is also hosting a pizza party meet and greet at the Manomet School of Dance in Plymouth, Mass., on Oct. 4, 5-9 p.m., followed by an appearance at master class at One Step Ahead Dance studio in Staten Island, N.Y., on Oct. 6.
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Despite Ray’s claims during the season-three finale of “Dance Moms,” the award-winning performer will still do what she does best: dance. “I will never stop dancing!” wrote Asia Ray on Twitter Tuesday night, confirming to fans that she won’t be quitting her favorite past-time. “Thank you for all your support,” she later added.
The season three reunion special of “Dance Moms” airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.