Season four, episode seven of “Dance Moms” was overpowered by mom Kelly Hyland and Abby Lee Dance Company teacher Abby Lee Miller’s fight, but for those of you who were paying attention, you may have noticed a new cast member joining the ranks of the Lifetime hit series Tuesday, dancer Kalani Hilliker.
For “Dance Moms” viewers, Hilliker may look like an unfamiliar face, but for those who tuned into the second season of Miller’s spinoff Lifetime series, “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” the 13-year-old power house is anything but. Hilliker first made her mark on reality TV last September starring as one of 11 contestants on Miller's series, performing dances such as her show-stopping lyrical duet “Twisted" and her jazz solo, “Rhinestone Cowgirl.” While the Arizona native lost the show's winning title, ultimately finishing fourth, she still managed to remain the apple of Miller’s eye, the tyrannical coach even bringing back the technical dancer mid-season after being eliminated for her lack of hip-hop skills. “Everybody gets one shot in this life. You blow it, too bad, it’s over,” Miller said on the series, later adding, “But I don’t think Kalani blew it.”
Under the guidance of her mom, Kira Girard, Hilliker appears to have officially joined the ranks of Miller’s elite competition team following the recent departure of former “Dance Moms” stars mom Kelly Hyland, and dancers, Brooke, 16, and Paige, 13. While Hilliker only made her TV debut on “Dance Moms” Tuesday, dancing alongside title winner Maddie Ziegler in a duo “Two Sapphires,” and episode eight’s synopsis claiming that she has to be “tested" to earn for her spot on the team, Hilliker hasn't been shy about her sharing photos from her past few busy months competing with the famous dance troop on social media. Girard even hinted at Hilliker’s permanent status on the ALDC team Wednesday by sharing an image of the young dancer sporting ALDC attire and posing next to longtime “Dance Moms” stars, including the tagline: “Dance Team!”
Following her time spent filming with the Pittsburgh, Penn., based dance company, Hilliker spoke out regarding her newfound fame to Dance Informa magazine earlier this month. “I’m comfortable working around cameras,” said Hilliker, who also shared her lack of interest in engaging in the series’ infamous drama. “Sometimes they like to twist your words. So, you always have to be cautious of what you’re saying,” she said.
“Dance Moms” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.