"Dance Moms" instructor Abby Lee Miller has become something of a reality TV villain as viewers have reacted with shock to the intense way she coaches her young dance students. On "The View" (weekdays on ABC), Miller defended herself against allegations that her coaching tactics are too extreme for the girls she's coaching.
"You, of all the people here, know about reality television," Miller told Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a former contestant on "Survivor." Then she explained how the cameras can paint an exaggerated picture of her temper. "If the nightgown or whatever is laying on the bedroom floor, and you say pick that up. The first time, you're nice, you just say, 'Pick that up.' The 20th time, you're like, 'Would you just pick that up right now?!' And then the 50th time, you want them to eat the nightgown. That's what you're seeing," she explained.
But Hasselbeck pushed back, pointing out the obvious flaw in Miller's reasoning. "But Abby, there's a difference. You're not their mom, let's separate [that]. They actually have parents, right, so you're not their parent."
The distinction wasn't so cut and dry for Miller. "I am their mother ... in my heart and in my soul. There's children I have practically raised," she protested.
Miller then shifted her defense from her methods to her credentials. "Dance teachers do not have a license in the United States, there's no governing body. But I deal with membership organizations that I've been tested -- oral, demonstrative, written -- that I belong to ... I'm not some fly-by-night teacher," she said. "[T]he dance supervisor for 'Wicked' is my student ... I have a kid in 'Book Of Mormon' right now."