Alexus Oladi, 8, twirls onto ‘Dance Moms’ reality TV show
Alexus Oladi, 8, and her mother, Tiffanie Oladi talk about their experience with the "Dance Moms" reality TV show at their home in Washington Terrace on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. Alexus and Tiffanie are currently splitting their time between Utah and Los Angeles and will be staring in the upcoming sixth season of the show.
Alexus Oladi, right, and her mother Tiffanie Oladi, left, pose with Abby Lee, star of the reality TV show "Dance Moms," which will feature the Washington Terrace mother-daughter duo beginning Jan. 5, 2016.
Alexus Oladi and her mother Tiffanie Oladi, of Washington Terrace, who will appear on the 2016 season of "Dance Moms With Abby Lee," pose with all of Alexus' awards for competitive dance.
Alexus Oladi, 8, of Washington Terrace, will appear on the 2016 season of "Dance Moms With Abby Lee" with her mother Tiffanie Oladi.
WASHINGTON TERRACE — For a kid about to make her national television debut, Alexus Oladi seems remarkably calm.
But you see, this new ”Dance Moms with Abby Lee” team member has already racked up plenty of dance steps in her young life.
Alexus, 8, has been dancing since she was just 2. Her trophy collection fills an entire storage room at her Washington Terrace home — and many of the awards are taller than she is.
Now the third-grader will strut her stuff on the sixth season of “Dance Moms with Abby Lee,” which begins airing Jan. 5 on the Lifetime channel.
Alexus and her mother, Tiffanie Oladi, will both appear on the Los Angeles-based reality show. They are among the first Utahns on the program that originated in Pittsburgh with all Pennsylvania performers; Kerri and Peyton Evans of Tooele are also part of the current season.
“I think it’s kind of cool but at the same time it’s kind of scary,” Alexus said of her upcoming TV debut during an interview at her home. “But I think it’s a good opportunity for me to show people how good I am.”
The mother-daughter team spent a month this fall filming in California and will go back in January for more episodes in which Alexus dances as part of a new mini team.
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“Dance Moms” spotlights the performing experiences of a variety of young dancers and the behind-the-scenes support and antics of their mothers. The reality show has had its share of drama and has been criticized by some for its cutthroat nature.
“That’s the one thing I was worried about going out there,” Tiffanie said, “but once we got out there, it was the most positive thing (Alexus) had ever done.”
Alexus added, “It’s really fun to me.”
Yes, she has met and worked with instructor Abby Lee, known for coming down hard on her young dancers to motivate them to work harder.
Tiffanie said she’s had to learn to embrace the “dance mom” persona and not worry about what others think.
“(Alexus) has the natural ability and I can help her. I have the knack for getting her to stand out and get noticed,” the former competitive dancer said.
And she and husband Justin Oladi say the dance mom role isn’t any different than “football dads” or parents of kids in any type of competitive sport. “It’s all the same,” Justin said.
The Oladis were contacted by the reality show last summer and asked if Alexus would be interested in auditioning. Tiffanie said she thinks the staff at “Dance Moms” may have seen some of Alexus’ dance videos on YouTube.
“I think they found her and liked her personality,” she said of her daughter, who won Mini Female Dancer of the Year at the 2015 HollywoodVibe Nationals in Las Vegas.
Besides filming, Alexus also attends classes at the Abby Lee studio in Los Angeles to study acting, tumbling and various dance techniques.
And she also goes to school, with an on-site tutor.
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Photo supplied by Tiffanie Oladi
Tiffanie said she did worry at first about how much time Alexus would spend away from home for “Dance Moms” filming.
But, she said, “It’s something she loves. For her to have the opportunities that the show brings for her is something we couldn’t pass up.”
Justin agreed, saying his main focus is that his children — Alexus and her twin brother Alex, who plays sports — can do the things they love.
“If they’re going to do it, do it the best they can,” he said.
The reality show, which will run through May, still has many episodes yet to film and Tiffanie said the experience is offering some good mother-daughter bonding time.
“We do everything all day together,” she said, adding, “To see her doing what she loves every single day, that’s fulfilling for me.”
Alexus said the other girls on the show are “really good friends.” Although she can’t divulge a lot about what’s happened during filming, the 8-year-old said one of her favorite dances involved dressing up like cavemen and carrying clubs.
So — without spilling the beans — just how has this Utah dancer performed so far?
“You can say you’ve done good,” Tiffanie said to her daughter, sitting beside her on the couch in their Washington Terrace living room.
“I’ve done good,” Alexus said with a smile.
Contact reporter Becky Cairns at 801-625-4276 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @bccairns or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SEbeckycairns.