When it comes to hairstyles, Abby Lee Miller walked so that JoJo Siwa could run! The 53-year-old matriarch of Dance Moms felt nostalgic on March 31, because she shared a throwback photo of herself as a young teen either in 1979 or 1980. As a true testament to the decade the photo was snapped in, Abby was rocking a fierce side pony tail — complete with a red ribbon. That calls to mind a certain 16-year-old dance and YouTube sensation today, who once trained under Abby!
“Is this still a thing? Childhood pics? I was 14!” Abby captioned the photo, which showed her younger self posing by a friend from back in the day. That young girl would go on to become Abby’s first ever dance trainee! “My student, Lisa was 8/9. She was the first kid I trained that booked a professional dance job right out of high school when @tokyodisneyresort_official first opened!” Abby continued. “This truly was just the beginning – My students have done 17+ different contracts in Japan! BTW her mother was nuttier than any #dancemom you’ve ever seen on TV! .”
Of course, one of those students — JoJo — also happened to become one of the biggest stars on YouTube! JoJo starred on Seasons 5 and 6 of Dance Moms, and now boasts more than 10.8 million subscribers on YouTube. She’s known for her iconic side pony that’s always in tact with the help of a large, colorful ribbon.
Abby confirmed that JoJo kept in contact with her, despite her battle with Burkitt lymphoma (an aggressive type of cancer) and being sentenced to prison for bankruptcy fraud in 2017. “‘JoJo [Siwa] stays in touch with me,” Abby revealed on the Feb. 24 episode of The Dr. Oz Show Show. “I think everybody else forgot my name…[other students felt they] needed to ‘distance themselves’ from me. That was the word that was used, distance themselves, when I was indicted by the Federal Government.”
Abby was released from prison in March of 2018, and completed her last round of chemotherapy in April of 2019. Now cancer-free and a free woman, Abby is thriving once again — and happily looking back on fond memories, as you can see above!