15 stages of becoming a Dance Moms fan

Step One

You casually flick on an episode to see what all the fuss is about. You wonder why this woman is yelling about Elton John to little kids. Isn't that child cruelty? Wow, those mothers are rude… You think you'll probably tune in again next week.

Step Two

You already love all the dancers, obviously, but have a clear favourite and strong opinions on the moms (Cathy is cray). You're well versed in pyramid politics and this is only the third episode you've ever watched. You're definitely rooting for Nia.

Step Three

You've had a Dance Moms marathon and caught up on every episode. This will happen again, more than once.

Step Four

You're so involved in the Kelly vs. Christi fight right now. You can't even… Why can't they make it up? You miss them drinking together. You feel like someone has died when Chloe leaves. You consider momentarily boycotting the show. Obviously you don't, but the hurt doesn't go.

Step Five

You find yourself Googling Holly quotes instead of the usual hominies set to backdrops of sunsets.

Step Six

Monday becomes your new favourite day of the week. Sometimes, you find yourself wishing the weekends went by faster so Dance Moms Day would come already.

Step Seven

You do a couple of Dance Moms character quizzes…. Then you keep doing them until they give you the answer you want. You are so NOT a Christi! Can't they see you're totally a Holly? You haven't been this upset since that SATC quiz called you a Miranda. A MIRANDA.

Step Eight

You find yourself justifying your Dance Moms obsession to your friends. It's not an obsession, ok? You just really care about these people. It's real life! Why can't they get that?

Step Nine

WHY WON'T ANYONE TALK ABOUT DANCE MOMS WITH YOU ANYMORE?

Step 10

You discover the online Dance Moms community and Twitter.

Step 11

You're knee deep in the Twitter war you've waged with other fans who don't agree that Chloe's dance in season two DEFINITELY DESERVED TO BEAT MADDIE.

Step 12

You've downloaded all of the girls' music on iTunes and bookmarked their videos on YouTube. You're idly watching Kendall K's soldier girl outfit online too. For Halloween…

Step 13

You make a pilgrimage to Pittsburgh. You don't actually see the cast, but you do walk past what you think could be Melissa's house several times.

Step 14

You've perfected your video montage of your favourite Dance Moms moments. You proudly upload it to YouTube under the moniker DanceMoms4ever<3. You think back to when you had more of a social life outside of the online Dance Moms communities, but brush it away.

Step 15

You've made it to a verified Dance Moms competition. You clutch your handmade sign. When you see the girls and realise you're breathing the same air as Abby, you scream and weep with joy. You made it! You think you might try and go to the next one. DANCE MOMS FOREVER.