By Lana, Maya & Zoe Soskin
April 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Finale. Last episode. The end of Dance Moms until next year! The end of Maddie, Mackenzie, and Melissa (I just realized they were all M names) on Dance Moms! The end of my 18-week bonding ritual with my daughters — which sucks!

This was supposed to be the episode where Maddie, Mackenzie, and Melissa have the spotlight, but in true Dance “Drama” fashion, it wasn’t. The minis were there, along with their moms, staking their claim to the ALDC Spotlight. In this episode, the minis got head shots, they became part of the pyramid, they won first place in the group and solo (a beautiful tribute to Ari’s brother) performance categories, and they became official members of the ALDC. The mini moms complained, acted out, and fought back. They essentially hogged the episode.

While this was all highly entertaining, we really didn’t care. We wanted to see Maddie and Mackenzie dance. That’s all. Who knows when we will get to see them dance again in this format, where it was all about them? We didn’t care who was going to be the next Maddie and Mackenzie, we didn’t care that Jill was going to miss Melissa or that Ashlee was now officially part of the mom group. We didn’t care about Melissa’s tantrums and crying. At one point, I turned to my kids and said, “Melissa is acting crazy.” To which my daughters replied, “No, she’s not. She’s just sad and stressed it’s over and acting out. Don’t be mean.” (That’s Dance Moms Life lesson #76 that I’ve learned from my daughters.)

Through all the drama, we finally got our wish. Mackenzie did a cute, fun dance that made us cheer. It was exactly what we wanted to see from her — even though the judges didn’t agree. Then the moment we were waiting for: Maddie. She was breathtaking. A dark, dramatic dance that made us all cry. We cried because it signified the end. The end of an era with Maddie. The end of the most beautiful dances we have ever seen. Mainly, the end of a great season of spending time with my daughters, them thinking I had the coolest job ever, getting to watch their favorite show, and being inspired and excited to write because they got to see their review on Thank you Dance Moms — see you for the reunion next week.

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