The music and storyline from the hit Broadway musical "The Prom" are front and center in the season finale of Lifetime's "Dance Moms" -- and Brady Farrar, 14, a dancer on the show, is ecstatic about the message the episode will send.
“It was a very empowering dance, not only for young boys and girls, but for the LGBTQ community, [because of] the message that it’s not right to discriminate toward LGBTQ people, and I think that when the episode airs it’s going to be really amazing for that community,” Farrar told HRC.
Bryan Stinson, the co-creator of the show, said this episode stemmed from a partnership with people working on “The Prom,” which the cast of “Dance Moms” got to see on Broadway. “The Prom”, which closed earlier this month, brought the experiences of LGBTQ youth to the stage, telling the story of what happens when one teen wants to bring her girlfriend to her high school prom in a small town in Indiana. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards this year. The cast of “The Prom” worked with the “Dance Moms” cast during their rehearsals for the finale.
“I was blown away by the show… It’s all so beautiful,” Stinson told HRC. “As a kid, if I could have seen the story being told, it would have changed my life… I did not come out early and I regret wasting my 20s in the closet. I’m very excited that Lifetime is letting us tell the story of two young girls who fell in love.”
This episode also hits close to the Farrar family. Tricia Farrar, Brady’s mother, said the theme means a lot to her family since her oldest son, Bennett, 18, is openly gay.
“It made me very emotional, but very happy, that this message could get out to everybody,” she said. “It saddens me that in this day and age people still discriminate, and it just happens all the time.”
Although all coming out experiences are different, one consistent theme that resonates in the musical as in the Farrar family’s experience is that we must support LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ youth.
“You should embrace your kids, your family members, your friends and your co-workers for who they are, and they should never feel ashamed for who they are,” said Tricia Farrar. “The fact that this was the ending to our season to me is a personal story and triumph to our family.”
For Brady, being a part of this episode and his brother’s journey has taught him a lot about the LGBTQ community, including using a person’s correct pronouns. He hopes that the audience not only feels joy but seeks learns more about LGBTQ equality.
“The dance is so fun,” he said. “If anybody who watches the show is homophobic or has any discriminatory opinions toward people who are LGBTQ, then I hope this episode changes their opinion on that.”
Watch the season finale of “Dance Moms” on Lifetime at Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. EST.