It is the start of the new competition season, and Abby introduces a new dancer, Ally, to the team after discovering Kelly pulled Brooke and Paige out of the ALDC.Chloe is given the featured role in the group routine, but is later replaced by Ally, whose height hindered blocking.

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The mothers stage a protest to get Kelly to return for the new season of dance, however Abby decides to completely create a new competition team.

The old team unites several episodes later and becomes Abby's competition team again.

This season introduces many new dance moms and dancers to both the Abby Lee Dance Company and Candy Apples Dance Center.

The third season featured thirteen star billing cast members with various other dancers and moms appearing throughout the season.

The third season of Dance Moms, an American dance reality TV program created by Collins Avenue Productions, began airing on January 1, 2013 on Lifetime television network. The third season featured 40 episodes including 9 special episodes (The Mother of All Specials, Tell All, Parts 1&2, Dance Moms Chatter, Parts 1&2, Abby's So Far This Season, Dance Moms Reunion: Hurricane Abby and Dance Moms Holiday Special: Twas the Night Before Christmas) bringing the episode count thus far to 82 episodes.

However, Lifetime's episode guide does not list The Smoke Before the Fire.

The third season continues after the team win at nationals.

Kelly and her daughters Brooke and Paige decide not to return to the Abby Lee Dance Company.

Additionally, Mackenzie has a wardrobe malfunction on stage.