“Dance Moms” Cast Only Agreed to Participate in Show's Upcoming Reunion 'If Abby Lee Miller Wasn’t' Involved: Source

A source tells PEOPLE some of the girls in the group made the decision after they had mixed feelings about Miller's involvement and didn't want to "relive" their past traumas

<p>Dance Moms/Instagram</p>

Dance Moms/Instagram

'Dance Moms' cast members take a selfie after filming the reunion special

Some Dance Moms alums had stipulations for their participation in the Lifetime series' highly anticipated reunion.

A source exclusively tells PEOPLE that some of the cast members requested that their former dance instructor and coach, Abby Lee Miller, be absent from the upcoming special as the series centered around "the girls and their experience."

"At this point everyone has gone through different eras, had time to reflect and there’s been a lot that Abby put them through emotionally and physically and they just didn’t want to relive that," the source says.

<p>Karolina Wojtasik/Lifetime Television/courtesy Everett</p> Abby Lee Miller in 'Dance Moms'

Karolina Wojtasik/Lifetime Television/courtesy Everett

Abby Lee Miller in 'Dance Moms'

Related: Maddie Ziegler Calls 'Dance Moms' 'Toxic' and Feels 'at Peace' with Abby Lee Miller out of Her Life

Though the insider notes that there are "ones who say they know they wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Dance Moms," others have stated they want "nothing to do with any of it at all like Maddie [Ziegler]."

"But some of those involved decided that they would only be a part of the reunion if Abby wasn’t," the source continues. "The girls were able to speak their minds more openly without her there."

The source also notes that because the girls were approached first and many of them said they didn't want Miller there and wouldn't participate if she was, Miller, 58, was never asked to be involved with the reunion.

A rep for Lifetime had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.

Earlier this month, Lifetime debuted a trailer for Dance Moms: The Reunion, a two-hour special event that saw many of the original cast members — mothers included — reuniting to reflect on the iconic series.

JoJo SiwaChloé LukasiakBrooke Hyland, Paige Hyland, Kendall Vertes and Kalani Hilliker will be featured on the reunion as they look back at their time on the show. Other OG cast members like Nia Sioux, Maddie and her sister Mackenzie "Kenzie" Ziegler were noticeably absent.

Between teary-eyed clips of the girls on the show a decade ago and musings about how it feels to look back, Siwa, 20, and Vertes, 21, seemingly called out the the Zieglers for not participating in the reunion events in the trailer.

“We would not be here without Dance Moms. it was literally the stepping stone into who we are today,” Vertes said to the group.

<p>Lifetime</p> Dance Moms' cast members filming the reunion special


Dance Moms' cast members filming the reunion special

Related: 'Dance Moms' Star Kalani Hilliker Says Her Anxiety Started After the Show: ‘I Suppressed My Emotions’(Exclusive)

In the following clip, Siwa seemed to take a more direct jab at the sisters, stating, “Them not being here is kind of like, ‘Let me erase my past, pretend it never happened, shove it down the drain.’ When it’s like – that’s why you are who you are."

Reps for the Ziegler sisters and Sioux did not return PEOPLE's request for comment at the time of publication.

The Lifetime reunion special is not all fans are getting from the former reality stars, though. Starting on March 18, more than nine hours of new Dance Moms content will begin streaming up until the May 1 reunion, including “in-depth sit-downs with the Dance Moms cast on the set of the reunion where they answer burning fan questions and look at of some of the most controversial moments from the series," according to a press release shared with PEOPLE.

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Abby Lee Miller and Maddie Ziegler

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Abby Lee Miller and Maddie Ziegler

Related: Abby Lee Miller Addresses Possibility of Reconciling with Maddie Ziegler: 'A Lot of Ugly Darkness There'

Another new 10-episode show will premiere after the reunion, Dance Moms: Epic Showdowns, which features Christi Lukasiak, Chloé's mother, as she looks back at “the most explosive dance battles and jaw-dropping meltdowns from the series.”

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Dance Moms: The Reunion premieres Wednesday, May 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

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