The world watched Maddie Ziegler grow up on the hit reality show “Dance Moms,” and since leaving the show in 2016, the dancer and actor has appeared in music videos (notably, Sia’s “Chandelier” video), movies (she had a controversial role in Sia’s “Music” and most recently a role in “West Side Story”), and she even has a podcast with her sister.
When Ziegler looks back to the time of her life that launched her into the public eye, though, she refers to the experience as “toxic.” She discussed how she feels about her “Dance Moms” past in a new interview with Cosmopolitan.
When asked about the stress she experienced on the show, she said:
After realizing they’d be more at peace if they left the show and lived away from the cameras and the drama of reality TV, she and her mom struggled to get out of their contract. When they finally did, now infamous “Dance Moms” coach Abby Lee Miller was not thrilled to say the least. Ziegler revealed she actually no longer speaks to Miller, who according to the interview, was notorious for yelling at kids on the show and has “spent her post–Dance Moms career embroiled in legal and financial woes.”
Since the interview launched, Miller responded on her YouTube channel. “If it was so toxic, why did you keep doing it?” she said, defending her role in Ziegler’s life. In the video, she claims she never explicitly told Ziegler she was “less than” for not winning, and that Ziegler had a choice every step of the way. (A reminder that Ziegler was 8 years old when the show started.)
Going “no contact” with someone who was toxic to you is hard, and I imagine doing so with someone who you were on a nationally syndicated television show with for the world to see is even harder.
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