Who needs a therapist when you can go on a podcast and discuss your family trauma? That seems to work for Maddie Ziegler, and we’re not mad about it because she delivered some major dish about her time on Dance Moms.
The reality TV alum recently sat down on Emily Ratajkowsi’s podcast. She chatted through her experience growing up on Dance Moms and dealing with one of reality TV’s most notorious villains, Abby Lee Miller.
Maddie’s mom, Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni, paraded Maddie and her sister Mackenzie Ziegler around on Lifetime for years. But now that the dust has settled, it sounds like they’ve all agreed that the show probably wasn’t the best for their mental health.
It’s never too late for an apology
Maddie started on Dance Moms when she was just eight years old. Her mom Melissa was one of the leading parents featured in the cast all the way through Season 6. Her drama with Abby and the other moms usually revolved around the fact that Maddie was the clear favorite in the Abby Lee Dance Company. Seriously, how many weeks was Maddie on top of the pyramid back in the day?
Whether it was favoritism or sheer skill, it paid off because Maddie, now 20 years old, has gone on to star in numerous TV shows, movies, and music videos. She has nearly 14 million followers on Instagram, for crying out loud. She’s set. But, she admitted on the High Low with EmRata podcast that her reality TV experience had a negative impact on her mental health.
“Last year, I was having a really bad panic attack, and I called my mom,” Maddie explained. “And things were coming up from the past, and she apologized to me, and she was like, ‘I am so sorry that I put you through that.'”
Thank goodness Melissa apologized because that show was truly an emotional rollercoaster. The weekly pyramid ranking would be enough to send someone over the edge. But, then add on Abby Lee’s constant screaming and the moms arguing? That’s a lot to take into during your adolescence. So, it sounds like Maddie is thankful for being out of the reality TV spotlight.
“I think it’s crazy because now I feel like our lives are way more relaxed than they were when we were young because it was such a high-pressure situation,” Maddie shared. “In a way, I think we’re so relieved that now it turned into more of a calm environment. And we’re just so happy that it’s transitioned into what it is now.”
In Melissa’s defense, Maddie explained that she became aware that the toxic Dance Moms environment was bad for their family. Maddie explained that while the show was airing, she tried to get them off it.
“She really did everything to try and break our contract and pull us out, and eventually did,” Maddie revealed.
For the sake of the kids, let’s hope there’s never another show like Dance Moms. But if you want to relive it in all of its 2010s glory, all eight seasons are streaming through Lifetime.
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED TO HEAR MADDIE SPEAK SO CANDIDLY ABOUT HER TIME ON THE SHOW? DO YOU THINK ANY OTHER FORMER CAST MEMBERS HAVE HAD SIMILAR CONVERSATIONS WITH THEIR PARENTS?