Maddie Ziegler Says Her Mom Recently Apologized For Putting Her on ‘Dance Moms’: “None of Us Knew How Crazy It Would Get”

“You’re working your way back up the pyramid, mom.”

Former Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler and mom Melissa Gisoni have made amends. 

On the latest episode of Emily Ratajkowski‘s High Low with EmRata podcast, the dancer revealed that she received an apology from her mother last year for putting her (and her younger sister Mackenzie) on the Lifetime reality series when they were children.

Maddie said her mom offered the apology last year after receiving a phone call from Maddie who was having “a really bad panic attack” at the time.

” … things were coming up from the past, and she apologized to me,” Maddie said. “She was like, ‘I’m so sorry I put you through that.'”

“It’s so sad because she would never want to hurt us, but none of us knew how crazy it would get,” Maddie added. 

Maddie, who was seven-years-old when she began ‘Dance Moms,’ went on to provide an example of one of those “crazy” experiences from her time on the show, which occurred while Maddie was filming her first season, according to Entertainment Tonight

” … there were male producers saying, ‘This is what you have to say,'” Maddie recalled. “My mom wasn’t in the room, so I was like, ‘Ok, I just have to do whatever I’m being told.’ They would say, ‘Say you’re the best, say you’re better than everyone else, say blah blah blah.'” 

Maddie cites this–- and similar instances-– as the reason she was “perceived as a little brat in the first season.” She even admitted to crying at a viewing party for the first episode of ‘Dance Moms,’ fearing the public would think poorly of her. 

“I can’t wait to unpack all of this with a therapist one day.”

Maddie said the public perceiving her as “the most well-treated dancer” on the show was also incorrect, as there was actually more pressure put on her than some of the other dancers–- presumably by her former dance instructor Abby Lee Miller, though Maddie did not mention Abby by name.

(The two have not been on good terms for quite a while.)  

“Pout now, succeed later.” – Abby (Probably)

” … she was like, ‘You’re my girl, so you have to lead everyone to victory every time,’ which is just not sustainable,” Maddie said. 

While Maddie’s mom harbors guilt for being the one who got her daughters involved in ‘Dance Moms’, Melissa is also the one who helped her daughters get away from the series. ‘Dance Moms’ fans may remember the infamous episode in which Melissa broke the news to Abby that Maddie and Mackenzie were leaving Abby’s Elite dance team. Abby responded by crying for hours and locking herself in an office.

“I mean…did you expect me to handle the news like a reasonable, mature adult?!” 

Last year, Maddie revealed she and her family tried to leave ‘Dance Moms’ for three seasons, but were unable to because of their contracts. This week, she also credited singer Sia for helping her and her family finally cut ties with the show and dance company.  

“[My mom] really did everything to try to break our contract and pull us out, and eventually we did with the help of Sia,” she said.

Still, Maddie said the nearly 30 episodes of ‘Dance Moms’ that were filmed each season were “hard” and “consumed” her and her family’s lives. 

” … [I’ve] blocked out so much of my childhood that I actually don’t know what my life was like even just before working,” she said. 

RELATED STORY: Ratings for Bravo’s ‘Dancing Queens’ Rise Leading Up to Season 1 Finale: “I Just Think People Will Want to See More Dancing”

(Photos: Lifetime; YouTube; Instagram)

12 Responses

  1. It’s very telling that many of the other girls are still friends with eachother….except Maddie that is.

  2. I was gonna say, it was Sia that gave Maddie her big break and allowed her dancing to be the focus instead of solely the show, which, as the title says, was actually about the moms and Abby and reality show + stage parenting, not the girls or dancing. And Melissa was one of the tamer moms so it’s not like mom drama would have given them the same amount of fame either.

    Like, say what you want about Jojo Siwa, she and her mom had it right to leave the show early on to the point some people don’t know/remember Jojo was once on Dance Moms. (prob why she’s also still on good terms w/ Abby)

  3. Melissa kept signing them up. Very definition of Momager. And that relationship with Sia seems weird/off to me.

  4. JEEZUS. Some of you are so f*ing harsh to this what, 20 something girl? Some of y’all don’t know Brene Brown and it shows.
    Look in a mirror.
    Reflect on your actions and words.
    Show some humanity and compassion.
    And if you take offense to this comment, it’s you who I’m talking to.

    1. So you just get a pass because your 20? Nah, fuck that. If she could keep her mouth shut while she was raking in the money, she can keep her mouth shut now that she has the money.

  5. maddie was no angel–she was put in a bad spot by being the favorite but she mostly loved it and lorded it over the other girls. I watched every episode, and her mom made me sick!!! maddie made many nasty comments about how much better she was and so her comments now mean nothing. she was a mean girl and is now acting the same only blaming someone else!

  6. Yeah, no, Melissa. You enjoyed every single perk that show brought.
    If it werent for the show, the exposure and Abby’s shit, Maddie wouldn’t be where she is today.

    Melissa would sign up for it again in heartbeat and she knows it

  7. I don’t like Maddie. She has done nothing but hate on the show and Abby, when no one would know who she was otherwise. She has been particularly hateful. She has a right to how she feels, but it seems all she does now is act superior to what and to whom gave her a start.

    1. I’ve never liked Maddie either, she can’t use the excuse that she was bratty as a kid because she is even more bratty as an adult. She was a judge on SYTYCD and she was mean to any contestant that she felt was more talented than she was. Abby may be an asshole but she helped Maddie like no other including her mom.

  8. Melissa bought a million dollar house with the Dance Moms money that had a dance studio for Maddie and Mackenzie to practice in. They all made millions because of the show so I imagine dear old Mom didn’t want to stop the gravy train rolling in. Abby wasn’t that bad with Maddie but was awful with everyone else. I used to watch and could never understand how any mother would allow the mental and emotional abuse of their child. I guess it’s simple, money.

    All of the kids from Dance Moms don’t have to worry financially. Maddie’s net worth is
    $40 MILLION. A little hard for me to feel sorry for her.

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