Abby Lee Miller is looking back on her relationship with Maddie Ziegler.
As you may be aware, Abby was Maddie’s dance teacher when she starred on the hit TV series Dance Moms. She was one of the show’s original cast members, staying on from the age of 8 for six successful seasons.
Maddie, now 20, has since been very vocal about finding the show’s environment “toxic” as a child.
“I had more stress at that age than I did once I left. I have dissociated so much from that time. I’ll see fans post scenes from Dance Moms and I’m like, ‘I literally don’t even remember that happening,’” she told Cosmopolitan last year.
“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.
And when it comes to her former teacher, Maddie noted that she was left having to “unlearn” lots of what she’d been taught. “My dance teacher taught that if you don’t get the trophy, if you don’t get the crown, you are less than, which is the worst way to train a kid. It carries into other life lessons,” she said.
Maddie went on to claim that she and her family spent three seasons’ worth of time trying to get her off Dance Moms, though to no avail because of her contract. When she finally did manage to quit the show, Abby was memorably left in tears — something that left Maddie feeling “guilty” for the “longest time.”
“For the longest time, we felt so guilty. She trained me, she helped me, but also, I knew I would be okay without her and I was sick of being in a toxic environment. ... I haven’t spoken to her since,” Maddie said of Abby.
Meanwhile, Abby has also clashedwith Maddie’s sister Mackenzie Ziegler and their mom, Melissa Ziegler. Speaking out about her strained relationship with them all now, Abby sat down for an appearance on Sofia Franklyn’s Sofia With an F podcast to discuss the tension.
Getting candid, Abby, 57, told Sofia, “I can’t really separate Maddie from her sister and her mother, and there is some...I don’t want to use the term ‘bad blood,’ but there are some devastating things there.”
Noting that there’s “a lot of ugly darkness there,” Abby went on to allege that she did not receive “one penny” from Mackenzie’s 2014 song “It’s a Girl Party,” despite having produced it.
“A song that went to No. 1 in three countries on iTunes, ‘It’s a Girl Party.’ I produced it. I bought the song. I did everything for that child. Mack Z was my creation,” Abby claimed.
Elsewhere, Abby noted that despite the rift, she’d potentially be open to speaking to Maddie again if she were the one to reach out.