Maddie Ziegler Reveals Sia Helped Her Get Out of ‘Dance Moms’ Contract
Maddie Ziegler stopped by Emily Ratajkowski's High Low with EmRata podcast on Tuesday (June 27) and shed some light on her time on the reality show Dance Moms, including how Sia helped her and her family get out of their contracts.
"[My mom] really did everything to try to break our contract and pull us out, and eventually did with the help of Sia. It was hard … We would do almost 30 episodes a season, so it consumed our lives," she explained.
In 2016, the Zieglers exited the dance-centered reality series after six seasons. Maddie described the show as a "toxic environment" in her 2022 Cosmopolitan cover story.
"When I was doing the show, in the first season [in 2011], I was 7, and there were male producers saying, 'This is what you have to say.' My mom wasn't in the room, so I was like, 'Okay, 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,'" she revealed on the podcast.
The West Side Story star went on to add that because of the producers' coaching, she appeared to be "a little brat" on the show and "the most well-treated dancer" despite having the most pressure put on her.
She seemingly referred to her dance teacher, the abrasive Abby Lee Miller, putting pressure on her.
"Looking back — and a lot of people have started to say this — it's like, 'Wow, she actually had the most pressure on her,' because she was like, 'You're my girl, so you have to lead everyone to victory every time,' which is just not sustainable," she said.
Ziegler also shared that because of her childhood experience as a reality television star, she doesn't remember much about her life before TV stardom.
"I've blocked out so much of my childhood that I actually don't know what my life was like even just before working. It's weird to find out things that I did when I was younger on TikTok. I'll see people posting things of me, and I'm like, 'I don't even remember doing that,'" she shared.
Seemingly because of that kind of toxicity, Ziegler shared that her mom, Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni, recently apologized to her for putting her and her little sister, Mackenzie, through Dance Moms.
"Last year, I was having a really bad panic attack, and I called my mom, and things were coming up from the past, and she apologized to me. 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," Ziegler said.