‘Dance Moms’: Maddie Ziegler & Mackenzie Ziegler Didn’t Become Close Until After They Quit the Show

When Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler were cast in Dance Moms, they had no idea how much the show would change their lives. But the popular Lifetime series made them household names with millions of fans. Now, the sisters are pursuing other avenues in the entertainment industry and supporting each other along the way. But the pair didn’t always have the amazing relationship that they have today.

Dance Moms alums Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler pose for the red carpet
Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Though Maddie doesn’t often speak about her time on Dance Moms, she did open up about how she and Mackenzie found their way on the show. “When I was about seven years old, we had a production company come to the studio and interview and audition some families,” the Music star shared with SBJCT Journal. “My family got cast and ended up doing six seasons. We basically just learned new dances every week and competed with them every weekend. It was a fast-paced environment and had lots of drama.”

How ‘Dance Moms’ affected Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler

Unfortunately, a lot of that drama surrounded Maddie and the way she was favored over other members of the cast by studio owner and dance teacher, Abby Lee Miller. The other dancers were constantly compared to Maddie and pitted against her. One person who really suffered from the comparisons was Mackenzie. Miller and Dance Moms fans were always pushing her to be more like her older sister and, naturally, it took a toll on her self-esteem.

RELATED: ‘Dance Moms’: Kenzie Ziegler Tried to Quit Dance to Play Soccer; ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me’

For her part, Maddie had no idea how damaging Dance Moms was for Mackenzie. Although the pair are thick as thieves now, they had their fair share of sibling squabbles after being around each other constantly. Fortunately, after they made their decision to quit the show they were able to deepen their relationship.

The ‘Music’ star gets candid about her little sister

“It’s interesting how it worked growing up filming with my sister,” Maddie shared about her Dance Moms experience. “I couldn’t imagine doing it without her but, at the same time, we fought like crazy! Our relationship didn’t start to become incredible until after we left the show. We would always butt heads because we were so consumed by one another. Also, during her entire experience on the show, people were constantly comparing her to me, which truly breaks my heart. We are two different people. Neither of us is better than the other. She’s my best friend, and I love seeing her mature into the beautiful girl she is today.”

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Filming Dance Moms couldn’t have been easy for either of the Ziegler sisters. Maddie was constantly expected to be perfect, while Mackenzie often got compared to her sister. However, both dancers seem to be doing well now. Maddie continues to dance but also is pursuing acting and exploring her passion for makeup. Mackenzie, on the other hand, continues to pursue music and has released a number of songs into the world as of late. We’re sure Ziegler fans are looking forward to seeing what the sisters get up to next.