Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler’s Mother Revealed the Dark Side of ‘Dance Moms’ Fame

We’ve been watching Dance Moms for years, and fans are thrilled that instructor Abby Lee Miller (who’s always the center of controversy) will be returning for the new season. While Abby Lee will be back, fans certainly miss the Ziegler sisters, as they were stand-out stars on the series. We remember when Maddie first started and blew everyone away with her grace and ability to catch on to choreography, and Mackenzie followed right in her footsteps. Though they may no longer be affiliated with the program, we know the young dancers are growing up fast and doing great things on their own.

It wasn’t all fun and games with Dance Moms, though. Maddie and Mackenzie’s mom, Melissa Gisoni, has spoken out about the difficulties of fame through the years.

Social media bullying became an issue for Maddie and Mackenzie

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There’s no doubt Dance Moms brought a ton of attention to Maddie and Mackenzie — and it even helped launch Maddie’s long-standing career with singer Sia and Mackenzie’s own music deal. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Melissa explained the dark side of being on the show for so many seasons, however. And that was the internet bullying.

Melissa said that people on the internet would pretend to be the Ziegler kids, or Maddie and Mackenzie would read the negative comments other teens would say. “Kids like 12-year-olds who say mean things to you because they’re bored bullies — that was the hardest part of the fame. … I hired a social media manager almost immediately when my kids started to get popular,” she told Cosmopolitan.

The show was holding the sisters back from doing bigger and better things

Without Dance Moms, there’s a good chance the Ziegler girls would not have attained fame so quickly (or ever at all). And while TV stardom helped them gain notoriety in the industry, Melissa also explained that having a contract with the show meant Maddie and Mackenzie couldn’t go forth with other projects. As she told Cosmopolitan, “It was also holding the kids back. Maddie couldn’t do jobs because of her contract with Dance Moms. It was time to move on.”

Maddie has also spoken candidly about her choice to leave the show. Teen Vogue notes the young star has said in the past how stressful the show could be, and she told Seventeen, “I just didn’t want to deal with all of the drama anymore. I’m happy I’ve moved on.”

Melissa’s legal trouble has also been captured by the media

Maddie and Mackenzie certainly get a lot of attention on their own — but having the Ziegler sisters in the spotlight also means Melissa has gained some unwanted attention of her own. Radar Online reports Melissa and Kurt Ziegler, Maddie and Mackenzie’s father, were involved in a serious custody battle that fans were then following due to Dance Moms fame. The couple allegedly divorced back in 2010 after eight years of marriage, and the battle for custody over their daughters brought plenty of unwanted attention to the family.

Not only that, but Melissa and Maddie were also allegedly sued, said Teen Vogue. This brought even more negative press to the Ziegler sisters.

She fears her children will grow up too fast

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Melissa definitely wants her daughters to have the best opportunities possible — but she also fears that they won’t get to live their lives out as regular kids. As she told Cosmopolitan, her biggest fear is that Maddie and Mackenzie are going to grow up too fast and no longer want anything to do with her as they attain fame. “Literally, I’m just a mom from Pittsburgh. I was never a stage mom and my daughter always tells people that. I think a stage mom is someone that pushes their kids, makes them practice, everything has to be perfect. My kids did it on their own,” she added.

The mom of two famous daughters is certainly ready to strap in and watch her kids thrive in all of their endeavors, even if that means moving across the country, though. Like the rest of their fans, we’re excited to see what the Zieglers do next.

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