Maddie Ziegler had absolutely no idea how much her life would change when she was cast in Dance Moms. Prior to starring in the hit Lifetime reality TV show, she was just an ordinary 8-year-old. Though Ziegler had a true passion for dance, she had a normal lifestyle. She went to public school, took dance classes, and hung out with friends and family. But the show would put Ziegler’s life on a wildly different track.
‘Dance Moms’ was more successful than the original cast thought it would be
Though Dance Moms boasts 8 seasons, it was initially only supposed to be six episodes. Thus Ziegler was hardly expecting to become a household name. However, as the show gained success, the network demanded more episodes, competitions, and drama. This left Ziegler with a pretty hectic schedule.
Mackenzie and Maddie Ziegler started doing homeschooling in season 4
Fans of Dance Moms will recall that Ziegler and her little sister, Kenzie Ziegler, opted to be homeschooled. This was a big plot point (and point of contention) during Season 4 of the show. Ultimately, Maddie and Kenzie were homeschooled so that they could devote more time to dance and other opportunities. It also allowed the sisters to have a much more flexible schedule.
The ‘West Side Story’ actor missed 50 days of school
Though many of the moms were taken aback by Maddie and Kenzie being homeschooled, the decision was likely for the best. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, it was revealed that Maddie missed a whopping 50 days of school in a single year. Part of this was undoubtedly due to the grueling schedule that Dance Moms required.
The filming schedule for ‘Dance Moms’ was tough on the cast
Members of the Dance Moms cast often had to miss school in order to travel to different competitions across the country. Furthermore, they often left school early on certain days in order to learn their solos. Considering Maddie had more solos than anyone, it checks out that she was missing so much school. In a YouTube video Chloé Lukasiak, Maddie’s friend and former castmate, got specific about their filming schedule.
Never went to school on Fridays,” Lukasiak revealed. “We went to school four days a week. Sometimes we would have rehearsal in the morning, sometimes we wouldn’t. Then we would get on the bus then we drive to the competition. Then we’d arrive at the location.”
Maddie revealed that she experienced a lot of stress while on the show
Being homeschooled allowed Maddie to have a much more flexible schedule going forward. Eventually, The Fallout actor’s fellow castmates would all follow suit. Ultimately, thanks to the intensity of the film schedule that Dance Moms required, homeschooling was the most feasible option. And while Maddie was able to manage her schooling, she admits that the stress of the show was pretty intense.
“I had more stress at that age than I did once I left,” Maddie admitted. “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.’ It’s weird because there were really amazing times, but there were also a lot of things that were really, really not great for us kids.”