When Maddie Ziegler, along with sister Mackenzie and mom Melissa Gisoni, left Dance Moms a couple of months ago, many were not surprised to hear about her departure. After all, rumors about their exit, following Maddie’s latest project, being the youngest judge on So You Think You Can Dance, have been circulating online since 2015.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Melissa Gisoni admitted that both her kids, Maddie and Mackenzie, have outgrown Dance Moms. After being on the show for almost six years, she said that they are “pretty much done with it.” Melissa explained that they got tired of doing the same thing over and over again, week after week. She added that leaving Dance Moms was purely Maddie and Mackenzie’s decision.
“My kids told me they didn’t want to do it anymore. When my kids aren’t happy anymore, I don’t care about anything else.”
Although she admitted that Dance Moms and Abby Lee Miller helped Maddie and Mackenzie, the reality show was, in a way, holding them back from pursuing other opportunities.
“Maddie couldn’t do jobs because of her contract with Dance Moms. It was time to move on.”
On the other hand, Maddie and Mackenzie admitted that they were just tired of the constant bickering between Abby Lee Miller and the moms. While they would definitely miss the elites, Kalani Hilliker, Kendall Vertes, Nia Frazier, and JoJo Siwa, they were more than happy to be done with all the drama.
“My team is always what I’m gonna go back to. They’re my best friends and I love dancing with them,” Maddie said.
Although leaving Dance Moms had been a difficult decision, Melissa Gisoni shared that Maddie and Mackenzie were now “very happy.”
“They miss the girls but they don’t miss the drama,” she said.
Even though they no longer have someone like Abby Lee Miller constantly breathing down their necks, Melissa shared that Maddie is still dancing as much as she did before. Since So You Think You Can Dance films only twice a week, Maddie still had five days to dance. A teacher comes to their house to help her practice in their own dance studio. Melissa shared that Maddie had always been very passionate about dancing that she never had to pressure her to practice.
Just like other moms, Melissa Gisoni admitted that she cannot help but feel overprotective towards Maddie Ziegler. Although she wanted to act like a normal 13-year-old, it has been getting more difficult each day because of her increasing popularity. There were instances when the Dance Moms alum would get mobbed while she was out with her friends.
Melissa said that she always worry about men following Maddie, adding that she experienced getting stalked by Dance Moms obsessed fans.
“She gets freaked out if there’s a man. That has happened. A man has followed her, but she’s always with somebody. She knows what to do. She goes right to security and she tells them,” Melissa said.
Melissa proudly shared that Maddie acted way beyond her years. She also felt happy that she has a lot of positive role models, including Sia.
“She said this to me the other day, ‘I don’t think I’ll ever drink alcohol,’ or, ‘I will never, ever touch drugs,’ because she has the people telling her it’s bad, don’t do it,” she recounted.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]