Skip to main content

Maddie Ziegler's Strange Relationships and Co-Dependence Suspicion Thoughts (2021)

Caila loves celebrity gossip. She hardly is out of the loop with most things in the latest culture when it comes to celebrity life.

Maddie Ziegler Poll (2021)

From Dance Moms Into the New World

Maddie's headshots in the ALDC throughout the years.

Maddie's headshots in the ALDC throughout the years.

Maddie Ziegler

Maddie Ziegler is an up and coming star. 10 years ago, she, her mother and her little sister were all on the hit TV show on Lifetime, Dance Moms, that catapulted them into stardom. She's gone on dance tours, modeled for fashion lines, started her own fashion lines, partnered with brands for exposure, and has even gone on to be in music videos and a movie for the musical artist, Sia, as her onstage alter ego. All of her life was spent in front of cameras, being filmed for the world to see as she grew up. She has had people around her telling her what to do, how to act, and what they want from her all the time. We especially see this on Dance Moms. As I saw how the producers controlled so much of the surroundings, it was easy to see how easily manipulated this could warp Maddie's personality. Since she's been born, she has collected mother figures without even trying to and they have all taken control over her in some kind of way or another. How does a child grow into their own in the world, let alone Hollywood, when they're constantly being controlled by everyone? We're going to dive into some of Maddie's relationships with the women in her life and ponder if they're for the benefit of the child or the adult?

Maddie and Fam

Maddie, Mackenzie, and Melissa (respectively) on the red carpet.

Maddie, Mackenzie, and Melissa (respectively) on the red carpet.

Melissa Gisoni - Mother

Melissa Gisoni is mother to both Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler and they all started out on the show, Dance Moms, in its first season. Ever since season 1, Maddie only wanted to dance. It was her life! It was her everything! It was all she had! She lived, ate, slept, and breathed dance! She even stated in a one on one interview on the show that if she didn't have dance, she would kill herself. Kids, right? I don't know exactly if Maddie wanted to dance initially or if she was pushed into it by her mother before she could say no, but anyway, she was a star child in the Abby Lee Dance Company's Junior Elite Competition Team led by Abby Lee Miller and was Melissa's pride and joy, being the favorite student.

I think Maddie knew this all too well. Anything she wanted on the show, she eventually got. She wanted to be taken out of school for homeschooling so she could focus more on dance. I'm not sure whose idea this was, perhaps Abby pushing for her to convince her mother to do it or if it was a construct of Maddie's own perseverance to dance. Either way, she got a go ahead from her mother after a while. Melissa has also gone out of her way to cultivate a career for her daughter in any way she ever could. Shorting the other mothers on Dance Moms out of opportunities, stepping on the toes of Abby Lee or anyone else, taking them for new headshots, or getting them agents for more gigs. Whatever it took to make Maddie and Mackenzie a star, Melissa would try to make it happen.

This, in some ways, can be looked at as an act of enabling a person to think that they could have anything they ever want in life, or it can be looked at as giving your child the best. Either way, this let Maddie know that she was always going to get the things she wanted out of life. I think it's good to instill confidence in our children, but Maddie had a sense of entitlement placed upon her, unwillingly. I'm not saying she is an entitled child, because she works very hard, but more that she knows she has a support system that will back her and get her what she needs regardless. This can be good or bad, depending on the child being supported this way.

A Second Mother

Abby holding on to her meal ticket, Maddie.

Abby holding on to her meal ticket, Maddie.

Abby Lee Miller - Her Dance Teacher

Abby Lee Miller was Maddie's dance teacher for years even before Dance Moms was ever thought of. She was a parental figure in Maddie's life and one of her biggest supporters. Maddie was the star child of the Abby Lee Dance Company and one of the main reasons Abby has so many trophies to her name on the show. This got Maddie more opportunities, special treatment, and kinder words than the other girls on the show. Maddie has performed and scored first place countless times in the ALDC, it's only fair that she is a star student, really. However, I think Abby thought of Maddie as a "star" because she knew she would be one, one day.

In good faith, I do think Abby knew from the moment Maddie started getting better at dance, that she would be a star and she probably did help with Maddie's self confidence to look at herself as a winner and a star. Maddie worked hard, she was hungry for dance and she listened to Abby's critiques and applied them to become a better dancer. This girl IS dance. This equated to Abby as Maddie being a meal ticket. The bigger Maddie got, the bigger the ALDC got. The bigger ALDC got, the bigger Abby's pockets got. Makes sense, right? This is why Abby pushed Maddie into the spotlight even more. This is why she was the star even more so in seasons after the first. Maddie had it all and could do no wrong. That is a load of pressure to put on a child and in front of their friends, constantly testing the other girls to be better or to be "like Maddie".

Abby Lee made work for Maddie in Pittsburgh, in Hollywood and with anyone that she could, even if the role did not fit her, Abby would still try to get Maddie into it. She is a big reason Maddie is so in love with dance still, I believe, but I do think that this experience toughened up Maddie's skin. A lot of kids would not feel right taking opportunities from other girls and always being treated as the star pupil while the teacher bashes the other children, but Maddie took it in stride and still was able to be friends with the other girls on the show afterwards, even through this warped mindset they all had that Maddie was somehow above them.

Abby has even told Maddie to go against her mother's wishes on countless occasions on the show. At some point, she's even made Maddie cry, asking her why she did not simply just come into dance class when the mothers were on strike at the studio about their pay wage for their time spent on the show. As if Maddie is to totally disregard her actual mother for her dance mother's wishes. Nowadays, the Zeigler's and the Gisoni's have nothing to do with Abby Lee Miller for financial, legal, and personal reasons and Abby still has no bounds.

Scroll to Continue

She still lets everyone know from time to time that she is still proud of and MADE Maddie, however that she is not happy with the fact that Maddie has not shared her successes or wealth with her. The entitlement of this woman is beyond me! To assume that someone owes you something because you did your job they paid you to do at the time and that she owes you anything after legal battles against them and after all of this time of not speaking. Abby wants full control over anybody or anything that she thinks is going to make her money. THIS was their relationship. I believe Abby did love the girls, but she loved what they could do for her more.

Stranger Than Fiction

Maddie, on the red carpet with Sia, as her performing alter ego.

Maddie, on the red carpet with Sia, as her performing alter ego.

Sia - The Artist to Maddie's Muse

Sia is a singer, songwriter, and music producer and has been in the game for years! Her mental health failed her years back when her ex passed away suddenly in a car accident and from many past traumas she's had to go through. After watching Dance Moms, Sia found Maddie's dancing to be inspirational! So much so, that she decided to make Maddie her muse and her alter ego for ALL of her performances from there on out. In 2014, she released her smash hit, Chandelier, as a singles artist and Maddie played the main character of the video and all of her videos after, as well. This song was HUGE and is actually a really good song, that tells how she felt after her traumas and sobriety issues.

Melissa has stated in interviews and on TV that Sia and Maddie share a close relationship. Very Close! They spend weekends together, even having sleepovers in the same bed. This should be looked at more carefully. Although Maddie is now an adult, their relationship began when she was only 12 years old. If this were a man and a little girl or a man and a little boy, it would be taken much more seriously and the parents of the child would also be looked into. I'm not saying there's something bad happening but I do feel like it's weird for an adult woman to have sleepovers with a child that's not hers, she just met and barely knew in the first place.

With parental permission, Maddie was essentially adopted by Sia and now called her daughter and found or made work for her. Sia began to speak on Maddie's behalf in interviews, a lot of interview time she had would be about Maddie, and Sia has gone on record multiple times to state that she would not even want to work on a project if Maddie was not involved in it. Sia has said that she will protect Maddie at all costs, no matter what. Even from fans.

She has stated that if she "knows" Maddie isn't in the mood for fans, autograph signings, or pictures that she will step in for her and push the fans along or make them go away. At this time, Maddie was almost or already an adult, and should be able to speak for herself. After Maddie had been involved with all of Sia's music videos, Maddie was chosen to be placed in the role of an autistic child in the movie, Music, that Sia produced, directed and wrote the story for. Although an actual autistic child was chosen for the role before, the child could not perform well on camera and gave issues on set due to the struggles of autism. So Maddie was a last resort, forced into the role, really.

Maddie did not initially want the role because she, like others, thought it was not good representation for the autistic community, with someone not having autism placed in a role of someone who did. The movie flopped, of course, and was critically and commercially panned by critics and audiences. There was outrage for Maddie's participation in the role and there was outrage for Sia even making the movie at all. There was also backlash for the portrayal of how to handle an autistic child and what not to do with them when they're having a fit. This was definitely a blemish on Maddie's perfect little record. I think because Sia pushed Maddie into the role, this is another example of a woman, putting her beliefs, views or ideas onto Maddie, her just accepting it. This time to her career's detriment.

My Final Thoughts...

I think Maddie is a product of never having the right to make a decision for herself. Her entire environment has been her saying yes to what others want for her or what they think she wants. They may have her best interest at heart or they may be just thinking of themselves and what her success can bring them. The women in her life definitely have a way of coming off like they're manipulating her into doing things. These women in her life or were in her life seem to have shaped her into not having a backbone or a will of her own. Apparently, she has been conditioned her whole life. In some cases, this is not bad, however, if this is all she's ever known then it could lead to self destructive behavior later on or bad relationships that you don't know how to get out of.

Maddie IS only 19 years old still and has a lot of figuring herself out to do. Her career, her passions, and her social circle are all things that she has time to still think about but if they never give her a chance to, how can she grow into her own person? She has constantly been "adopted" by these obsessive women and her lighthearted mother, Melissa, takes no issue with it because she's conditioned also, and that is part of the problem. It is very weird to me for a celebrity to adopt another celebrity because they saw them in a TV show and just make them theirs. It's possessive and overbearing to even listen to Sia when she talks about Maddie or speaks for her, same with Abby's possessive behavior with the entitlement that she has to her students after they've moved on with their lives. I really hope nothing but the best for Maddie, her career and her life, but I do feel that she needs to step out of the shadows of other people and do her own thing, especially when they're not your manager, your mother, or someone who HONESTLY wants the best for your career. It's crazy how all of the girls on Dance Moms were always in Maddie's shadow and now Maddie is in the shadow of the people who seemingly control her and her business ventures.

I am not saying that these people are absolutely bad for Maddie or accusing them of any wrongdoing, but I'm saying that these kinds of situations need to be looked into. I'm sure, like the other girls, Maddie had therapy after Dance Moms, but I think she may need it again eventually if all she has are either yes men around, cultivating weird relationships with random celebrities, or people who are holding her hand constantly through life and taking her where they want her to go, instead of guiding her with older wisdom and knowledge. Or better yet, let her make her own mistakes and moves in life and her career.

Where You Can Watch...

Where You Can Watch...

  • Sia - Chandelier (Official Video) - YouTube
    Sia's official music video for "Chandelier" Listen to more by Sia: See Maddie's first BIG music video performance as Sia's alter ego in the music video, Chandelier.

Related Articles