Maddie Ziegler is on the cover of Cosmo

Maddie Ziegler is doing great things. The Dance Moms star is on the cover of this month’s Cosmopolitan Magazine.

This is what Maddie had to say:

When did you realize you were well known?

I was 8 and we were in an ice cream store, me and the girls from Dance Moms, and people were calling our names. We were weirded out, like, “How do they know our names?” Then I noticed it gradually—everywhere we went, at any dance competition—swarms of people. It didn’t make me excited. In a way, I was kind of embarrassed.

How did you cope with that kind of attention, especially at that age? Because you were little!

I felt like, I hope the teachers are taking me seriously, because all these girls are asking me for photos and I’m here to work. It was really hard for me to set the two worlds apart because I absolutely adored when people would come up to me and say they started dancing because of me. The fact that they even cared about me was so cool, but at the same time, I’m like, “Oh, I’m also here to try and win a scholarship.”

How did what aired on the show compare to what it was actually like in real life?

People thought I was a brat because in all my interviews, I would say, “I’m the best. I know I’m going to win.” But that’s because the producer was telling me to say that. I don’t think I’m better than everyone else. I was just doing whatever they told me to do because I thought that’s what you did. They set you up for failure.

I had more stress at that age than I did once I left. 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.

Can you share an example?

The pressure of being known as, “Oh, she’s the girl that always wins,” then to not win or to have another girl beat me was the end of the world. Because that’s what I was taught: to not win or to have another girl beat me was the end of the world. My dance teacher taught that if you don’t get the trophy, if you don’t get the crown, you are less than, which is the worst way to train a kid. It carries into other life lessons. We also weren’t allowed to watch our competitors or be friends with them. I’ve had to unlearn a lot of those things.

Have you watched the series as an adult?



I did watch a little bit of an episode from the very beginning to show my boyfriend because I was like, “You cannot watch this, but I’ll show you what I looked like.” And we both were like, “This is sad. We need to turn this off.”

It is wonderful to see Maddie on the cover of Cosmo.

Always and forever,
Summer Parker

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