If you watched Dance Moms even one time, you know Abby Lee Miller has a rather...interesting (and by that I mean absolutely complicated) relationship with the girls she teaches. In addition to coaching, Abby Lee would often belittle her dancers and make them feel bad to the point where they'd end up in literal tears, but I digress. Despite that, Abby Lee talks about them in a group chat sometimes—including alum Kenzie Ziegler.
TikTokRoom was able to obtain some screen grabs of messages that Abby sent to a Dance Moms group chat, where she made some uncalled for comments about Kenzie's stint on Dancing With the Stars Juniors back in 2018. (FYI, Kenzie finished the show in second place and signed onto the show as a celeb because she has no experience in professional ballroom dancing, though Abby Lee couldn't seem to understand that.)
"Why would an amazing dancer be an amateur on a talent competition with children who never danced? Can anyone answer that?" Abby asked the group chat, later adding, "I'm guessing you all would have rather there had never been a TV show called Dance Moms!"
The 17-year-old professional dancer and actress took to social media on Tuesday, August 4, to address resurfaced posts that she described as "ignorant and racially insensitive."
"There are a few videos some of you have seen from when I was about 9 years old where I thought it was funny to mock people and accents," Maddie began her caption. "I'm honestly ashamed, and I'm truly sorry for my actions. The decisions I made then are absolutely not decisions I would make today."
"What I thought was silly humor when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive. We have all made mistakes in our lives and as we grow up we educate ourselves and learn to be better people," she continued.
The former Dance Moms star explained that "growing up in the public eye has its challenges," however, she's said she's committed to setting a "good example" for her followers.
"I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realize I have in fact grown up and would never act this way now," she expressed.
The teenage star also asked that her fans lead with positivity instead of hate towards each other.
"I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology, but I want to ask all of you to please be kind to each other on socials," she said. "There is no need to attack each other or try to defend me. I don't want anyone to feel bullied and think we can all learn from my mistakes and spread love during these times when we need it most."
Maddie isn't the only one to issue an apology over resurfaced posts. Her younger sister, Mackenzie Ziegler, went on Instagram Live earlier this week and told her fans she was sorry for her past behavior.
"I'm much more educated now than I was before, and I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry that I offended the Black community, I would never treat you like that now," she said, holding back the tears, in footage captured by TikTok Room. "And if you guys don't forgive me, I completely understand."
According to TikTok Room, Kenzie first apologized in early July on Instagram Stories for allegedly saying racial slurs. However, it's unclear what term(s) she was accused of mentioning in the past.
"I am sorry for my actions in the past. I am sorry if I offended anyone. That was not my intention. I am NOT a racist. I do not stand for racism," her message read. "I'm sorry if you all misunderstood me. I'm trying my best."
"I love you all so very much and I hope you can understand. And I fully take responsibility for my actions," she closed.
In a following Instagram Story, Kenzie clarified that she didn't use a racial slur.
"AND NO I DO NOT SAY THAT WORD. But I apologize for laughing. It was dumb and I learned from it. It was not funny. I was uncomfortable so I laughed. But that still doesn't make up for what I did. I'm sorry," she said.
Was that shade? Dance Moms alum Mackenzie Ziegler seemingly criticized her former coach, Abby Lee Miller, and the way the reality star educated her students on August 8 during a TikTok video.
“Think you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms,” read the caption over the 16-year-old’s video in which she made a few funny faces at the camera while “Bulletproof” by La Roux played in the background. The format of the video, using multicolored lighting and the popular track to frame not-so-good instances in one’s life, is a current TikTok trend.
This isn’t the first time Mackenzie and Abby, 54, have thrown shade at each other. During a recent episode of the dance coach’s internet talk show, “Ask Abby,” Abby threw a dig at the former ALDC dancer’s singing career.
“Well, she’s not a dancer, remember?” she said in reference to Mackenzie’s stint on Dancing With the Stars Junior in 2018. The starlet entered the dance competition as a “celebrity” rather than a dance pro because she had no experience in ballroom dancing — and walked away with second place honors that season.
Kenzie’s response proved she was unbothered by the focus from Abby. “Love when people can’t keep my name out of their mouth just to stay relevant,” she wrote on Instagram. However, it seemed the choreographer couldn’t let things settle because Instagram page @thetiktokroom shared screenshots from an alleged group DM between the reality star and several Dance Moms fan accounts.
“Why would an amazing dancer be an amateur on a talent competition with children who never danced? Can anyone answer that?” Abby allegedly said, according to the screenshots. “She should’ve been a pro! Well, she actually is a pro, right?”
One of the fan accounts then shared some of the conversation with Kenzie herself, who allegedly replied, “Oh my God, why is an old woman jealous of a 16-year-old,” according to the screenshots.
Mackenzie, along with older sister Maddie Ziegler, appeared on six seasons of the dance reality series beginning in 2011. Their last episode on the show aired in May 2016. As for what she’s up to now, Mackenzie released her latest single, “Exhale” featuring Sia, in June 2020.
Abby Lee Miller is giving a shout out to the first responders who helped her out in a scary situation. The Dance Moms star revealed on Instagram that she was involved in a “crazy” accident over the weekend of August 8-9, but say the firefighters and paramedics who responded to the incident helped make sure everything was OK.
Miller’s accident came as some of her former students have taken to social media to air their grievances with their tough-as-nails teacher.
In an August 8 TikTok video, Mackenzie Ziegler appeared to shade Miller. “Think you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms,” the 16-year-old captioned one of her videos, Life & Style reported.
Ziegler’s sharp comments about her time on the dance-focused reality show didn’t come out of nowhere. Recently, some messages Miller supposedly sent to a Dance Moms group chat were leaked. In them, Miller seemed to slam Ziegler’s 2018 performance on Dancing With the Stars Juniors, Cosmopolitan reported.
“Why would an amazing dancer be an amateur on a talent competition with children who never danced? Can anyone answer that?” Miller wrote. Ziegler competed on the show as celeb, rather than as a pro dancer because she didn’t have ballroom dancing experience.
That’s not the only time in recent months Miller has been criticized by those who appeared on her show. In June, she came under fire after a former Dance Moms cast member accused her of making racially insensitive remarks. Soon after, Lifetime announced it would not air Miller’s new show, Abby’s Virtual Dance Off.
IDK why it seems like there’s new drama each month between Dance Moms stars and their former coach Abby Lee Miller, but here we are again with another installment in this never-ending saga! This time, Miller isn’t getting called out for her past racist remarks (which I guess is an improvement?)—instead, the show’s alumnae are TikToking about how traumatizing it was to film Dance Moms to begin with.
If you’ve scrolled through TikTok recently, you’ve probably seen the new “bulletproof” meme at least once. If not, I gotchu: In the meme, people share a selfie video with the La Roux song playing in the background. The user then writes, “You think you can hurt my feelings?” and talks about something difficult that has toughened them up.
JoJo Siwa was the first to share her experience and wrote, “You think you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms.” Poor JoJo explained that she was made fun of for her hairline, was called a toddler, and was a meme of the month at one point.
Fellow show alumna Chloe Lukasiak joined in, writing in the caption of her video that her “experience was so traumatizing I don’t remember those 4 years…it’s an actual coping mechanism!”
Brooke Hyland and Kenzie Ziegler had a scaled-back approach with their takes and didn’t add any additional info or context.
Nia Sioux also posted and added a very forward caption to her video: “And that’s on being bullied by the biggest bully in America lmao.” Oof.
Miller recently came under fire for making fun of Kenzie’s budding singing career and time on Dancing With the Stars Junior. Miller didn’t respond any further to the drama then, so we’ll just have to wait and see if she does now. 🤷