For dance wunderkind Maddie Ziegler, being in Sia's trilogy of music videos could have been a conflict for her Dance Moms competition schedule. But her dance teacher and manager Abby Lee Miller is happy for Maddie and her success outside of Dance Moms . It's no secret that Maddie is Abby's favorite student, so she could have felt slighted by Maddie's involvement in other projects. Yet, since Abby is Maddie's manager, Maddie's success equals Abby's success. And, since Abby has no apparent lack of confidence, she does take some credit for Maddie becoming a mega star.
During the June 23 episode of Dance Moms, "West Coast Strikes Back," Maddie discussed that people may think it's weird that she's still a part of the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) after finding international success with Sia, but she loves her team. Even with starring in three of Sia's music videos, being a New York Fashion Week correspondent for Elle.com, getting a guest spot on Season 6 of Pretty Little Liars, and dancing at the Grammys with Kristen Wiig, the 12-year-old still has time to rock the dance competition world for Abby's ALDC, so, honestly, why wouldn't Abby be proud of her?
Abby is active on social media and often retweets fans' comments about her dancers and replies to questions. When one fan asked Abby her opinion on Sia and Maddie's collaborative music videos, Abby (unsurprisingly) was supportive, but also took some credit.
Maddie's talent stands all on its own, but Abby does have a right to feel like she contributed to Maddie's success. Maddie has been on Dance Moms since she was 8-years-old and without the ALDC and Dance Moms, Maddie wouldn't have become famous to a larger audience of Lifetime viewers that just can't help but watch young, talented girls dance their hearts out while their moms and their teacher yell a bunch.
When the ALDC went to Australia earlier in Season 5, Abby posted on Instagram videos of dancers Mackenzie, Kendall, Kalani, and — of course — Maddie, talking about how much they owed Abby in an effort to promote Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition in Australia.
The videos were clearly scripted and many people commented that Abby made Maddie and the other girls say those complimentary things about Abby. In her video, Maddie said, "If it wasn't for my teacher Abby, I wouldn't be on Dance Moms getting recognized by Sia, let alone performing at the Grammys. She's my friend, she's my buddy, and she wants the best for me — and for you."
And, though I would be zero percent surprised to learn that Abby encouraged Maddie to say those things, Abby has always been championing success for Maddie. Even before Maddie worked with Sia, Abby was always saying that Maddie was the strongest and most hardworking dancer in her company, so these two go way back.
Although Abby Lee's behavior turns off a lot of people, it's believable that Maddie would be grateful to her teacher for getting her such great opportunities — and that Abby would not only be proud of Maddie, but proud of herself for being one of the first people to discover Maddie's talent and help her achieve success. While we'll never know if Maddie could have been successful sans Abby, I'm glad Abby is supportive of her star dancer — even if it means she takes partial credit for it.