The 14-year-old and Sia's mentee tells PEOPLE Now she is finished with dance competitions, and she has never seen a full Dance Moms episode
Maddie Ziegler has moved on from dance trophies.
“We lived through it, so I don’t feel like we have to watch it, and it was just so much drama that I don’t want to see it again,” Ziegler says.
In the interview, footage from the Lifetime series shows coach Abby Lee Miller singling out Ziegler among the young dancers.
“I learned a lot of lessons. I had the craziest time when I was with her and on that team,” Ziegler shares about her experience under Miller, who has been battling financial issues. “I’m really glad that I did move on from that, and I did learn a lot from her and we did have some fun times. But I feel like now, I’ve never been happier in my life.”
She says the competition and drama took a toll on her even younger self.
“I was stressed at 11 years old, which shouldn’t happen!” she adds.
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Though she’s no longer chasing dance accolades — “A trophy doesn’t mean anything!” — she says she does keep up in touch with the girls on the show, last catching them at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. And she’s stayed busy, even releasing a book, The Maddie Diaries!
“I’ve always been the type of person who really enjoys writing stories,” Ziegler told PEOPLE of her foray into the literary world. “So when I found out I would be writing books, I was so excited that I got started right away!”