JoJo Siwa misses Dance Moms “every day” — and still has a ton of respect for Abby Lee Miller. The dancer, who is currently participating in Fox’s Celebrity Watch Party and backyard Worldwide Live concerts on YouTube, opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about her bond with her former coach, 54.
“I actually talk to Abby the most out of anybody from the show. She’s great. I think Abby got hurt by a lot of people and it’s really, really, really sad that a lot of the people don’t talk to her anymore,” the Masked Singer alum, 16, said. “The same thing with a lot of the producers from Dance Moms. It’s just sad because Abby really is a good person. Even though you see her yelling and screaming at children on TV, like Abby made seven stars. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for her. Maddie and Mackenzie [Ziegler] wouldn’t be where they are today without Abby.”
In 2013, Siwa was a top 5 finalist on season 2 of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition. She was eliminated during week 9. She reunited with Miller in 2015, joining the cast of Dance Moms for seasons 5 and 6.
In 2017, Miller was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for bankruptcy fraud; she was released after eight months, in March 2018. Shortly after, she underwent back surgery and Us confirmed that she had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In February 2020, the former coach teared up during an appearance on the Dr. Oz Show about still needing a wheelchair and being unable to teach dance.
“Dance Moms would not have been the same without Abby. You either love her or you hate her. That’s just how it works,” Siwa shared with Us. “But for me, I just can’t hate somebody. It’s sad. You don’t need to give her the credit for everything, but you also can be a human and have a little bit of sympathy. She’s gone through it in these last years, and she doesn’t have that many people. It’s just sad. … I try to be there for everybody, you know? There’s enough love!”
With reporting by Brody Brown