Maddie Ziegler
Maddie Ziegler debuts as judge on "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation." Picture:Dancer Maddie Ziegler poses backstage with her award for The Seriously Popular Award during the People's Choice Awards 2016 in Los Angeles.Reuters

Avowed fans of Lifetime's hit TV series "Dance Moms" would say any day that Maddie Ziegler was one of the best dancers on the show. The 13-year-old dance prodigy was hailed by critics as well as fans, who no doubt watched her with enthusiasm when she appeared in a number of Sia's music videos. Now, Maddie has moved on to bigger projects like "The Book of Henry" and "Sisters." Amidst her new found stardom, the question that begs to be asked is this: is she relieved that she's no longer part of "Dance Moms"?

According to Maddie, leaving the Lifetime TV show was one of the most difficult decisions to make. After all, she along with her sister Mackenzie were one of the original cast members. But they realised that time had come to move on. In the dancer's own words, being part of "Dance Moms" became increasingly stressful.

Maddie, who recently appeared on the cover of Seventeen Magazine, said in an interview, "Now I feel like I'm so free."

The "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" judge said that she constantly felt pressured to be the best, mainly because her dance coach, Abby Lee Miller, emphasised on how the rest of the cast members should aim to be like Maddie.

However, there doesn't seem to be any ill-will towards her former dance coach. Maddie said that Abby is fun, enterprising and a skilled actor.

"She is an amazing actor and can do anything. She can be really quirky and she's so funny in the interviews I've seen," Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

Maddie added that although she left "Dance Moms" after its recently aired Season 6, she still likes Abby because the dance coach wanted her to be 'good'.