Maddie Ziegler first became famous for her role in reality TV show Dance Moms when she was only 8-years-old. Since those early days when she taking part in competitions under the tutelage of dance instructor Abby Lee Miller, Ziegler has reached new levels of fame. While her career may have its roots in the show, the 15-year old has also gone on a tour with international pop star Sia as one of her onstage dancers. But, apart from dancing, Maddie is an actress, model, and author as well. The multi-talented young lady is sure to become a huge star in her own right.
Born in 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Madison Nicole Ziegler has a younger sister (who also appeared on Dance Moms), two older half-brothers, and two older step-siblings. She’s been dancing practically since the day she learned to walk. Maddie got her big break on Abby’s show, her dancing skills caught Sia’s eye, and the rest is history. Still, there are a lot of things about the talented youngster you may or may not know. Here are a few facts about Maddie, courtesy of Ranker.
1. She’s best friends with Millie Bobby Brown
Like calls to like, so obviously two talented girls would end up being besties. Ziegler and Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown met as a result of their mutual admiration for each other. Brown lovedDance Moms so much that she got an invitation to come on set during the filming of So You Think You Can Dance. It was the season when Ziegler was one of the judges; the two of them instantly clicked and have since developed a strong friendship.
“She always tries to mimic all of my competition dances,” Ziegler lovingly said of Brown. “Then we just kept talking and became best friends,” she told People.
2. She starred alongside Naomi Watts in a movie
Apart from dancing, Ziegler also loves acting. In 2017, she took part in drama film The Book of Henry, alongside young talents Jaeden Lieberher and Jacob Tremblay, and Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts. Her performance really impressed Watts; the Hollywood superstar told ET:
“My son does tap dance and he was wanting to quit and feeling like he just didn’t wanna do it anymore. And I asked [Maddie] to send a message to him. So I videotaped her and she said, ‘Kai, don’t quit. You’ve got to give it your all.'”
3. She thought she was a background dancer when she came to work with Sia
When Sia asked Ziegler to be in her “Chandelier” music video, the young dancer had no real idea of what she was getting into. “I just knew some of her songs and I thought I was going to be, like, a background dancer with some other people,” she told New York Magazine. She ended up being the star of the video signifying the beginning of a successful collaboration with the Australian singer.
4. From the very beginning she was the best dancer on Dance Moms
Ziegler started dancing at the age of two, and when she was four she joined Abby Lee’s dance company. This, of course, led to her and her family taking part in Dance Moms. The show was full of amazing dancers, but very quickly Ziegler rose to the top. She became something of Abby’s favorites, often being on the receiving end of compliments by the otherwise very strict dance instructor.
5. She’s never seen an episode of Dance Moms
Most people find it very uncomfortable to watch themselves on TV, even if it’s on home videos. Dance Moms was a very intense show full of drama, that apparently doesn’t lend itself to easy watching once you’ve been a part of it. “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 told People. Her time on the show was very stressful, according to the same interview, and she felt no desire to relive those experiences.
6. Ziegler loves Christmas and decorates her room very elaborately
She’s achieved success at a very young age, but she’s still just a kid. Ziegler adores Christmas, just like all kids do! This year, she finished the decoration of her room long before Thanksgiving! Her bedroom looks simply stunning with holiday-themed throw pillows, a faux fur throw, and an impressive Christmas tree. It’s a true testament to her impeccable taste.
7. She’s been dancing since she was two
All extremely successful individuals seem to share a similar story: they started practicing their talents from a very early age. Ziegler is no exception: she started dancing when she was only two years old – even before she came on Dance Moms. In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Ziegler said, “I started dancing when I was two. I went to the ballet studio for like a year and I actually wanted to do hip-hop so I went to try it out, but I ended up doing a lot of tap, ballet and jazz.”
8. She is already campaigning for multiple brands
Ziegler is still only 15 years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from landing several important endorsement deals. She has been in ads for Clean & Clear skincare products, the Ralph Lauren brand, and Target stores. What’s more, Maddie has been on the cover of magazines such as Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, Dance Spirit, and others. Besides being a model for other famous brands, she has also launched one of her own; in 2016, she created her own line of girl’s clothing that is “a little tomboy” and “a little girly.”
9. She’s dating an Australian Instagram star
Maddie has been dating Australian Instagram star Jack Kelly since October 2016. They’re just teenagers, but even if their relationship is long-distance for the most part, it seems it’s very stable and mature. They’re both public figures so their romance may be somewhat in the public eye, but that hasn’t proved to be an obstacle for them either. Social media plays an important role when you’re in a relationship like this, and they often offer each other support via this medium. On Maddie’s fifteenth birthday, Kelly posted, “Your [sic] the most special person to me in the world and would do absolutely anything for you. Love you endlessly.” So sweet!
10. She had to punch Shia LaBeouf… and she didn’t like it
While there are sure people who would love to punch Shia LeBeouf in the face, Ziegler was not one of them. She had to do it while filming Sia’s video for “Elastic Heart” but the young star certainly did not enjoy hurting the actor. She told Elle:
“I know what the hardest part for me was. You couldn’t really see what I did, but I slapped him in the face. I bit his hand. And I punched him. And I was super scared because I don’t want to punch someone – I’m a girl! – and I don’t want to do that to a grown man. I was like, ‘I can’t do this!’ And he was like, ‘Punch me. Go ahead. Go ahead.’ I was doing it really soft and he was like, ‘No. You have to punch me hard.’ He wouldn’t move on until I really punched him hard. I was so scared, but I went ahead and punched him really hard.”
11. She does a lot of charity work
Ziegler is an extremely kind soul who loves lending her aid wherever she can. Her philanthropic side has led her to doing a lot of charity work, especially helping homeless children with Do Something, and supporting cancer victims with Dancer Against Cancer. In an interview with People, she confessed, “I’m so inspired by all of the girls I met because they are so strong and they’re incredible dancers. It’s really amazing that they’re fighting, that they’re so strong and they love dance. It’s dancers supporting other dancers.”
12. She is Zac Efron’s biggest fan
All girls have crushes on one celebrity or another, and Ziegler is no exception. She harbors the biggest crush ever on Zac Efron! She’s been a fan of the actor for a long time, but perhaps Zac’s got an even bigger fan in Maddie’s mom! When Efron was on stage at the Teen Choice Awards, her mom “Take your shirt off!” Ziegler retold the embarrassing story, saying, “I literally sunk in my chair and I was like, ‘I do not know her.’ All my friends were around too, so it was super awkward.” But her mom had a simple explanation for the outburst: “I couldn’t control it! It just came out.” Fair enough!