Madison "Maddie" Nicole Ziegler (born September 30, 2002) is an American child dancer, actress and model. She is known for appearing in Lifetime's reality show Dance Moms and for starring in music videos of Sia's songs, including "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart", which cumulatively have attracted more than 1.5 billion views on YouTube. Ziegler has also guest-starred on scripted shows and danced on various TV shows, and she has been seen on magazine covers and in feature articles. She models for Capezio, Ralph Lauren and Target, among other brands. Ziegler was named by Time magazine as one of the "30 most influential teens of 2015".
Ziegler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni and Kurt Ziegler, who owned a mortgage company. She is of Polish, German and Italian descent. Her parents divorced in 2011, citing the financial and emotional toll that dance took on the family. She has been an active member of the Abby Lee Dance Company since the age of two. She trains in tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, acro, jazz, and aerial dance. Maddie Ziegler has a younger sister, Mackenzie (b. June 4, 2004), two older half-brothers from her father's previous marriage, and two older step-siblings from her mother's marriage to Greg Gisoni, a Vice President at Westinghouse Electric Company.
Ziegler has won numerous titles at regional, state and national dance competitions, including the 2014 Dancers Choice Award for Favorite Dancer 17 & Under. In 2010, at age 8, Ziegler performed for Paula Abdul's reality television program Live to Dance, but the program was canceled before her performance aired. In 2011, Ziegler's mother earned a role on Lifetime's Dance Moms, a program that documents day-to-day activities of the young dancers on the Abby Lee Dance Company Elite Competition Team and their sometimes quarrelsome mothers. As of 2015, Ziegler continues to appear on the show alongside her mother and younger sister, Mackenzie. In 2013, she made guest appearances on a spin-off program, Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition.
In 2012, Ziegler landed her first professional acting job, portraying the character of Young Deb on an episode of the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva. In 2014, Ziegler appeared as a guest star in Episode 34 of HitStreak Summer, a made-for-mobile series. She continued her acting career in 2015 with guest spots on the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars.
Ziegler has appeared in music videos for artists including Alexx Calise, Sia and Todrick Hall. She gained wider notice, at the age of 11, by starring in the 2014 video for Sia's song "Chandelier", which won the ARIA Music Award for Best Video and received nominations at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Choreography, winning the latter. It was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2015. The video has received more than 1 billion views on YouTube and is the 13th most viewed YouTube video of all time. In January 2015, Ziegler starred with Shia LaBeouf in "Elastic Heart", another Sia video, with more than 450 million YouTube views. The video "courted controversy and plaudits in equal measure", with some commentators perceiving it as having pedophilic undertones due to the relative ages of the dancers. Sia explained that the two dancers represented "warring 'Sia' self states", but she nevertheless apologized on Twitter to those who may have been offended. Later in 2015, Ziegler starred in "Big Girls Cry" to complete her trilogy of Sia videos. After the release of "Chandelier", Ziegler danced to Sia's' vocals on several television shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Saturday Night Live, as well as at the Hollywood Bowl. She also performed "Chandelier", alongside Sia and Kristen Wiig, at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Ziegler has been cast in a forthcoming film, Book of Henry. Sia has written, and plans to direct, a film starring Ziegler, titled Sister.
Ziegler has modeled for such fashion lines as Glitzy Girl, Purple Pixies, Capezio, including their Betsey Johnson line, Target and Ralph Lauren. She has also been featured on numerous magazine covers and in fashion editorials for Kode, Schön! Magazine, Elle, Dance Spirit, Nylon, Vs., Seventeen, Harper's Bazaar, People, Dazed, Cosmopolitan, i-D, Billboard, Teen Vogue, Stella, Maniac, Vanity Fair Italia and Flaunt. At the 2015 New York Fashion Week, she acted as a correspondent for Elle. In 2014, Ziegler and her sister released a fashion line, The Maddie & Mackenzie Collection, through Mod Angel. Ziegler has an active social media presence, with more than 4 million Instagram followers and over 900,000 Twitter followers. Videos of her dancing had been viewed more than 1 billion times on YouTube by May 2015, and by November 2015, she had accumulated more than 1.5 billion views on YouTube.
In 2012, Ziegler, along with her mother and sister, partnered with Starlight Children's Foundation to help raise awareness for chronically ill youth. Ziegler stated that she enjoys dedicating her time to helping other children, and that it is a rewarding experience.
Billboard called Ziegler's work in "Chandelier" "a dazzling dance performance", while The Guardian commented that she "dances with such impressive flexibility". Rolling Stone thought that her "crisp moves and theatrical mugging were a great fit for Ryan Heffington's imaginative choreography" and praised her "charisma that makes this video mesmerizing: Her dancing makes your memory tingle". Dazed magazine said that "Ziegler interprets the song’s lyrics into something that is deranged, isolated, manic and profound." People magazine called her "a super-human graceful alien sent from Planet Talented to make us mere mortals look really clumsy". In 2015, The Huffington Post praised Ziegler's artistry:
Her ... jétés and pirouettes juxtapose self-containment with a sort of reckless abandon. But it is her face ... that truly captivates her audience thanks to the tantalizing allure of catharsis through art. [Ziegler's] work ethic, not to mention her evident love for the art, has made her relentlessly relevant. She has something to say with her performances, whether in a music video for Sia or in a solo at nationals. Her technique is lovely, especially for a 12-year-old. She has stretched knees, pointed feet, and arms that float on clouds, her fingers perfectly placed. But still more important is her virtuosity, her connection with the public. She tells a narrative that resonates with the viewer, whether portraying a scorned lover or a werewolf. This maturity is astounding for a preteen – she just gets it. She's meant to perform, meant to communicate with people. She has defied the odds of Generation Z's competitive, egocentric mentality to make her career about the work, not the celebrity.
Ziegler was named by Time magazine as one of the "30 most influential teens of 2015". She is also on the Harpers Bazaar list of "19 Rising Style Icons Aged 19 and Under" and was nominated for a 2015 People's Choice Award.
|2012||Drop Dead Diva||Young Deb||Guest, Episode "Lady Parts"|
|2015||Austin & Ally||Shelby Hayden||Guest, Episode "Homework and Hidden Talents"|
|2015||Pretty Little Liars||Creepy Dancer||Guest, Episode "She's No Angel"|
|2016||The Book of Henry||Christina||Post-production|
|Year||Series or film||Notes|
|2010||Live to Dance||Episode did not air|
|2013||Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition||Performer, 2 episodes|
|2014||The Ellen DeGeneres Show||Performer, episode 11–160|
|2014||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Performer, episode 12–95|
|2014||Dancing with the Stars||Performer, episode 19–4|
|2014||Good Morning America||Guest, 1 episode|
|2015||Saturday Night Live||Performer, episode 40–11|
|2015||The Ellen DeGeneres Show||Performer, episode 12–93|
|2015||57th Annual Grammy Awards||Performer|
|2015||Dancing with the Stars||Performer, episode 20–9|
|2015||Lucky Thirteen||Performer, short film by i-D|
|2011||"It's Like Summer"||LUX||Supporting|
|"Summer Love Song"||Brooke Hyland||Supporting|
|2014||"It's a Girl Party"||Mack Z||Supporting|
|"Freaks Like Me"||Todrick Hall||Supporting, vocals|
ARIA Music Award for Best Video
MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography
Nom—MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year
Nom—Grammy Award for Best Music Video.
|2015||"Elastic Heart"||Sia||Lead, alongside Shia LaBeouf|
|"Big Girls Cry"||Sia||Lead|
|"Wear Em Out"||Kendall K||Choreography|
|"Dance Moms Season 5 Untitled Music Video"||Dance Moms||Supporting|
Awards and nominations
|2014||Dancers Choice Awards||Favorite Dancer 17 & Under||Won|
|2015||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Dancer||Nominated|
|2015||Dancers Choice Awards||Favorite Dancer 17 & Under||Nominated|
|2016||People's Choice Awards||Seriously Popular Award||Pending|
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