What The Original Cast Of Dance Moms Looks Like Now

Life is often surprising, but Lifetime rarely is — however, the channel outdid itself in 2011 when it debuted a hit reality TV show that would give us Australian pop star Sia's favorite muse — Maddie Ziegler — and one of America's most famous ponytails — Jojo Siwa's. Ziegler, Siwa, and their other castmates inadvertently became part of the pop culture lexicon by way of "Dance Moms," a Lifetime reality show documenting the drama that accompanied the dancers and parents of the Junior Elite Competiton Team at the Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The show aired until 2019, and each episode was just as gripping as the last. America was completely taken with this group of young dancers from the East Coast, and many are just as curious about what the girls, now young women, and their moms are doing today. Here's what the original cast of "Dance Moms" looks like now.

Maddie Ziegler is pursuing an acting career

Maddie Ziegler was the apple of Abby Lee Miller's eye when she starred in "Dance Moms." The dancer was often at the top of the ranking pyramid, given ample solos, and seemingly on the receiving end of Miller's wrath less often than the other girls. Ziegler was a tremendously talented dancer, regularly winning competitions and receiving praise from others in the dance community. Ziegler's career didn't stay within the confines of the dance studio for long. In 2014, Ziegler appeared in Australian singer Sia's music video for the song "Chandelier," and from then on, Ziegler was culturally associated with the singer, which led to further career opportunities for the dancer.

As of 2023, Ziegler has her hand in several different ventures, with a strong focus on acting. "Acting is taking over my world. I love it so much," Ziegler told Cosmopolitan. "I don't know how I'm booking roles because I feel like I'm such a newbie, but I've been working really hard at it." Ziegler nabbed parts in 2021's "The Fallout" and 2023's "Fitting In" among other titles, but perhaps her most notable credit was playing Velma in Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story," which premiered in late 2021.

Mackenzie Ziegler is pursuing a music career

Mackenzie Ziegler was the youngest member of Abby Lee Miller's Junior Elite Competition Team. She danced alongside her older sister for years, and while Miller made it a habit to compare Ziegler to her sister, Ziegler was happy dancing for her own enjoyment rather than to be the best. The former dancer even gained notoriety for a quote of hers expressing that exact sentiment. "All I wanna do is just stay home and eat chips," Ziegler once told the camera.

These days Ziegler does a lot more than stay at home and eat chips (though we would totally understand if that were all she did). The former "Dance Moms" star is a budding musician with multiple songs already out. In 2023, she released her new single "anatomy," a song that she wrote after her therapist suggested she write a letter to her estranged father. "It kind of just felt like a communal therapy session," Ziegler said of writing the song. "We were all just bawling our eyes out, and I was crying so much ... It's nice to just let all of these feelings out and also have other people be able to relate to it," she added.

Chloé Lukasiak is running a dance competition company

While at the Abby Lee Dance Company, Chloé Lukasiak was often pitted against her teammate Maddie Ziegler. Abby Lee Miller was never afraid to share her true opinions of Lukasiak, usually in a public format, and the opinions were rarely positive. Still, Lukasiak worked hard and showcased her skill whenever she had the chance, taking home prizes and earning the respect of other dancers. Since quitting "Dance Moms," Lukasiak has starred in music videos, acted, and published her own book: "Girl on Point: Chloe's Guide to Taking on the World."

In 2023, Lukasiak is taking on a new project: She started Elevé Dance Competition, a company that hosts dance competitions. "I wanted to help create something that was the exact opposite of what I had experienced," Lukasiak wrote of her company. She continued, "I challenged myself to develop something to reignite my love of dance. An opportunity for dancers to learn and grow, practicing as hard as I did, and do it while supporting one another."

Brooke Hyland is influencing

Brooke Hyland was the oldest member of the Abby Lee Dance Company Junior Elite Competition Team. She was known for her high-level acrobatic skills, but she was often called lazy by her dance instructor, who questioned her commitment to the sport. Hyland has since addressed the assumption that she never loved to dance in a YouTube video. "I started dancing when I was two years old and I absolutely loved it," Hyland said. She also shared that by the time "Dance Moms" had started, she was tired of dancing and wanted to pursue other activities that were less time-consuming and that she could do with her friends at school.

These days, Hyland seems to only be pursuing activities that she loves. The former dancer works as an influencer, and she shares footage from her life and travels with her millions of followers across multiple social platforms. Hyland has also shared that she still keeps in touch with her former "Dance Moms" co-stars. "There's not a single one that I don't talk to," she said of her connection with the girls.

Paige Hyland is active on social media

Like Mackenzie Ziegler, Paige Hyland also had an older sister on the Junior Elite Competition Team at the Abby Lee Dance Company. Hyland was best known for her deep friendships with the other girls on the team, and she occasionally rose to the top of the pyramid. Post-"Dance Moms," Hyland explored other creative avenues, including modeling and building a following on her YouTube channel. Hyland hasn't uploaded a video to the platform since late 2015, but she is still active on other social media channels today, including TikTok and Instagram. The former dancer posts videos and photos of her daily life, travels, and friends, and she occasionally posts ads for brands.

Social media isn't the only venture keeping Hyland busy. In 2023, the influencer graduated from West Virginia University. "Country roads will always be home .. thank you [West Virginia University]," Hyland said in an Instagram post upon receiving her degree. Hyland did not specify her area of study, nor did she share her plans for after graduation.

Nia Sioux is acting

While on "Dance Moms," Nia Sioux didn't always get the recognition she deserved, but she did occasionally make it to the top of the pyramid. Sioux also became known for performing the Death Drop, a dance move popularized by drag performers. Since leaving the show, Sioux has attended college at UCLA, grown a following on social media, and pursued acting. Sioux has had roles in movies and television series, including a significant recurring role on "The Bold and the Beautiful."

Like many "Dance Moms" alum, Sioux has spoken out about the toxic environment she experienced while filming the show, particularly at the hands of her former instructor, Abby Lee Miller. "Now that we're adults, we're opening up about it on social media," Sioux told Insider of former castmates' decisions to speak about their time on "Dance Moms." "And it's coming from a place of being grateful for the show but also feeling like we're able to say what we want because we're now old enough to properly realize things, and it's easier to articulate our points now than when we were all, like, 12," she added.

Kendall Vertes is a college cheerleader

Kendall Vertes was another member of the junior competition team at the Abby Lee Dance Company, and her time on the show was marked by lots of tears and often a spot at the bottom of the pyramid. Though Vertes was often upset, she was also unafraid to stand up for herself, sometimes against her mother and other times against her instructor, Abby Lee Miller. While on a podcast in 2023, Vertes opened up about her time on "Dance Moms" and her experience with Miller saying, "They made [Miller] look really nice on TV." Vertes added, "I have nothing but respect for Abby ... but she could have taken things a lot differently when she was coaching eight-year-old children."

Vertes still uses at least some of what she learned under Miller's tutelage. As of 2023, she attends James Madison University, and she's on the school's Dukettes squad. According to the squad's website, Vertes is studying political science with a minor in pre-law. Aside from Nia Sioux who dances at UCLA, Vertes is the only dancer from the original cast of "Dance Moms" who pursued the sport in college. "I think 'Dance Moms' kind of ruined the sport for us," Vertes said.

Melissa Gisoni hosts a podcast with her Dance Moms co-stars

Melissa Gisoni had two girls competing for the Abby Lee Dance Company junior competition team: Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler. Gisoni was known for clashing with the other mothers on the show and being one of the only women to have a good relationship with dance instructor Abby Lee Miller. Since she and her girls stopped filming for "Dance Moms," Gisoni has pursued other career ventures, but she's still focused on supporting Maddie and Mackenzie's careers. Though she does share updates on her own life, much of Gisoni's Instagram page features photos of her children.

Though Gisoni and the other mothers fought far more than the children ever did on "Dance Moms," they bonded through their shared experience, and in 2020, Gisoni, Kelly Hyland, Holly Frazier, and Jill Vertes started a podcast, "Because Mom Said So." As is evidenced on their podcast, the women are supportive of and kind to one another. "We're not competitive at all," Gisoni said of her friend group. "These four women, we're really good, real friends. It's not like Hollywood friends," she added.

Christi Lukasiak is running an Airbnb

Christi Lukasiak was another titular "Dance Mom," and her daughter, Chloé Lukasiak, danced for the Abby Lee Dance Company Junior Elite Competition Team. Christi garnered a reputation for being unafraid to share her opinions with anyone, and she often accused Abby Lee Miller of treating other dancers better than she treated Chloé.

Lukasiak has since leveraged her "Dance Moms" fame to build a career post-Lifetime, and she's her hand in many areas. The former dance mom owns a property in New Orleans called Sinners & Saints that she rents out via Airbnb. She hosts two podcasts, one on her own and one with her friend and former "Dance Moms" co-star Kelly Hyland. Lukasiak also offers online courses to help people in different areas, like transitioning from college to adulthood and money management. "My current mission is to empower the next generation. Think of me as both your cheerleader and coach. Someone who's going to help you set the right goals and achieve them armed with BS-free advice, courses and tools that take the stress out of navigating life," Christi says of her courses.

Kelly Hyland hosts two podcasts

Kelly Hyland was another mother on the "Dance Moms" team, and she was often seen on the show fighting with instructor Abby Lee Miller over what Hyland saw as mistreatment of her daughters, Brooke and Paige Hyland. Their mom had a far more unique relationship with Miller than the other mothers on the show because Miller was also Hyland's dance teacher when she was a kid.

Hyland seems to have put the drama from the show aside, but "Dance Moms" is still a part of her life in various ways. She hosts two podcasts with her former "Dance Moms" co-stars: "Because Mom Said So," which she hosts with Holly Frazier, Jill Vertes, and Melissa Gisoni, and "Back to the Barre with Christi & Kelly," which she hosts with Christi Lukasiak. While the former podcast focuses more on what the women are going through now, the latter is a rewatch podcast about the behind-the-scenes of "Dance Moms." "We could have a three-hour podcast for one episode," Kelly said of the source material she and Lukasiak use for "Back to the Barre."

Holly Frazier is a public speaker

Holly Frazier had a career on "Dance Moms" thanks to her daughter Nia Sioux, a member of the Abby Lee Dance Company Junior Elite Competition Team. Frazier was seen by many viewers as the most rational and measured of the mothers, rarely losing her cool and ensuring all the children were protected from the drama whenever possible. Frazier was also known for her education — while the show was filming, she earned her doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Education is still a major part of Frazier's life but in a different way. "Currently I enjoy my experiences as a public speaker and a podcast co-host," Frazier says on LinkedIn of her present career ventures. "An avid traveler with an adventurous spirit, I love new challenges and the ability to share my journey in an effort to inspire others," she added. Frazier is also involved in her community, namely with the City Theater and the Pittsburgh Film Office.

Jill Vertes is still a dance mom

Jill Vertes joined the cast at the end of the first season of "Dance Moms" when her daughter Kendall Vertes became a member of the Abby Lee Dance Company Junior Elite Competition Team. Like most of the other mothers, Vertes defended her daughter against Abby Lee Miller and frequently fought with her fellow dance moms. The title of dance mom is one that's often worn for decades — Jill still wears it proudly by supporting Kendall, a cheerleader at James Madison University, when she performs.

Despite all the drama that accompanied the show, Jill has no regrets about being on "Dance Moms." "I think we did what we did for our children," Jill said in an interview. "It wasn't really supposed to be about us. It was for the kids." She continued, "All of our girls have become sort of household names. Some are still in L.A., and some are going to college, and some are still dancing, so it's been great for each and every one of them."

Abby Lee Miller hosts a podcast

Of all the "Dance Moms" cast members, the most notorious is Abby Lee Miller. Miller was the owner and lead dance instructor at the Abby Lee Dance Company, and she earned a reputation as a ruthless instructor who produced exceptional dancers. Miller remained on the show after the original cast had left, but once the series wrapped, the dance instructor dealt with a variety of challenges in her personal life. Miller faced some serious health issues, and she went to prison for eight months after being found guilty of fraud. Now Miller, like many former reality stars, has taken to the microphone to share stories from her time on "Dance Moms." In 2023, Miller launched her own podcast, "Leave It On The Dance Floor."

Nearly all the former "Dance Moms" cast members have publicly reprimanded Miller for her behavior during filming, and Miller has shared her disappointment in their words. "Shame on you," Miller said to her former students and parents in an interview with ET. She continued, "After what I did for you, for your children, [I] helped you make a lot of money," adding that none of them visited her while she was in prison. Though Miller does still teach dance lessons via Zoom, in 2023, she sold the studio in Pittsburgh where "Dance Moms" was filmed.