The Stunning Transformation Of Maddie Ziegler

Maddie Ziegler, unlike many of up-and-coming talents in young Hollywood, got her start on a popular reality show. Yes, Ziegler achieved a breakthrough in a way totally unique and all her own by getting her start on the series Dance Moms, which showed off her serious dance skills. And though you may now recognize Ziegler as the star of more than a few Sia music videos, she is more than just a dancer. Not only has she landed roles in films and television, but she has also launched clothing line collaborations and has become a social media influencer.


Yes, the life of Maddie Ziegler is really something to behold. And while she technically first gained fame on Dance Moms, Ziegler can take all the credit for her success herself. As Ziegler, a woman of many talents, has matured over the years, her charm and grace have only multiplied. Here's the stunning transformation of Maddie Ziegler.

Maddie Ziegler started dancing when she was 2

When someone is as much of a talent as Maddie Ziegler is, it's not exactly surprising to learn that they've been doing what they love for years. So it should come as no shock to discover that the award-winning star has been dancing since she was a toddler.


In an interview with Complex, Ziegler explained that she's been a dancer for the majority of her life. "I started dancing when I was two," she explained. "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." Having started when she was 2 years old, it's likely that Ziegler can't even remember a time in her life when she wasn't dancing, and that certainly comes across when she's on stage.

Maddie Ziegler appeared in a show with Paula Abdul that never made it to air

Maddie Ziegler didn't only start dancing when she was young, but she also started to throw her hat in the competition ring early-on as well. Before Ziegler was on Dance Moms, the young star-in-the-making appeared on the reality show Live To Dance, which was hosted by Paula Abdul. The short-lived show was only around for one season, totaling seven episodes, according to IMDb. As seen in a promotional clip for the show, Abdul believed the series to be different than other dance competition shows because "the age demographic for eligibility is so wide open." 


However, the show wasn't Ziegler's big break, like she was presumably hoping it would be. In fact, Ziegler didn't make it far into the show, according to her IMDb page, though she could be seen in promotional videos for the competition, where her facial expressions definitely make it appear as though she was cut early on. Ziegler wasn't the winner of Live to Dance, but that didn't stop her from succeeding in the world of dance.

Maddie Ziegler appeared on Dance Moms in 2011

Most people will remember Maddie Ziegler for her part in Dance Moms, a reality series on TLC that focused on the dancers of the Abby Lee Dance Company — and their moms, of course. The show was full of drama, as well as some pretty uncomfortable moments, as many viewers thought instructor Abby Lee Miller's strategies for teaching young girls to dance bordered on bullying, as noted by International Business Times. However, there was one standout on Dance Moms, and that was Maddie Ziegler. Ziegler was the obvious frontrunner of the series, as Miller made it no secret that she was her favorite.


Back when the show premiered in 2011, Ziegler was only 8 years old, as noted by Woman's Day, and she was seriously adorable. Not only that, but, from the start, it was obvious why the young dancer was the favorite: Her skills and passion on the dance floor were undeniable. Ziegler obviously moved on from Dance Moms as she got older, but, when she was first introduced to the world, she was just a sweet, little girl with moves like no one else.

As Dance Moms gained traction, Maddie Ziegler felt pressure

Because Dance Moms became such a popular reality show after its first season, Maddie Ziegler also became increasingly popular and started to gain some newfound fame. But with all that fame came even more pressure. It was no secret that Ziegler was the star of the Abby Lee Dance Company, but, for a girl her age, it got to be too much.


In a scene from Season 2 of Dance Moms, while performing a solo dance, Ziegler stopped, having forgotten her next move, and she ran off the stage crying. It was a dramatic moment, as she begged someone backstage to let her go again, worried that Abby Lee Miller was "gonna freak out." Fans felt for Ziegler at that moment and it was kind of heartbreaking to see a young girl feeling such immense pressure. However, Miller claimed in her book Everything I Learned About Life, I Learned In Dance Class that Ziegler was set up by producers to fail, as reported by Radar Online. "They set the ball in motion at the beginning of the week so that Maddie didn't have enough studio time to finish learning her solo," she alleged. Whatever happened, the scene proved that young Ziegler was feeling a lot of pressure at that time.


In 2014, Maddie Ziegler got her big break

What made Maddie Ziegler really become a household name was her part in Sia's music video for "Chandelier." In the role, Ziegler danced across the screen and into the hearts of viewers all over the world. The music video was a hit, and a lot of the reason for that was because of Ziegler. She was a magnetic force, but it never would have happened without social media.


As Ziegler explained in an interview with, Sia reached out to her over Twitter. "She tweeted me and asked me to be in her music video for her new song and I thought it was fake at first because not a typical person just tweets you — like a celebrity," she said. "I didn't even know she was making a video — there was no audition, no anything. It was just a direct message from Twitter." From that one message, a star was born, as Ziegler went on to star in many more projects with Sia, such as the "Elastic Heart" music video and the artist's project Music

In 2016, Maddie Ziegler said goodbye to Dance Moms

Maddie Ziegler became a weekly fixture on people's television screens during her time on Dance Moms, but, in 2016, it was time for her to say goodbye to the show that launched her career. At the 2016 Kid's Choice Awards, Ziegler told Hollywood Life, "I am leaving, but it'll be a good thing because we're moving on to cool things."


Then, in an interview with Seventeen, Ziegler went on to explain that her choice to leave the show wasn't an easy one to make. "Leaving Dance Moms was a hard decision to make, but it was getting too stressful," she said. "Now, I feel like I'm so free." Ziegler added that, while she appreciated the teaching from Abby Lee Miller, she didn't appreciate the stress that came with the show. "I feel like I had so much more pressure on me to be the best in the room," she explained. 

Dance Moms might have been great for Ziegler when it first started, but, with her newfound fame, it all got to be too much. Fortunately for her fans, she wasn't lying when she said she was moving "on to cool things."

Maddie Ziegler went on tour with Sia in 2016

After leaving Dance Moms, Maddie Ziegler didn't stop hustling. On the contrary, the dancer actually went on tour with Sia, who she had formed a close relationship with at that point. In an interview with People about her time touring with the singer, Ziegler explained, "I've actually lived with [Sia] this year more than I have with my actual family, so it's fun." Ziegler also referred to Sia as a "second mom," proving they have a special bond that goes beyond music. As close as they are, though, their connection on stage is what landed them rave reviews for their tour.


According to a Billboard review of Sia's show with Ziegler, things wouldn't have been the same without the young dancer. "Maddie's presence adds a mischievous energy, as if replicated movements can't capture the heart behind those wide eyes and deranged smiles," Billboard reported. Though some might say that Sia ignited Ziegler's career, it's clear Sia's shows (and music videos) wouldn't have been the same without the talented teen.

In 2016, Maddie Ziegler started voice acting

Throughout her young life, Maddie Ziegler has been able to explore a lot of different career paths and business ventures since gaining fame as a dancer. And in 2016, Ziegler got a unique opportunity to try voice acting in the animated film Leap!, and she really enjoyed it.


Leap! tells the tale of an orphan who wants to become a ballerina in Paris, and Ziegler really resonated with the message of the film. "I think what's really inspiring about this whole film is that it's OK if you're different, and it's OK if you're not perfect like maybe all the other people in your group," she told USA Today in an interview. "So it's good to be yourself and to try new things." Just like the characters in Leap!, Ziegler hasn't been afraid to try things out of her wheelhouse, as she's proven time and time again.

Maddie Ziegler found love

As hard as it is to imagine, Maddie Ziegler has grown up a lot since her Dance Moms days. She proved that in 2017 when she posted pictures with her first public boyfriend, Jack Kelly. As E! News reported, the two were all over each other's social media profiles, and Ziegler made it clear that she loved Kelly, captioning one post, "Happy with you all the time !!! I love and miss you so much already. Time will fly by soon, I promise."


However, the two weren't meant to last, and, according to an anonymous source who spoke to The Advertiser, they ended things in 2018. "They still talk and there has not been a defining reason behind it, just that it's becoming more difficult to maintain the relationship between the distance and both their schedules," the source explained. Ziegler and Kelly might not have lasted, but, when fans saw them together, it was yet another reminder that the little girl they met on Dance Moms had matured.

Maddie Ziegler became a best-selling author

As if touring with international pop star Sia wasn't time-consuming enough, Maddie Ziegler also took the time to author the book The Maddie Diaries, a memoir about her life. In 2017, the book became a New York Times bestseller, something Ziegler celebrated on social media. "Thanks to ALL my fans for making this happen," she tweeted. Ziegler's book was important for her to put out there because it was her first chance to tell her story in her own words and not let her appearance on Dance Moms or in Sia music videos do it for her.


"I may be only 14, but there are so many things I love and care about, and so many other sides of who I am," she told Entertainment Tonight in an interview. "I want people to know the real me. The silly stuff, the serious stuff, and everything in between." When the book came out, it was a huge hit, and it proved that there was more to Ziegler than meets the eye.

Maddie Ziegler's acting career really blossomed

As Maddie Ziegler grew up, she took on more and more acting roles. She had a role in the 2017 film The Book of Henry, in which she played a young girl named Christina who is being abused by her stepfather. Ziegler did such a great job in the role that the movie really wouldn't have been as powerful of a film without her, or her passionate and powerful dancing. 


Director Colin Trevorrow told People, "Maddie's character is in an emotional prison and she ultimately had to take control of her own story and she does it through dance." Because it's such a highly emotional role, he noted that Ziegler was the only one who could "emote through her body, and emote through her art, in the way that she does in the end of this movie." In fact, the film's climax was centered on Ziegler's dancing.

Maddie Ziegler started seeing herself as a role model

Maddie Ziegler is wise beyond her years, and, after living so much of her life on-camera for Dance Moms and presumably learning tips and tricks from some of the greats in the entertainment industry, Ziegler still seems to have a great head on her shoulders. That's not an easy feat for those who grow up in the business! In fact, the starlet considers it a great privilege to be a role model for younger girls, and she takes it very seriously.


"Being a role model is the best part of what I do, only because I wouldn't be here without the people who have supported me," she said in a May 2018 interview with Yahoo! Lifestyle. "It's really amazing and inspiring that people think of me as a role model." Still, there are days when Ziegler wonders, "Why me?" as she told Yahoo! Lifestyle, proving once again that she is nothing if not humble.

Maddie Ziegler explored her business side

In 2019, Maddie Ziegler got to use her creativity for something beyond dancing and acting. Of course, performing is still important to Ziegler, but, when actress Kate Hudson reached out to her to have her collaborate on a fitness apparel collection for her company Fabletics, Ziegler couldn't say no.


In an interview with Us Weekly, Ziegler explained how much fun it was to dip her toes into the fashion and business worlds. "Kate and Fabletics have already designed amazing things for Fabletics in the past, so I kind of took their pieces and put my own spin on it," she said. "I love color and I kind of wanted to bring my own personality to the clothes and that's basically what this is." 

As someone who has lived most of her life in the spotlight, Ziegler knows what it's like to feel insecure, which is why she also took the time to ensure her Fabletics collection was comfortable and flattering, as she told Us Weekly.

Maddie Ziegler was cast Steven Spielberg's West Side Story

Maddie Ziegler may be a household name already, but she's only getting more and more famous. In fact, some might even argue that her career is only just starting to take off. But one of her biggest crowning achievements was getting cast as Velma in Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story, as reported by Playbill. It's clear this was a huge moment for her, as it probably would be for just about anyone else.


"It was honestly one of the best experiences I've ever had," Ziegler told Entertainment Tonight. "To work with Steven Spielberg was a pretty life-changing thing, so I'm just really grateful for that." Ziegler added that she was proud of the movie and that the crew "stayed really true to the value of the first movie." Being in a Spielberg movie is a huge leap in the right direction for Ziegler, and, no matter what, the project likely taught her a lot of valuable lessons in the entertainment industry — not that she needs any help breaking into that field!