The Truth About Maddie Ziegler's Relationship With Her Sister

Maddie Ziegler shot to fame at the young age of 8 when she first appeared on our screens in Lifetime's Dance Moms. Thanks to her dance skills, Maddie was already dance teacher Abby Lee Miller's favorite student when the show began. When Maddie starred in Sia's viral video for "Chandelier," Maddie's fame became even more widespread, as noted by Women's Day. But Maddie isn't the only Ziegler girl with a talent for dance and a promising career ahead of her. Maddie's sister Mackenzie, although slightly less known, was a prominent figure on Dance Moms, and, since leaving the show, she has forged a career in music and acting (via BBC News).

The most amazing thing about the Ziegler girls is that, despite the hugely competitive dance culture in which they grew up, the pair have remained unflinchingly close and supportive throughout the years. Interested in finding out more about their special relationship? Here is the truth about Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler's relationship.

Maddie Ziegler feels she and her sister missed out on their childhood because of Dance Moms... but it made them closer

When Dance Moms started filming, Maddie Ziegler was 8 years old and her sister Mackenzie Ziegler was 6. Discussing how young they were, Maddie confessed to Maddie Orlando on the podcast The Sister Diary, "I feel like ... it should be illegal to have a kid that young on a reality show." Maddie said that she felt like she and Mackenzie had both missed out on a normal childhood. 

In her book Kenzie's Rules for Life: How to be Happy, Healthy and Dance to Your Own Beat, Mackenzie also spoke out about having to grow up too fast. "I started to regret not being a 'real kid' with a real life," she said, as reported by Life & Style. "I felt like I had no childhood, and it made me sad and angry," she explained.

Despite missing out on their childhood, Maddie is happy that Mackenzie was there with her since the beginning. In her book, The Maddie Diariesshe wrote, "I can't imagine going through everything I've been through these past several years without [Mackenzie] there on the journey with me — even if she bugged me sometimes." It's clear that the pair went through a lot growing up, but at least they had someone by their side!

Maddie Ziegler and her sister were homeschooled, which made them fight as kids

Not only were the girls put on national TV with the show Dance Moms, but they were also taken out of regular schooling by their mother, Melissa Gisoni. In 2013, Gisoni hired a tutor to homeschool her daughters. In a clip from Dance Moms, Gisoni explained why she chose to take her daughters out of school: "It's the best thing for us. They have more time to dance. I'm happy, my girls are happy, and Abby [Lee Miller] is most certainly happy." It's pretty clear that dance was the single most important thing for the Ziegler sisters growing up. 

Apparently, the transition to homeschooling wasn't easy at first. "It sometimes gets annoying, obviously, because I'm with my sister...[and] we don't have any friends there," Mackenzie Ziegler said to Today. It seems that the sisters actually fought fairly often as kids, as Maddie Ziegler told The Project (via Newshub). Despite their constant bickering while being homeschooled, after some time apart, the sisters came to realize that their bond really is special. As Maddie wrote in The Maddie Diaries, time apart made them realize they "really, truly missed each other." 

Maddie Ziegler and her sister took their own career paths, but continued to support each other

After spending five years in the public eye on Dance Moms, the Ziegler girls left the show to pursue new opportunities in 2016, according to Entertainment Tonight. At that point in their lives, Maddie Ziegler and sister Mackenzie Ziegler's lives and careers started to diverge. For Maddie, the plan was to pursue acting, as she told ET. For Mackenzie, the departure from Dance Moms meant a new focus on her singing career. She told Access Hollywood (via Life & Style), "I'm really excited because I started to write my own music now, which is awesome."

Despite following different paths, the sisters have always stayed super supportive of each other's careers. For instance, Maddie plugged her sister's new book on Instagram, and posted a lovely shoutout for Mackenzie's 2018 album on her Facebook page, saying her was "so proud" of her sister. And Mackenzie has often gushed about Maddie's career, too. In 2016, she told Hollywood Wire, "She's a big inspiration to me and I look up to her. She's just an amazing dancer." Seems like these young women always have each other's backs.

After Maddie Ziegler worked with Sia, she introduced the singer to her sister

Maddie Ziegler's rapid rise to international stardom is often linked to her appearance in the viral video for Sia's song "Chandelier." As of 2020, the video has received over 2 billion views, and Maddie has gone on to star in more of Sia's videos, including "Elastic Heart" and "Cheap Thrills." Notably, Sia has become a mentor for Maddie over the years, helping her through her teenage insecurities, as noted by Vulture.

What many people don't realize is that Maddie's sister Mackenzie Ziegler also developed a wonderful professional and personal relationship with Sia. In 2018, Mackenzie released a single, "Wonderful," written by Sia. In 2020, Mackenzie and Sia teamed up to release the song "Exhale" together. Mackenzie gushed about Sia to People, "She is so encouraging and so humble, and if I am stressing out about something, she's just like, 'Don't stress, just have fun.'" Sounds like Maddie and Mackenzie have found an amazing role model and mentor in Sia!

In 2018, Maddie Ziegler supported her sister on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors

In 2018, Mackenzie Ziegler was one of the contestants on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors, and, in one episode, sister Maddie Ziegler made a surprise appearance, joining Mackenzie on stage to dance to Sia's "Cheap Thrills." The audience was thrilled to see the sisters reunited in their first dance together since leaving Dance Moms, as noted by Teen Vogue.

In addition to the pair's impeccable routine, we also got a glimpse into the rehearsal process for the dance. In a clip of the show, Mackenzie explained that she chose Maddie's favorite song "to give thanks to her." In a tearful conversation between the two girls, Mackenzie confessed, "I don't think I would be on this show if you weren't in my life." She went on to explain that she struggled with people putting her down as a child, which took a toll on her self-esteem. Apparently, Maddie helped Mackenzie get through this. Talking about Mackenzie's dancing and her self-confidence on the show, Maddie said, "It's so cool to see her shine." 

It's amazing to see how much these two sisters support each other in their competitive industry.

Mackenzie and Maddie Ziegler went on tour and gave dance classes to their fans

Even though the Ziegler sisters have been pursuing their own paths since they stepped back from Dance Moms, with Maddie Ziegler focusing on acting (via Life & Style) and Mackenzie Ziegler focusing on singing and touring with the band PrettyMuch (via Variety), the pair found time to reunite for a quick dance masterclass tour of the UK. The tour was announced on Mackenzie's Instagram, in a video showing the smiling pair. Mackenzie said that they were "so excited" to be heading to the UK together.

Mackenzie vlogged some of the duo's experience on tour together. In the video, we can see the pair goofing around behind the scenes and bickering like, well, sisters! When the jet lag kicked in, we even caught a glimpse of Mackenzie dozing on Maddie's shoulder — so adorable! At the end of the video, Maddie signed off for her sibling, who was apparently "too lazy" to do so herself. Clearly the pair don't mind doing little favors for one another and teasing each other while they're at it.

Maddie Ziegler and sister Mackenzie have a goofy and caring relationship

Despite their international fame and their burgeoning careers, the two sisters still find time to just hang out at home and goof around. In April 2017, the sisters did an Instagram live stream. In the video, Maddie Ziegler did Mackenzie's makeup for her. So cute!

In April 2019, the pair gave us another inside glimpse into their at-home relationship with an Instagram live stream. The sisters played with their dog and answered viewers' questions while rolling around on the bed and play fighting like little kids. At one point, Mackenzie gushed, "Maddie, you're such a good sissy." Maddie jokingly replied, "I know — I don't get enough credit for it!" The pair then danced around and sang together. Towards the end of the video, the sisters cuddled up, and Maddie kissed Mackenzie's forehead. Talk about some cute Ziegler sister moments!

Maddie Ziegler wrote a tell-all book and let sister Mackenzie Ziegler write a section

Maddie Ziegler released The Maddie Diaries: My Story in 2017. The book quickly became a bestseller. But like a truly good sister, Maddie didn't save all the fame for herself. She actually let sister Mackenzie Ziegler write a section of the book, which was called "Kenzie: A Few Things You Should Know About Maddie," and it was all about how Mackenzie sees her big sister. She explained that Maddie is a "really hard worker" and "pushes [her] in a good way."

She added, "The best part of being Maddie's sister is I always have her. It's like I'm never alone, because she's there and we have each other to hang out with. A sister is like a friend you can't get rid of!" We absolutely love that Maddie wanted Mackenzie's opinion of her to be in the book, and it's pretty clear the pair are super close.

Mackenzie Ziegler credits sister Maddie Ziegler as her inspiration

Of the two Ziegler girls, Maddie Ziegler was certainly the first to find real widespread fame, thanks to her appearances in Sia's videos (via Vulture). However, soon enough, Mackenzie Ziegler started to make a name for herself. She acted in the web series Total Eclipse, and she released two solo albums.

Even though Mackenzie has her own career that is separate from Maddie, she, of course, hasn't forgotten her older sister. She told People that Maddie is her main inspiration: "She's given me so much good advice and is such a big inspiration to me. And she's doing amazing things." Mackenzie continued, "I'm very glad that I have a sister that's so talented that I can look up to and learn from as well." It sounds like Mackenzie is super lucky to have Maddie by her side as she navigates the entertainment industry!

Mackenzie Ziegler loves to steal sister Maddie Ziegler's clothes

Even though Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler are constantly sharing their love for one another, they also have their spats. Like all sisters, Mackenzie, the younger Ziegler, seems to have a habit of borrowing Maddie's clothes. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Maddie first gushed, "[Mackenzie is] my best friend, I love her so much!" But she then admitted that the sisters do share clothes, clarifying that the clothes swapping was "not on purpose, she does it to make me mad." 

Even if Mackenzie's clothes-borrowing habit might be a bit annoying, Maddie seems to be pretty forgiving. She went on to say, "It's nice because I know that she looks up to me and it means a lot." Maddie sure is understanding. It sounds like she can get annoyed when Mackenzie takes her stuff, but she realizes it's not worth fighting over. We honestly couldn't think of a better big sister!

Though Mackenzie Ziegler has been insecure, Maddie Ziegler has praised her sister for her good looks

While Maddie Ziegler has had a stunning transformation, she has always been a star. As the favorite of Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms and the first Ziegler child to skyrocket to fame, Maddie has often outshone sister Mackenzie Ziegler. Mackenzie even confessed that she felt less attractive than Maddie when they were growing up. In her book, Kenzie's Rules for Life: How to be Happy, Healthy and Dance to Your Own Beat, she wrote about the bullying she received online. "They called me fat; they said I was ugly," she wrote (via Life & Style). Fortunately, it seems as though Maddie has always been there to boost her sister up when she feels low on confidence. On an episode of Dancing With the Stars: Juniors, Mackenzie confessed to Maddie, "When I was younger, I was knocked down by people." She added, "I feel like you definitely helped me through that."

Maddie also confessed in a YouTube Q&A that she admires her sister's looks. When asked what feature she'd like to steal from her, she said, "I would definitely say her lips. I know that's kind of weird, but she has very juicy and scrumptious lips and a lot of people pay money to get those lips." She went on to say, "I just wish I had Mackenzie's face just because she's perfect."

Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler share a passion for philanthropy

The Ziegler sisters share a love of dance, but that isn't all the girls have in common. Both Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler are keen supporters of philanthropic causes. In 2016, the sisters teamed up with to encourage the public to create blank, homemade birthday cards for children experiencing homelessness. In 2018, the pair joined forces with other young celebrities to support the campaign Dancers Against Cancer. That same year, the sisters also teamed up with Omaze in support of the WE Charity, an organization dedicated to ending racism. 

In 2020, Maddie posted on her Instagram for her sister's birthday and revealed that Mackenzie had asked her to donate to NAACP, an organization that supports Black people's civil rights. It's clear that the Ziegler girls love to give back to their community and that they sometimes do it as a team. We are seriously impressed with these two generous young women!

Mackenzie Ziegler doesn't mind third-wheeling when Maddie Ziegler goes on dates

When Maddie Ziegler started dating Australian Jack Kelly in 2017 (via Daily Mail), Mackenzie Ziegler was skeptical. In an interview with People, Mackenzie confessed that she didn't really like Jack at first. She explained, "I didn't like the thought of my sister having a boyfriend." However, after she got used to having him around, she quickly changed her tune. She shared, "I approve. He's a very sweet boy. I love Jack."

Maybe part of the reason Mackenzie liked Maddie's boyfriend is because Maddie never really excluded her just because of her relationship. So clearly, the inseparable sisters were in no danger of drifting apart because of any boys. In an adorable Instagram post, Mackenzie cozied up to her sister and Kelly, stating that she was "third wheeling to the max." But Mackenzie didn't have to third-wheel with them for too long. Maddie split from Kelly in 2018.

Mackenzie and Maddie Ziegler aren't just sisters... they're best friends!

In 2016, the adorable sisters spoke to Teen Vogue and shared some secrets about their relationship in a super cute video. At one point, Maddie Ziegler confessed her favorite memory of sister Mackenzie Ziegler, saying, "My earliest memory is when you were born and then I got to hold you and I squeezed you so tight and your face looked like a tomato." And her favorite thing about having Mackenzie as a sister? "I always have a little friend," Maddie said. Could these two be any cuter?

In a 2017 interview with Young Hollywood, Mackenzie spoke about how their relationship has become stronger over the years. She explained, "We used to fight a lot when we were on the show [Dance Moms], 'cause we were just sick of each other from being with each other 24/7. But after she went on tour with Sia, we got a lot closer 'cause we missed each other." It's hard not to be envious of this incredible sister relationship!