Maddie James Biography & Facts
Madison Nicole Ziegler (; born September 30, 2002) is an American dancer, actress, author and model. She was initially known for appearing in Lifetime's reality show Dance Moms from 2011 (at age 8) until 2016. Since 2014, she has gained recognition for starring in a series of music videos by Sia, beginning with "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart", which have in total attracted more than 5 billion views on YouTube. Ziegler has appeared in films, television shows, concerts, advertisements and on magazine covers. She was included by Time magazine on its list of the "30 most influential teens" in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Ziegler was a judge on the 2016 season of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation, toured with Sia in North America and Australia in 2016 and 2017 and has given dance tours with her sister, Mackenzie. Her 2017 memoir, The Maddie Diaries, was a New York Times Best Seller. She voiced the character Camille Le Haut in the animated film Ballerina (2016), appeared as Christina Sickleman in The Book of Henry (2017), played the title role in the film Music (2021) and was Mia in the high school drama film The Fallout (2021). Her social media presence includes an Instagram account with more than 13 million followers.
Early life and education
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, and her mother married Greg Gisoni in 2013. Ziegler began taking dance lessons at the age of two and joined the Abby Lee Dance Company at age four, where she trained in tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, acro, jazz and aerial dance. Ziegler has a younger sister, Mackenzie, a dancer and singer who appeared with her on Dance Moms, two older half-brothers from her father's previous marriage, and two older step-siblings from the previous marriage of her step-father, Greg Gisoni, a vice-president at Westinghouse Electric Company.Ziegler attended Sloan Elementary School in Murrysville, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until 2013, when she left to be homeschooled. Ziegler was raised in Murrysville, but as a teenager she began to work and spend most of her time in Los Angeles. From early 2017 to mid-2018, Ziegler dated Australian teenager Jack Kelly, the son of former New York Yankees infielder Pat Kelly. In 2019 she began dating singer Eddie Benjamin.
Dance Moms and music videos
With Abby Lee Dance Company, Ziegler won numerous titles at regional, state and national dance competitions, including the 2014 Dancers Choice Award for Favorite Dancer 17 & Under. In 2010, Ziegler performed for Paula Abdul's reality television program Live to Dance. In 2011, eight-year-old Ziegler and her mother appeared on the first season of Lifetime's Dance Moms, a reality show about the young dancers on Abby Lee Miller's Abby Lee Dance Company Elite Competition Team and their often quarrelsome mothers. Ziegler "emerged as the preternaturally polished standout on six seasons" on the show, where she continued to appear alongside her mother and younger sister, Mackenzie, until 2016, their last season on the show. In 2013, Ziegler made guest appearances on a spin-off program, Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. Dance Moms helped to make Ziegler "one of the most famous dancers in the entertainment world currently. ... [She inspires] other dancers to pursue their dreams with originality and grace."Ziegler has appeared in music videos for such artists as Alexx Calise, Sia and Todrick Hall. She gained wide notice, at the age of 11, by starring in the 2014 video for "Chandelier" by Sia, who discovered her on Dance Moms. The video 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. It has received more than 2 billion views on YouTube, and at one point it was the 13th most viewed YouTube video of all time. Ziegler said of the choreography: "It was really different and weird for me, because I usually don't, you know, be a crazy person every time. It was so fun to do and it was really out of the box and it expanded me a lot, because I'm used to competition dances where you're like, Point your legs! But this time it was like, you just need to let go and feel it."In 2015, Ziegler starred with Shia LaBeouf in "Elastic Heart", another Sia video, which has accumulated more than 1 billion YouTube views. Later that year, Ziegler starred in the music video for "Big Girls Cry" to complete her trilogy of videos from Sia's album 1000 Forms of Fear. Ziegler danced to Sia's vocals on several television shows in 2014 and 2015, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Saturday Night Live, as well as at the Hollywood Bowl. By the end of 2015, Ziegler had performed with Sia on the Ellen DeGeneres Show three times. She also performed to "Chandelier", alongside Sia and Kristen Wiig, at the 2015 Grammy Awards. The "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" videos were both selected as part of PopSugar's 2016 list of "25 of the Best Dance Videos of the Last Decade". In 2016, Ziegler starred in a fourth Sia video, "Cheap Thrills", from the album This Is Acting. A Teen Vogue reviewer wrote that Ziegler "delivers another powerful performance". This was followed by a fifth Sia video, later that year, for "The Greatest". The video of the song has accumulated more than 600 million YouTube views. Reviewing Ziegler's performance, Kathleen Hildebrand wrote in Süddeutsche Zeitung that anyone who has seen Ziegler's "iconic" movement will never again return to "boringly ordinary" MTV videos. Ziegler continued the collaboration with Sia and the group LSD in the music videos for Thunderclouds (2018) and "No New Friends" (2019). Ziegler also dances in the music video for Sia's single, "Together", from the soundtrack of Sia's 2021 film, Music.
Other activities, 2012–present
In 2012, Ziegler landed her first professional acting job, portraying the character 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. In January 2016, she guest starred in the episode "Ballet and the Beasts" on Nickelodeon's Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. She returned to Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn in January 2017 in the episode "Keeping Up with the Quadashians".Ziegler voiced the character Camille in the animated film, Ballerina (2016), released in the US in 2017 as Leap!, and played Christina in the feature film The Book of Henry (2017). Colin Trevorrow, the director of The Book of Henry, told Entertainment Weekly that Ziegler "is e.... Discover the Maddie James popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Maddie James books.