Meet Maddie Ziegler, the dancer in Sia’s videos who has stolen our hearts

By now, we all know Maddie Ziegler as the magnetizing young dancer in Sia’s latest videos. She captivated us in “Chandelier” and has officially won our hearts over with her intense performance in “Elastic Heart,” opposite Shia LaBeouf. Her name has since been synonymous with platinum blonde wigs and nude leotards, but Maddie Ziegler is much more than that mysterious girl from Sia’s music videos.

Though many viewers knew her from the Lifetime reality TV show, Dance Moms, her latest projects with Sia have exposed an entirely different side to the 12 year-old dancer. Her undeniable talent paired with the stunning art direction of these videos has sparked our curiosity, causing many of us to ask, “Who is this intriguing dance phenom? And how the heck does she move like that?”

Well, we have everything you’ve been dying to know —from her relationship with Sia and Shia, to her life at home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, meet our fave tiny dancer, Maddie Ziegler.

It all began with Twitter

Sia was a huge fan of Dance Moms, and was immediately captivated by Maddie. So, she contacted her via Twitter, naturally. Two weeks later, Maddie was flown out to Los Angeles for the filming of “Chandelier.” Maddie sat down with Cosmopolitan to offer the scoop on her bond with Sia, saying “we just kind of clicked when we met. By the second day we were already like besties”.

She wasn’t really familiar with Shia LaBeouf before filming “Elastic Heart”

Maddie told Cosmo, “I was like, ‘Wait, who’s Shia?’ So I looked up pictures of him and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, he’s familiar.’ Then they were like, ‘He was in Even Stevens and the movie Holes‘ and I was just freaking out. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m having a Disney moment here’”.

Before “Elastic Heart” began filming, Shia hung out with Maddie and her mom so that the three could get to know each other “because it’d be awkward just being like just being like, ‘Hey, let’s dance together,’ the first day, you know?” Yeah, I guess that would be a LITTLE bit awkward.

In fact, “awkward” is kind of a good way to describe Maddie and Shia’s friendship (in the best way possible, of course). According to Maddie, “[Shia] texted me today and told me, ‘Brilliant job on the video.’ And I was like, ‘Who is this?’ I don’t even know how he got my number! He’s like ‘Shia.’ And I felt bad.” Oops. Maddie says she totally considers Shia her friend, and the two keep in touch (now that Maddie has saved his number).

She also confused Channing Tatum for Vanilla Ice


Sia was moved to tears by Maddie’s “Chandelier” performance

In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Maddie claims that Sia cried when she saw her routine. Hey —there’s no shame in delivering an emotional performance. In fact, Maddie prefers to. In an interview with Dazed, she said “those are my favourite things to do because I can really tell a story. I love it if I see someone crying because they loved the dance that much.” For what it’s worth, Maddie, you and Shia left a lot of us glassy-eyed at the end of “Elastic Heart.”

Shia was very moved, too 

Maddie told Cosmo, “At the end of the video, I don’t know if you can see, but Shia cried. You could see a tear run down his face.”

She has her sights set on a little bit of acting

Maddie admits that she’d “love to do something where [she] can act and dance at the same time, like on Broadway or in movies”. She recently caught a break co-starring on Disney’s hit show, Austin and Ally. We have a feeling Maddie’s got Broadway shows and a whole lot more ahead of her. In fact. . .

. . .She got eight (count ’em, eight) callbacks for Broadway’s Billy Elliot before her involvement with Dance Moms

Had she gone on to pursue the Broadway show, Maddie would’ve been considered a “professional dancer” and wouldn’t be able to participate on Dance Moms. We’re pretty thankful things turned out the way they did.

Maddie used her skills to “act like a wolf” in “Elastic Heart”

Maddie revealed to Cosmo that when Sia gave her directions during the filming of “Elastic Heart,” she told her to imagine that she was a wolf and that she and Shia had been living in a big cage together. Maddie says, “That’s why I’m always hissing in the video and chasing and crawling. He’s just normal. In the beginning of the video I am the strong one, trying to beat him down, and then toward the end when he lifts me, and throws me around and stuff, that’s when he starts to battle me back.” The characters who Maddie and Shia play become “friends” in the end of the video.

Sports aren’t really her thing

She told Elle, “Ive tried playing sports with my brothers. I just can’t get the hang of it when it comes to throwing the ball.” That’s okay, Maddie. I’m sure they would have some trouble getting the hang of your dancing.

Dance Moms instructor Abby Lee Miller gave her family a dog named Maliboo.

Here they are, both modeling for Elle magazine:

Sia wasn’t the first person to use her in a music video

Before Sia, an artist named Alexx Calise used Maddie in her 2012 music video, “Cry.” Get ready to be seeing a lot more of Maddie in the future, because this girl is versatile and super cool.

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