Maddie Ziegler may have started her career as one of Abby Lee's beleaguered dancing girls on Dance Moms, but she has since become a star in her own right. So, who is Maddie Ziegler? While she is largely known for her reality TV roots and for her dancing with Sia, Ziegler is a true multi-hyphenate - a dancer/actress/model/author. And she is poised to become of the biggest stars of her time.
The Maddie Ziegler biography begins in 2002, when Madison Nicole Ziegler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was raised there with her younger sister, who also appeared on Dance Moms; Maddie has two older half-brothers and two older step-siblings. Maddie showed great promise early in life, and she started dancing practically from the time she could walk. After her breakout performance on Dance Moms, Sia reached out to Maddie personally, and the rest, as they say, is history. But there may still be a lot of things you didn't know about Maddie Ziegler, a few of which are discussed below.
She's Dating An Australian Instagram Star
In October of 2017, Maddie and Australian Instagram star Jack Kelly celebrated one year of dating. Though just teenagers, the two seem to have a surprisingly mature and stable relationship, especially for one that has been unfolding under the scrutiny of the public eye. Though they are often physically apart (Kelly is based in Australia), they are incredibly supportive of another, and social media plays a valuable role. On Maddie's fifteenth birthday, Kelly posted, "Your [sic] the most special person to me in the world and would do absolutely anything for you. Love you endlessly." That's sweet enough to melt even the most jaded heart.
She Had To Punch Shia LaBeouf…And She Didn't Like It (!)
Many people would gladly stand in line for the chance to punch Shia LaBeouf. Maddie Ziegler, however, is not one of those people. In the video for Sia's "Elastic Heart," Ziegler had to punch LaBeouf in the face, and she did not relish the experience. She told Elle:
"I know what the hardest part for me was. You couldn't really see what I did, but I slapped him in the face. I bit his hand. And I punched him. And I was super scared because I don't want to punch someone - I'm a girl! - and I don't want to do that to a grown man. I was like, 'I can't do this!' And he was like, 'Punch me. Go ahead. Go ahead.' I was doing it really soft and he was like, 'No. You have to punch me hard.' He wouldn't move on until I really punched him hard. I was so scared, but I went ahead and punched him really hard."
She Does A Lot Of Charity Work
Ziegler is not one of those self-obsessed stars who lives for the attention of an adoring public. She's got a philanthropic side as well, and she does a lot of charity work away from the glare of the spotlight. Among her charities of choice are Do Something on behalf of homeless children and Dancer Against Cancer, which benefits dancers dealing with cancer diagnoses. On working with the latter, Ziegler told People:
"I'm so inspired by all of the girls I met because they are so strong and they're incredible dancers. It's really amazing that they're fighting, that they're so strong and they love dance. It's dancers supporting other dancers."
She Is Zac Efron's Biggest Fan
Like many girls her age, Maddie harbors some not-so-secret celebrity crushes. Her biggest? Zac Efron. Ziegler has been a longtime fan, though it was her mother who pulled an embarrassing stunt in front of Efron himself. At the Teen Choice Awards, when Efron was onstage, Ziegler's mother yelled, "Take your shirt off!" Maddie recounted the story, saying, "I literally sunk in my chair and I was like, 'I do not know her.' All my friends were around too, so it was super awkward." Her mom's explanation for the outburst was simple: "I couldn't control it! It just came out." We hear you, Maddie's mom.