‘Dance Moms’ Star Maddie Ziegler Scores New Gig: Teen Set To Join ‘So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation’

There is big news out for Dance Moms fans, as star Maddie Ziegler has just scored a big gig. The teen has been keeping quite busy lately with a lot of projects within the entertainment genre, outside of the Abby Lee Miller and Lifetime reality television show, and she has just landed another project. What’s the scoop?

According to Deadline, Maddie Ziegler will be a judge on the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. Ziegler will be sitting alongside the returning judging crew of Nigel Lythgoe, Jason Derulo, and Paula Abdul for the new season, set to premiere on May 30.

What about Maddie’s spot on Dance Moms? Though the show has yet to officially announce it, reports have swirled that Maddie, along with sister Mackenzie Ziegler and mom Melissa Gisoni, have decided to leave the show. In fact, Dance Moms spoilers from a recent competition say that the family’s time with the show has officially ended, and the episode where Maddie, Mackenzie, and Melissa bid everybody farewell should be coming soon.

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Ziegler has already been working on a number of projects, including a movie with Naomi Watts titled The Book of Henry, a new Capezio commercial, and various projects with singer Sia. Now, Maddie will be back on reality television, but in a way that will have her fans thrilled for her. Season 13 of So You Think You Can Dance will be shaking things up a bit with an approach that paves the way for Dance Moms star Ziegler to join in on the fun.

This next round of SYTYCD will focus on younger dancers than past seasons, making Maddie a natural fit for the judging panel. This time around, all of the So You Think You Can Dance contenders will be between the ages of 8 and 13. Past contestants will be brought in as All-Stars, a move that has been a popular component of many recent outings of the series. From the sounds of things, auditions for SYTYCD: The Next Generation are taking place now.

According to TVLine, those who make it through the first round of auditions will progress to “The Academy.” From that group, the Top 10 for Season 13 of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation will be determined. Those top contenders will get permanent All-Star partners, who will then dance with them throughout the rest of the season.

The show will continue to incorporate a variety of dance styles including ballroom, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, and breaking or animation, and Cat Deeley returns as the show’s host. All of the show’s previous seasons had dancers who were between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of their audition, so this is a substantial shift. So You Think You Can Dance has made a number of format tweaks over the past few years to keep the audience tuning in, and it will be interesting to see if this transition to young dancers works for the audience.

Given the move to focus on young dancers, it certainly makes a lot of sense to snag Maddie Ziegler as an SYTYCD judge now that she is available. Is this offer part of what enticed Dance Moms star Melissa Gisoni to end the Maddie and Mackenzie’s time with Abby Lee Miller’s show? She has not said anything specific, but the timing of the announcement certainly syncs up pretty closely.

Will you be tuning in to see Maddie Ziegler sit alongside Paula, Nigel, and Jason when Season 13 of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation this summer? Dance Moms is currently airing new episodes every Tuesday night on Lifetime, and fans will see curious to see where the show heads next given Abby Lee Miller’s continuing legal issues and this latest dancer departure.

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]