‘So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation’ Recruits Maddie Ziegler

When it comes to dancing, there can be no denying that 13-year-old Maddie Ziegler is one of the brightest stars out there today. Ms. Ziegler has already made her mark on Dance Moms and has made special appearances at events like the MTV Video Music Awards and the Grammys.

Now, Maddie will be shifting from dancer to judge, as she prepares to join So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation.

Maddie Ziegler has what it takes to judge her fellow dancers


Ziegler will join the panel of judges on So You Think You Can Dance, which includes Jason Derulo, Paula Abdul, and British television producer Nigel Lythgoe. While Maddie is certainly qualified to judge dancers of any age, she was selected for this judge’s panel because the dance contestants will all be between the ages of 8 to 13. The dancers all come from Pittsburgh’s Abby Lee Dance Company and, as such, So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation will place a heavy focus on their early careers.

Maddie has announced her plan to leave Dance Moms, the show that brought worldwide attention to her dancing talents. It was through Dance Moms that pop sensation Sia discovered Ziegler and asked her to perform in her “Chandelier” music video. Maddie was such a hit in the video that she was again used in two more music videos for Sia, which ultimately led to Maddie’s performances at the MTV Video Music Awards and the Grammy Awards.

Maddie Ziegler inspires dancers with a new Capezio campaign


Capezio released a new video for their #DanceInYou ad campaign and it features Maddie Ziegler as the star of this brief dance segment.


Even as the video opens, the viewers see that Maddie stands out in an outfit of all dark colors against the other dancers, who are all dressed in the traditionally white and pink ballerina’s outfits. It makes a statement, even as they begin to dance together in unison, that Maddie won’t be forced into conformity. We see early on that Ms. Ziegler will soon move to the music in her own way, expressing her own free spirit.

And shortly, this is exactly what Maddie does. She parts from the other dancers, who observe, aghast by Ziegler’s rebellious nature, and lets the music take her off on her own wild ride. It’s a statement about following your heart and about how perfectly music and dance come together to free the spirit.

“Self expression in dance has always been so important to me, so I fell in love with the concept of this film,” said the So You Think You Can Dance judge. “Hopefully it will remind young dancers everywhere that expressing yourself can be empowering, contagious and fun.”

Maddie is already on her way to becoming the next big name with ad campaigns and television appearance offers, so it may not be long before Ms. Ziegler is bitten by the acting bug as well. She has already been seen in an episode of Pretty Little Liars in which she used her dancing skills to drop clues for Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario), during a dream segment.

Maddie Ziegler will also be voicing a character in the upcoming animated film Ballerina. The film, which will also feature Elle Fanning, is set in 1879 Paris and concerns a girl from a poor, rural family, who runs away to realize her dreams of becoming a ballerina. Once in Paris, she assumes someone else’s identity, so she can plot her way into the Grand Opera house as one of its pupils.

Ballerina is scheduled to be released later this year in theaters.

[Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images]