Maddie Ziegler on How Sia’s Music Videos Helped Her Discover Acting

At a young age, Maddie Ziegler had already developed somewhat of a cult following thanks to her involvement in the hit Lifetime series, Dance Moms. However, when Australian singer, Sia, reached out to her on Twitter, she became something of a household name. A fan of the show, Sia had seen Ziegler perform multiple solos and was impressed by the passion that Ziegler brought to her performances. It wasn’t long before Sia tapped the dancer to be in her music video, Chandelier.

Sia and Maddie Ziegler perform on stage
Sia and Maddie Ziegler | Dave Simpson/WireImage

Maddie Ziegler became a household name after she appeared in ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Elastic Heart’

The rest, as they say, is history. Since the music video for “Chandelier” premiered back in 2014, it has garnered over 2.4 billion views on YouTube. When Ziegler and Sia collaborated again on the music video for “Elastic Heart” it was also wildly popular, garnering over 1.1 billion views. Over the years, Ziegler and Sia have continued to work together on music videos, tours, and even a movie.

The ‘Dance Moms’ alum says Sia’s music videos sparked her love of acting

When Sia made her directorial debut with her film, Music, she cast Ziegler in the starring role. Funnily enough, the Dance Moms star had begun to pursue acting even before she got cast in the feature film. According to the dancer, being in her godmother’s music videos helped spark her passion for acting in addition to her lifelong love of dancing.

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“I definitely found acting through dance,” Ziegler shared with Wonderland Magazine. “That was never my goal, I was just set [on] becoming a professional dancer. But when I started doing Sia’s music videos, I realized I was heavily playing characters in each performance. Acting suddenly seemed like a natural transition. Now it’s right up there with dance — I love it.”

Ziegler is afraid of overdoing it on camera

While Ziegler’s experiences as a dancer definitely help her in some ways, they can certainly hinder her in others. For example, Ziegler has learned to scale down the over-the-top emotion that she was often praised for on the stage so that it makes sense for the screen. According to West Side Story star, it’s a delicate balance, but she’s committed to figuring out how to walk the line.

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“Because of my dance background, I’m always scared of coming off too extra when I’m acting for screen,” Ziegler shared. “When performing on stage, you have to project all the way to people on the back row, so it’s grand and over-exaggerated. On-screen, the camera is so close that all your facial expressions and actions have to be almost internalized. They’re two different extremes! It’s something I’ve been trying to figure out.”

The dancer has two upcoming movies that don’t involve her godmother

With Ziegler’s penchant for perfection, we’re sure she’ll be able to find out the best way for her to navigate acting sooner rather than later. Back in her Dance Moms days, she was known for bringing a myriad of characters to life, so it’ll be interesting to see if she will continue to excel at that as an actor. It seems working with Sia changed Ziegler’s life in more ways than one. However, we’re sure fans are looking forward to experiencing more of Ziegler’s work that is independent of the “Cheap Thrills” singer.