From beauty gurus, to pranksters, to documentary makers (aka Shane Dawson), YouTubers are all the rage nowadays. And thankfully, some of our favorite dancers have hopped on the YouTube train themselves! Here are 8 of them you need to start watching—basically every second of every day.
First, there was the original trilogy of epic Maddie/Sia video collaborations. Then came one-off live performances galore, cementing the glorious Sia-Maddie Ziegler creative bond. Now, Maddie and Sia have joined forces with DJ Diplo and musical Renaissance man Labrinth for possibly their most off-the-wall music video yet.
We're used to seeing Maddie Ziegler own the room whenever she steps on the dance floor. So the idea of her learning a dance routine from Instagram star, Everleigh Soutas initially seemed a little backwards. Then we found out that Everleigh's original performance of this solo earned her first place in her division, at Revolution Talent Competition—and that it's garnered over 12 million views on YouTube—and the pair's duet makes a lot more sense. Maddie even compliments the pint-size dancer's energy and facial expressions. High praise coming from the queen of dance prodigies!
There's something uniquely satisfying about seeing a great music video reenacted onstage. It's confirmation that the artists involved are just as amazing in person as they look on film. It's proof that their charisma isn't some camera trick—that it's just as, if not more, powerful in live performance.
That's why we loved watching Sia and Maddie Ziegler recreate the crazy-popular "Cheap Thrills" video (which about 74 million of you are already obsessed with) on "The Voice" finale earlier this week. There was nothing fancy about the production: just Sia, Sia's wig, Maddie, backup dancers Nick Lanzisera and Wyatt Rocker, and Ryan Heffington's distinctive choreo. But that was enough to set the crowd on fire. And we actually like Sia's voice even better live—it has an appealing roughness to it, right?
(Sia has really embraced the whole "recreate the video" thing for "Cheap Thrills": She and Maddie lookalike Stephanie Mincone basically won Coachella with a similar performance of the song.)
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Maddie Ziegler's not in Pittsburgh anymore. Yesterday, Sia released the official music video for her song, "Chandelier," and it stars none other than the 11-year-old "Dance Moms" phenom herself. (Somewhere in PA, Christi is whining that Chloe wasn't chosen.)
The video, choreographed by Ryan Heffington (owner of L.A.'s Sweat Spot), features Maddie—wearing a nude leo and a sweet platinum wig—tilting, turning, leaping, and pretty much going berserk in an empty, dingy house. And while those curtsies at the end of the video are super-creepy, this just may be Maddie's best performance yet. Take a look:
Have you seen superstar jooker Lil Buck on TV recently? Odds are about 100 percent that either your already have—in that effortlessly cool AirPods ad—or you will shortly. Because hot on the heels (almost literally!) of the Apple spot comes an equally slick new commercial for Lexus. It's got a killer soundtrack: Sia's "Move Your Body." And while it's set to air during Commercial Christmas, aka the Super Bowl, you can watch an extended version right this second.
Titled "Man and Machine," the ad juxtaposes Lil Buck's already cyborg-y skills with the mechanical workings of a luxury car. Didn't get enough of the jooker defying gravity in the Apple ad? Well, you'll get plenty more of that here, too. He shows off his fabulous footwork not just on the floor, but also on the walls and the ceiling.
The TL;DR version: Like pretty much everything Lil Buck touches, it's darn cool. Watch it now—and then squee when you see it come on during the big game. (Oh, and fun fact: The narrator is Minnie Driver, perhaps the most aptly named car spokesperson ever.)
Most of the remarkable videos Sia has made with dance muse Maddie Ziegler explore the singer's personal struggles. We've seen intimate, heart-rending portraits of Sia's battle with addiction and troubled relationship with her dad. But Sia's latest Maddie collaboration, the video for "The Greatest," transcends the personal: It's a tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. Sia's own anger and sadness about the terrorist attack—which Maddie portrays so eloquently—become a moving expression of a larger community's fury.
"The Greatest" also includes some of Ryan Heffington's most compelling choreography yet. In addition to Maddie, the video features a cast of 49 young dancers—to mirror the 49 victims of the Orlando tragedy—who swarm and writhe and, finally, fall to the floor as if shot. (The group includes a lot of our favorites, by the way: Look for Larsen Thompson, Sean Lew, Kerrynton Jones and Stephanie Mincone in the grey-faced crowd.)
The cast of "The Greatest" (screenshot via YouTube)
Heffington's choreography has always made dancers seem like pots about to boil over, bubbling with barely-contained frustration. Here, that distinctive style feels especially apt. You'll probably recognize a few of the signature steps from his fun-crazy "Cheap Thrills" choreo, but they take on a totally different shading in this context.
TL;DR edit: You need to watch this RIGHT NOW.
Hate to break it to you dancers, but summer's winding down. It's not all bad though—fall signals the start of Nutcracker season, lots of brand new choreo to learn and of course the chance to wear cozy sweaters! Plus, we've got some exciting news that'll have you jumping for joy and wishing for fall: Maddie Ziegler announced this week that she'll be joining Sia on her upcoming "Nostalgic for the Present" tour! A Maddie/Sia performance live?! Yes, pleaseeeee.
A photo posted by Maddie Ziegler (@maddieziegler) on
The tour officially kicks off on August 4 in Moscow, but it sounds like Maddie will join for the North American leg which begins September 23 in Las Vegas. The late start is most likely due to the fact that Maddie will still be finishing up her gig as a judge on SYTYCD when the tour starts (if you've missed any of this season's crazy awesome moments check out our recaps!). The tour runs through November and there's a really good chance it's coming to a city near you.
Everyone knows Maddie has been Sia's go-to girl for the past few years—we're still not over those music videos and performances—and we can't say we're surprised that Sia asked her mini-me to join her on tour, but we are SUPER happy it's happening!
Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday (as in two days from now!) (as in grab yours ASAP!) and all of the details can be found here. In the meantime, while you're preoccupied by Maddie/Sia daydreams, enjoy this throwback video of the duo performing "Chandelier" on The Ellen Show in 2014. As if you needed a reminder of what a beast dancer Maddie is...
First comes DS, then comes...Seventeen?
That's the case for one Miss Maddie Ziegler, the Sia muse, former "Dance Moms" star, "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" judge, and 2015 Dance Spirit cover girl: Maddie's the latest Seventeen magazine cover star!
We know her! (Photo via Seventeen)
In the issue, on newsstands July 5, 13-year-old Maddie talks about her decision to leave "Dance Moms," working with Sia and more—all while looking super chic in looks from The Edit by Seventeen, a capsule collection launching July 11.
"Leaving 'Dance Moms' was a hard decision to make, but it was getting too stressful," Maddie tells the magazine. "Now, I feel like I'm so free." And as for former teacher Abby Lee Miller? "She's exactly how she is on the show," Maddie says. "But the thing that I like about her most is she can actually be funny sometimes. And she also wanted me to be good." But, that had its drawbacks, Maddie adds: "I feel like I had so much more pressure on me to be the best in the room."
(Photo via Seventeen)
Beyond the pressure inside the studio, Maddie also says she felt tons of it coming from her online followers—and haters. "I would be like, 'Why are they mad at me?'" she tells Seventeen. "I've come to realize now that people just do it because they want attention. One person would be hating on me, and then another girl would get into a fight with her on my page! I'm just like, What the heck? Why do people do this?"
Updated! Maddie Ziegler doppelganger Stephanie Mincone gave such a fantastic performance, we actually mistook her for Maddie. Sorry for the confusion!
The internet is abuzz today with all things Coachella. But no one (seriously, NO ONE) can stop raving about the epic Sia performance.
Screenshot via Consequence of Sound
And the hype is true: Sia—onstage alongside extraordinary Maddie Ziegler lookalike Stephanie Mincone, who's a PULSE Elite Protégé—slayed at the desert music fest this past weekend. The duo performed hits like “Cheap Thrills” (featuring the music video’s choreo), “Elastic Heart” and “Chandelier,” accompanied by video footage of Miss Ziegler. Sia also invited Paul Dano, Tig Notaro and Kristen Wiig to make appearances—either onstage or via video—and at one point the dancers even donned massive stuffed animal heads.
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Ok, so we're officially obsessed with this vid. (screenshot via YouTube)
The singer’s new “Cheap Thrills” video features Ziegler performing some awesomely cool choreo—by Ryan Heffington—outfitted in her iconic "Sia" attire: Nude leo and that now iconic blonde/black wig. And frankly, she kills it, yet again.
#FaceOnFleek (screenshot via YouTube)
Check it out for yourself!
(Photo by Lucas Chilczuk)
Big news from the reality dance show corner of the universe: Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler are leaving "Dance Moms." This might have something to do with the fact that Maddie is slated to star in Sia's movie Sister. But it also might not.
We'll miss Maddie and Mackenzie's sunny personalities on the show, and we're left with several questions: Will Maddie continue to train with the Abby Lee Dance Company and just not be on "Dance Moms"? If not, where will she train? Will the Zieglers move to L.A. to pursue Maddie and Mackenzie's careers? We'll just have to wait and see!
The be-wigged dancing machine performing next to Sia on her recent "Saturday Night Live" appearance was, in fact, not Maddie Ziegler. We forgive you for being confused since Maddie and Sia are besties, but this new tiny dancer blew us away.
As it turns out, the dancer in question, Mina Nishimura, isn't that new. She's invested in NYC's downtown scene, so doing something on live TV with a major pop star is totally unusual for her. But you'd never know, (nor would you know she had very minimal rehearsal time before the performance) thanks to her emotionally-charged dancing.
Nishimura is a trained Butoh dancer who uses the Japanese form to create her own contemporary work. She's weird and wonderful, so it's no surprise that Sia would want to work with her.
Does this mean that someday we might see Ziegler and Nishimura onstage together? With Sia calling the shots, it doesn't seem totally impossible.
Emma Stone—the hilarious actress and Broadway star we’ve all grown to admire—has added another skill set to her talent list: dancing. In the new Will Butler (of Arcade Fire) music video for his second solo single “Anna,” Stone plays a dance-crazed passenger who struts and prances aboard the beautiful and historic Queen Mary ship.
Ryan Heffington, the talented choreographer behind Sia’s “Chandelier” video, choreographed the high-energy (and totally quirky) dance moves featured in “Anna.” From licking faces to eating money, this 4-minute video is something you just have to see for yourself!
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Sia and Maddie twinning at the 2015 Grammys (Getty)
There's something almost otherworldly about the Sia-Maddie Ziegler connection, right? Yes, everyone likes to call Maddie Z Sia's "mini-me," which is cute, and we get it: the lookalike blond wigs, Maddie's "young Sia" character in that trilogy of internet-breaking music videos...sure. But the fact that Maddie says Sia is "like my sister or my mom," that Sia pulls such crazy, powerful performances out of Maddie, that the two of them seem to need to work together—there's a more powerful force at play there. And it's a force that generates really interesting art.
So we're excited to hear about any new Sia-Maddie collaboration. But we're especially excited about this latest one: The dynamic duo is apparently working together on a movie, with Sia writing and directing and Maddie starring.
We don't know a ton about it, which, given that Sia is so private she generally prefers not to show her eyes in public, isn't a big surprise. But we have heard that the title is Sister, and that the plot is based on a one-page short story Sia wrote 8 years ago. Her friend, children's book author Dallas Clayton, helped her with the screenplay; comedian Whitney Cummings, actor Joel Edgerton and Sia's husband, Erik Anders Lang, have given feedback. All of which seems to bode well.
Maddie in Sia's "Chandelier" video (YouTube screenshot)
Here's hoping choreographer Ryan Heffington, who shaped the "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" videos, is also on board for the project. Because happy as we are to see Maddie dive deep into acting, it'd be a waste not to make use of her dance skills. (Let's maybe retire the nude leo, though? Anything that's been spoofed on both "SNL" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" has probably run its course.)
No word yet on release date, etc, but obviously we'll keep you posted!