Maddie Ziegler is easily the biggest breakout star from Lifetime’s Dance Moms and her and her sister’s missing presence next season will undoubtedly be felt by viewers. The favorite student of Miss Abby Lee Miller has had some incredible performances over her 6 seasons on the reality series, which have led her to much professional success at such an early age. Maddie has been featured in music videos with Shia LaBeouf, live performances with Sia and even had a performance in a dream sequence of an episode of Pretty Little Liars. As we bid her farewell, let’s take a look back at 12 of the most amazing performances that Maddie has given on Dance Moms.
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1. “Manhattan” by Anna Ayers (Season 1)
In this competition we get a first taste at Maddie’s fierce copetitive streak and how it makes her stand out, pushing herself to do better. It was also a special one because her dad was there to see it, which isn’t that common in this show. His words about how amazed he feels every time he watches her dance was sweet. It was a beautiful piece.
2. “Disappear” by Christina Li (Season 1)
So many years later, it’s still mind-boggling when you see this performance, knowing that it placed 2nd and not 1st. Maddie has so much poise and an astonishing ability to carry so much emotion in her performance. This isn’t an easy feat for a performer at age 9, but she’s always been something special.
3. “Cry” by Alexx Calise (Season 2)
This performance stands out because the choreography is finally catching up with Maddie’s skill. Before, we really only saw sub-par choreography being executed by an all-star dancer. Finally, she was able to move a little trickier. It was also really sweet to see Paige and Chloe there cheering for her.
4. “Lights, Camera, Action!” by Analogue Revolution (Season 2)
Though she only placed third in this performance, as Abby put it, she looked a lot more professional than most of the other dancers out there. She didn’t look as much like a little girl performing in a talent show, but in my opinion, only lost out because of song choice.
5. “It’s a War” by Black Kettle (Season 3)
Here’s yet another performance which it’s hard to understand didn’t win. True, this performance is a little faster than most of what we see Maddie is capable of, but she seems to pull it off pretty well and doesn’t stray from the pace. Besides, Maddie doing something “pretty well” is usually still better than the others at their best.
6. “Showing You My Heart” by The Parakeetus Band (Season 3)
This was a really heartfelt song, performance and costume choice. It was especially emotional because it came just after the passing of Abby’s dog, Broadway Baby. Maddie and her mom decided to dedicate this one to her, which was a sweet sentiment that brought tears to Abby and Melissa’s eyes.
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7. “Timeless” by Cassandra Kubinski (Season 4)
From seasons 1 through 6, this performance is a fan-favorite of Maddie’s solos. Her twirls are absolutely stunning and her expression to the lyrics is beautiful throughout. This performance is the epitome of who she is as a dancer.
8. “Happiness” by Rachael Sage (Season 4)
This is probably my favorite costume of all of Maddie’s solos. Even without the costume, she’s moving seemlessly and her turns have been perfected over the years leading up to this. You can really see how much sharper they’ve gotten.
9. “Unravel” by Debbie Neigher (Season 5)
This was really a great song choice because in a lot of ways, it describes Maddie creatively. She’s a bit of a perfectionist and she just wants to “unravel” and let loose at times. This is difficult for her because she’s constantly being told to stay put together, and she maybe doesn’t know how to loosen up. Even aside from that little metaphor, her facial expressions are on point as usual.
10. “Loose Cannon” by Jennings (Season 5)
This wasn’t a particularly “out there” solo for her, but what was so good about it was that we can see Maddie’s spins and turns getting much sharper. It’s a constant critique that they’re not up to par, but in this solo, we can see she’s more focused on those moves than her expressions.
11. “The Good Life” by Kenny Werner (Season 6)
This was just a really cool performance in every aspect — from song choice to choreography, Maddie rocked this one. It was especially impressive because she managed to do this having been just fresh off of shooting her movie in New York. As a kid, transitioning like that can’t be easy, but Maddie is a performer at heart. She never stops improving or working.
12. “Deadline” by James Hannigan (Season 6)
In Maddie’s final solo on Dance Moms with the Abby Lee Company, she gives a performance that is guaranteed to give you goosebumps. Her technique is flawless and her facials are perfect. What a way to go out. You’ll be missed, Maddie. We can’t wait to see where your career takes you.
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Can you think of any other performances by Maddie you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
(Image and videos courtesy of Lifetime)
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