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Mackenzie Ziegler – All about Former 'Dance Moms' Star Who Chose a Different Path After The Show

Bettina Dizon
Aug 05, 2022
07:35 A.M.

Mackenzie Ziegler became a child star when she appeared on a reality dance show a decade ago. She later grew up to be a singer and a social media influencer. Here's more about the "Dance Moms" star.


Mackenzie Ziegler became an overnight sensation when she appeared on the hit reality television show "Dance Moms" in 2011. Then a kid, Mackenzie, was under the mentorship of Abby Lee, her dance teacher, who treated her like an adult.

Back then, Mackenzie was aware of Lee's stern and harsh way of teaching kids in her classes. Although it wasn't the best environment for learning, the young dancer eventually got used to Lee's practice and toughened up while on the show.


As Mackenzie enhanced her skill in the craft, her career took off; like many young stars, she became an internet sensation with millions of social media followers.


Born Mackenzie Frances Ziegler on June 4, 2004, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the child star learned how to dance at the age of two. Due to her early fame and busy schedule, Mackenzie and her older sister, Maddie, had to be homeschooled in 2013. She elaborated:

"[Our parents] want us to have all of the cool experiences, even though when we used to go to school, we would have to miss a lot of days. We missed like 50 days of school one year, but it was all worth it."


Although Mackenzie is grateful for the opportunity to pursue her dreams while receiving an education, she admitted that it was challenging without friends. When she's not busy with dance lessons and school Mackenzie finds pleasure in reading.


"Ever since I was little, I've always loved reading," she said, as told by the List. Mackenzie also likes watching YouTube makeup tutorials with her sister and practicing how to perfect cat eyes.

Dancing continues to be a big part of Mackenzie's life, although she admits she sometimes gets nervous and prefers to dance at home where no one is watching.

As a dancer, Mackenzie is exposed to different types of music to go with her choreographies. Naturally, she also learned to love music for the freedom it gives that dancing cannot. "With dance, you have to be prepared," she reportedly said. "If you don't know how to dance, you're cut. But with singing, you can literally say whatever."


Mackenzie often displays her incredible voice on her Instagram account, gracing over 14.5 million followers. "I don't think followers are a big deal," she said. "It's just a button. I don't think it's that cool. I love social media, but people need to chill."


Despite her vast fan base, she does not consider herself a celebrity but knows she has the power to be a positive influence on others. Mackenzie interacts with her followers through live sessions of responding to comments as much as possible. She said:

"Everyone wants to look like Kylie Jenner. Thirteen-year-olds are face tuning themselves to look skinnier. I just want to tell them it doesn't matter! Just live your life!"


Mackenzie debuted on "Dance Moms" in 2011 alongside her mom, Melissa Gisoni, and sister, Maddie. Throughout her time on the Lifetime series, Mackenzie also appeared in "Abby's Studio Rescue" and "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition."


In 2016, after six seasons, Mackenzie's mom revealed that they would no longer be returning to "Dance Moms." Then 12-year-old Mackenzie was not informed of the decision and found it quite emotional to leave; and shared:

"When we were in pyramid, my sister was like, 'I have to tell you something, but I can't,' and I was like, 'Okay, well, that's rude.' Later my mom got all of the girls, and she told them that we were going to leave, which I didn't even know."

"I was just really shocked," Mackenzie added. "Because I feel like I would have been there until the end because I was there from the beginning." Although it was a painful goodbye, Mackenzie is grateful for the many lessons she learned while on the show, including how to stand up for herself.


Dancing continues to be a big part of Mackenzie's life, although she admits she sometimes gets nervous and prefers to dance at home where no one is watching. "When I was little, I didn't really have a passion for dancing, but when I was about nine years old, I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing," she revealed.


Mackenzie later realized her newfound love for singing, which ultimately became a career path she took. Her debut album, "Mack Z," snagged the top one rank on the iTunes Pop Charts. Apart from singing, Mackenzie also has on-screen credits under her belt, including "Let Us In," "Total Eclipse," and "The Masked Dancer."


Mackenzie was born to Melissa Gisoni and Kurt Ziegler. While most fathers support their children's careers, Kurt was firm on wanting his daughter out of the show. Mackenzie's, alongside her sister's dancing career, took a toll on her parents' relationship, leading to their divorce in 2011.


Mackenzie recalled a memory with her sister where her mom jokingly screamed for Zac Efron to remove his shirt during the Teen Choice Awards. They were lucky enough to be seated way back.

"My ex-to-be claims that dance has ruined our marriage," said Melissa in an interview with Life & Style Mag. Kurt does not see much of his children, with the few times only on special occasions. The father of two has a career as a loan officer in Pennsylvania.


Mackenzie's relationship with her mom was different, with the dance star penning a sweet note for her mother's birthday, referring to her mother as her best friend. Nevertheless, Melissa has her fair share of moments embarrassing her children.

Mackenzie recalled a memory with her sister where her mom jokingly screamed for Zac Efron to remove his shirt during the Teen Choice Awards. They were lucky enough to be seated way back.

Two years after her divorce, Melissa found love in Greg, a nuclear services professional. Greg holds a healthy relationship with the Ziegler sisters, being referred to as their best friend.



Growing up, Mackenzie and Maddie faced the demand of being stars in their own right. Being on national television meant they had to be homeschooled to dedicate more time to their dancing career.


Their experiences at such a young age created a strong bond as sisters. In a book written by Maddie, she shared how she could not imagine going through that phase in her life without her sister.

But just like all sister relationships, Mackenzie has those moments where she annoys her sister. In an interview, Maddie shared how Mackenzie has a habit of borrowing clothes, yet she tries to see past this, knowing that her younger sister looks up to her.


Mackenzie is in a relationship with Tacoda Dubbs, who she met through TikTok. Mackenzie made the first move and privately messaged Dubbs on Instagram. They have since been open about their relationship on social media.


The couple went public with their relationship in August 2020 through a photo of them cozying up next to each other by the beach. In 2021, the influences revealed that she was happy to be in a healthy relationship.


"I have a boyfriend – a great boyfriend," she said in a video, as per Buzz Feed. "I know it's like a thing to go back to your toxic ex or go for the bad boy instead of the good boy because it's dun in the moment."

Before meeting Dubbs, Mackenzie was in a relationship with "Stuck in the Middle" star Isaak Presley, whom she broke up with in May 2020. Although their relationship did not work out, it brought Mackenzie to a better place in her love life.

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