You know those silly looks that Maddie Ziegler makes when she dances? When she sticks her tongue out, widens her eyes and stars into the camera? The now-signature move is something that the former "Dance Moms" standout didn't do until she met her partner-in-crime, Sia.
"I’d never done crazy faces in dance until I met Sia!" Ziegler explained to AOL Entertainment during a recent phone call. "I was definitely scared at first, but now it’s like second-nature to me. I come up with the weirdest faces now, and when we’re hanging out, we’re always just doing funny things and Sia’s like, ‘Oh, I have to make sure Ryan [Heffington, our choreographer] puts that face into the dance!’"
Of course, Ziegler has learned more than just funny faces from Sia, who she has been working with relentlessly since she initially appeared in the music video for the singer's breakout solo hit, "Chandelier," back in 2014. The 14-year-old credits the chart-topper with giving her a newfound self-confidence and encouraging her to make sure that she continues to have fun doing what she truly loves.
See photos of Maddie Ziegler:
"To work with Sia all the time is the best experience," Ziegler gushed to us. "She always says that my sense of humor helps a lot, as well as my willingness to throw myself out there and just have fun, but she's the one that helped me become that person. She's helped me be less stressed about whether or not I look good and told me to keep a good head on my shoulders while making sure that I love what I'm doing."
"We're like best friends, in a way," she continued. "I think we help each other in a lot of different ways."
The unlikely pair have worked together on four music videos now, the most recent being for Sia's new track, "Rainbow," which she wrote for the "My Little Pony: The Movie" soundtrack. In the engrossing new clip, Ziegler commands attention as she interprets the song's inspirational lyrics while dancing in water and flying high in a harness.
"Dancing is like speaking without words, and that’s exactly what I was trying to get across with the music video," she tells us of her latest work. "If you’re dancing, music should always speak to you. It’s about believing in yourself and dreaming big goals, and that’s exactly what the song means to me. It’s about loving what you do."
Watch the music video for Sia's "Rainbow," starring Maddie Ziegler:
As for dancing in water? Ziegler wasn't sure about it, but it ended up making the shooting experience that much better for her.
"I was a little nervous because I didn’t know if I was going to slip," she said of dancing in water. "But the water ended up being an awesome experience and one of my favorite shoots I’ve ever done."
The collaboration with Sia provides yet another example of the singer's insistence on putting a bright spotlight on Ziegler's captivating dance in an effort to highlight the power of movement when paired with her soaring pop hooks. It's a habit of Sia's that Ziegler appreciates beyond words.
"You don’t necessarily have to be in the back anymore as a dancer," Ziegler explained to us. "Dance has to be acknowledged, and that’s why Sia is so important. She makes it all about telling a story through dance."
See photos of Sia:
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