What The Kids Of Dance Moms Are Doing Now

"Dance Moms" had fans as well as detractors. The controversial hit Lifetime reality show starred dance teacher Abby Lee Miller, owner of the Abby Lee Dance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and followed her and her new Junior Elite Competition Team of young dancers and their combative, hyper-competitive, and conspicuous mothers as they traveled the country to compete. Each week, the preteen girls would learn brand new choreography solos and/or duets, and group dances. Learning a new routine every week is stressful enough, but Miller's militant teaching style — which included yelling, insulting, and even throwing a chair — caused great strain on her students. The experience on the show was described by one student as "traumatizing" and it was only exacerbated by contentious mothers.

Viewers got to watch the talented children grow up before their very eyes until the original show's end in 2017 ("Dance Moms" was rebooted in 2019 but was canceled after one season). Miller was kinder to some girls — Maddie Ziegler and Kalani Hilliker — than to others — Nia Sioux and Chloe Lukasiak — but all of them grew up. Now, without a contract with Lifetime and (in some cases) old enough to go to college and get away from home, they can move forward with their lives and pursue their own dreams. So, what are they all up to in 2022?

Nia Sioux hosts her own dance show

Nia Sioux was the only Black girl on the OG Junior Elite Competition Team, and Abby Lee Miller never let her forget it. A 19-year-old Sioux posted a TikTok with the text: "You think you can hurt my feelings? I was the only Black girl on 'Dance Moms.'" And the "Dance Moms" alum has made the most of it all.

Sioux has big dreams, and she's pursuing them with a vengeance. Following the initial end of the show in 2017, Sioux remained on our screens with an arc on the hit soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful," co-starred in her first film "Runnin' from my Roots," released more music videos, and appeared in her very own show, "Dance with Nia." On "Dance Moms," it was revealed that Sioux struggled with a disability that had her sometimes using a wheelchair (an experience that was never on camera), and that caused disputes between Miller and Sioux's mom, Dr. Holly Frazier. But Sioux has taken charge of any challenges and turned them into a means of uplifting others like her. "['Dance with Nia' is] all about dancers who have disabilities," Sioux told Forbes. "These dancers are amazing people, but when I tell you that on top of that, they're amazing dancers."

Sioux has also stepped into the publishing world with her semi-autobiographical children's book "Today I Dance." She currently attends UCLA and shares her journey on Instagram.

Maddie Ziegler is more than Sia's dancer

Maddie Ziegler was known for being Abby Lee Miller's favorite dancer on the team, and perhaps in her entire dance company. Miller praised Ziegler during the dancer's six seasons for being a fast learner with a well-behaved mother and regularly told the other competition team members to be "just like Maddie." The ferocity of this comparison only increased once Ziegler became a regular dancer — and subsequently the face — for Australian singer-songwriter Sia after starring in her "Chandelier" music video. The video has amassed billions of views and made the then-11-year-old internationally known outside of "Dance Moms."

Part of the Ziegler's departure from "Dance Moms" was due to all of the opportunities they were being afforded. The young dancer had acting and film gigs, interviews, and photoshoots, and those have only increased since they left the ALDC. She starred in HBO Max's "The Fallout," has a makeup collaboration with the billion dollar cosmetics brand Morphe, brand deals with Kate Spade and Fabletics, and remains the face of Sia's music.

When it comes to "Dance Moms," the 20-year-old has moved on. "I knew I would be okay without [Miller] and I was sick of being in a toxic environment ..." Ziegler told Cosmopolitan. "I haven't spoken to [Miller] since [my departure]." Ziegler regularly posts on her TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, and has continued to be friendly with some of her former competition team members. She's set to star in Molly McGlynn's new movie "Bloody Hell."

Mackenzie Ziegler's music career took off

Originally marketed as Mack Z on "Dance Moms," Mackenzie Ziegler, the youngest of the Ziegler sisters and of the competition team, has rebranded herself and become the popstar known by the mononym Kenzie. On the show, Kenzie was the adorable acrobat that famously wanted to "stay home and eat chips" and was stuck in her sister's shadow. But through the years, she proved herself able to stand on her own and now has a blossoming career.

Many of the OG Elite competition team started making music, especially once the team moved to L.A. Kenzie, however, is the one out of the original group that has turned it into her main career. Her debut album "Phases" was released in 2018, and her music has accumulated hundreds of millions of streams. She headlined her own tour with Johnny Orlando in 2017 and was the opener for the band PRETTYMUCH in 2019. 

Via social media and music, Kenzie is attempting to bring more awareness to the importance of mental health. "I think a lot of people just expect people in the industry to not have feelings," the 18-year-old singer told People. "I'm also a normal person and go through normal things like teenagers go through ... I am definitely so grateful for music because I feel like it's therapy for me." In the same interview, it was revealed that Kenzie has been working on her sophomore album. In November 2022, she was a red carpet host for the AMAs.

Chloé Lukasiak came out

Chloé Lukasiak was most known on "Dance Moms" as Abby Lee Miller's No.2 girl, who was always compared to Maddie Ziegler. After four seasons, Lukasiak and her mother Christi left the show because of Miller's constant berating comments and dismissal of the young dancer. Now free from the ALDC, Lukasiak has been celebrated for her success. She went on to win nationals with a new dance troupe, won multiple awards, acted in television and movies, modeled for different fashion lines and magazines, and been outspoken on her political beliefs. Some of her exciting projects have been documented via her YouTube channel, which has accumulated over 280 million views.

For the Season 7 finale of "Dance Moms," Lukasiak made a surprise cameo appearance, which was shocking considering the struggles she endured on the show. "As a person, I think I've grown up a lot," she told Teen Vogue at the time. "I think I've found my voice." And the longer she's away from ALDC, the stronger her voice has become. In February 2022, Lukasiak opened up to People about her relationship with pro skateboarder Brooklinn Khoury and what it was like to tell her fans. "This is how I feel comfortable," she shared. "I don't really think people owe the world an explanation anymore. It was more just a decision I made for myself." Lukasiak has written books and is a curator for the book club Literari.

Brooke and Paige Hyland are college kids

Although clouded by their mother Kelly's tumultuous relationship with Abby Lee Miller — and their subsequent physical altercation that led to assault charges and a lawsuit — the Hyland girls Brooke and Paige have made good lives for themselves after the family's three seasons on the show. Brooke and Paige were 12 and 10 respectively when the show started, making Brooke the oldest member of the team, which made her feel torn between enjoying school activities and dance. Now, she's a college graduate and can do whatever she pleases.

As we learned in one of her vlogs, the eldest Hyland sister double majored in marketing and management information systems at Ohio University, leading her to work on marketing campaigns, become a learning community leader, and, post-graduation, land a marketing job with TechStyle Fashion Group (a company that works with Fabletics, a brand that Ziegler collaborates with) that helps connect influencers/celebrities with their products. She herself grows as an influencer as a YouTube vlogger and has a protein drink out with Chike Nutrition.

Paige Hyland is getting her BBA in marketing (like her sister) with a minor in Event Planning at West Virginia University. Although she's not active on YouTube, she makes cameos on her sister's channel and promotes products on her TikTok and Instagram all the same as an influencer. In a Q&A video, the sisters called their time on "Dance Moms" beneficial, as it taught them life skills they still use today.

Kendall Vertes is a triple threat

Kendall Vertes and her mom Jill were not original members of the ALDC, but after she joined them in the premiere of the second season, she was basically one of the OGs. Kendall was known for her tight friendship with Maddie Ziegler and her pursuit of a career in the entertainment industry under Miller's management. But Miller withheld an entire album that Vertes had recorded, causing the dancer and her mom to dissolve their managerial contract. "She does stuff like that," Vertes told International Business Times at the time. "I just had to say, you know what, I need to focus on my own career and I can't have you stop it." The end of "Dance Moms" was a true emancipation: Vertes was able to follow up on her hit songs with new music, including her Christmas album, "K-mas." 

Vertes also pursued another love of hers: acting. Since "Dance Moms," she's played Beatrice in Blake Harris's "Anastasia," was Purpel in a retelling of "Rapunzel," hosted her own program called "The Kendall K. & Friends Show," and is in pre-production for a movie called "Stream." On top of all of this, the young singer, dancer, and actor is a sophomore and cheerleader at JMU. Like many of her former team members, Vertes has had many brand deals, and she posts regularly on her TikTok and Instagram accounts.

Kalani Hilliker has her own sockwear brand

Abby Lee Miller pulled a few dancers from "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" to join her Elite Competition Team, one of whom was Kalani Hilliker, who placed 4th on her season of AUDC. The stunning ballerina and her mother Kira were brought on Season 4 to replace the Hyland women and quickly became one of Miller's favorites despite protests from the other moms (but what else should we expect?). Like many of her counterparts, Hilliker partook in some more film and television post "Dance Moms," most notably as a main role on the show "Dirt." Hilliker also dipped into the world of sockwear with Pretty Feet by Kalani and KH by Kalani, the latter of which can be found at Ballet Is Fun.

Hilliker got into some heat with her fans. During the 2020 election, Hilliker came out publicly as a Trump supporter, posting on Twitter, "No matter who you're voting for use your voice and your vote!!! It's your right!" And it wasn't only her followers that spoke against her. Former teammate Nia Sioux reposted one of Hilliker's stories and wrote, "It's so hard to respect a president who doesn't respect me, or women, or minorities, or the LGBTQ community." When The Hollywood Fix asked her about the backlash, Hilliker stated, "I think that everybody's allowed to have their own opinion ... I'm not judging anybody who votes opposite of me." She still posts tutorials on YouTube and is active on Instagram and TikTok.

Vivi-Anne Stein continues to dance

Any fan of "Dance Moms" knows Abby Lee Miller's ultimate rival was Cathy Nesbitt-Stein, the owner of the Candy Apples Dance Center. But before their rivalry, Nesbitt-Stein brought her daughter Vivi-Anne Stein to dance at the ALDC. Unfortunately, whether it was genuine or manipulated by the producers, Miller clashed so much with Stein's mother that they left the dance company. For the remaining seven seasons, Stein made intermittent appearances on the series but was no longer a consistent cast member. After her appearance on the show, the internet deemed Stein an icon, as the young team member who wanted nothing to do with dance and was resistant to all of her mother's flamboyancy. But flashing forward to her as an 18-year-old, Stein is dancing more than ever and seems to be enjoying herself. Unlike her cast mates, Stein is still competing. With her mom's dance center, Stein has landed in the Top 5 with her solos and won 2nd and first place with duets and group numbers.

In July 2021, during a Zoom call reunion between Nesbitt-Stein and Miller, the proud mother shared that then-16-year-old Stein "[places] at every competition but she was top soloist" after learning her tap dance in only two days! Stein, who made an appearance on the call, shared she was also a varsity cheerleader was pursuing golf as well. On her Instagram, she made a callback to the show and confirmed that she now likes the color pink.

Payton Ackerman has a fiancé

In Season 2, Payton Ackerman and her mother Leslie, who had been part of the ALDC for four years, joined the Junior Elite Competition Team as a swing. Ackerman, who was 14 at the time, was the oldest dancer on the team, which had Abby Lee Miller on the fence about if she should become an official member. Unfortunately, the two were disliked by both their cast members and fans. "[The show] immediately made us look like the bad people ... the bullies," Ackerman explained. She also revealed that fans sent them death threats and even stalked the family during their two seasons.

Ackerman's relationship with ALDC did not end after they left "Dance Moms." She continued working with Miller's studio — as a competitor and a teacher — until she finished their program and moved out to LA to pursue dancing professionally, specifically hip-hop. Some of her credits include Dance It Out, Millennium Dance Complex, Playground L.A., and more.

But Ackerman's life has not just been limited to dance. The dancer's long-term relationship with her partner, Logan, has resulted in an engagement. The couple has been together since 2012, and although they broke up twice during high school, Logan moved out to L.A. to be with Ackerman. The two became homeowners and are set to get married in September of 2023, which puts her on track to be the first "Dance Moms" girl to have a spouse.

Asia Monet Ray models, sings, and acts

After appearing on "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition," where she came in 3rd, Asia Monet Ray (now known as Asia Monet) was brought onto the competition team as Mackenzie Ziegler's fiery and charismatic 6-year-old rival. Although she and her mother only stayed for Season 3, the then-7-year-old made a big enough impact that she got her own Lifetime TV show entitled "Raising Asia." The show only lasted one season, but she's continued to be the firecracker that fans came to love.

"I've been very blessed with several exciting times in my career," Monet told Modeliste in 2020. "I was cast as Sydney Simpson in 'American Crime Story, OJ vs. The People' ... I was fortunate enough to get a call to sing at 11 years old at a sold out staples center crowd for the LA Clippers ... [and I performed]  alongside Mariah Carey for a mont." And if fans haven't been able to see her live, they can enjoy her talent on YouTube, where she sings the songs of powerhouse artists like Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera, and has some of her own music videos posted.

Monet's passions do not end with performance. Monet has a deep love for animals and hopes to one day own an animal rescue. But for now, the 17-year-old continues to grow her portfolio as the multi-talented model, actor, dancer, and singer that she is.

Jojo Siwa became one of Time's most influential people

If there's one dancer people have heard of from "Dance Moms," it's the big bow-wearing JoJo Siwa. Siwa was quickly a fan favorite and has become an internationally known phenomenon, as a result of AUDC and "Dance Moms." The moms protested Siwa and her mother's belief that she was destined to be a star, but Siwa and her bows have taken over the world.

Siwa's mass appeal led to a partnership with Nickelodeon, and she has become a business empire with products ranging from makeup, coloring books, toys, bedsheets, clothes, and, of course, bows. "There are 500 Nickelodeon employees, worldwide, that support the JoJo brand," Siwa unveiled to Forbes. "It's such a huge franchise." By 2020, the JoJo brand had made about $400 million in bow sales alone. And she hasn't stopped: The 19-year-old has published books, won four Kids' Choice Awards, headlined her own tour, made a movie called "The J Team," released several singles, and regularly vlogs on her YouTube channel. In 2020, when she was only 16, Siwa made it onto Time's Top 100 Most Influential People list as one out of 25 of the Most Influential People on the Internet. Although she's given up the bow and bright makeup, Siwa remains a prolific popstar and shows no signs of stopping. Siwa identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community and is currently dating Avery Cyrus.

Camryn Bridges went on tour with Kendrick Lamar

Camryn Bridges was one of the few girls of color on any of Abby Lee Miller's teams or television programs, which wasn't a particularly positive experience for her. "I used to be really sad talking about ["Dance Moms"]," she confessed in a YouTube video. She included that she was grateful for the business connections she was able to make, but overall the experience caused PTSD and major anxiety for her and her mother Camille. Both of them felt mistreated and excluded by Miller, the other mothers, and the dancers, even after the show when Bridges joined her cast mates to form The Irreplaceables. 

Despite all of this, Bridges' love of dance was not crushed. She moved out to L.A. and dances with studios such as Playground L.A., Eighty Eight Studios, Millenium Dance Complex, has been part of music videos for multiple singers, and is currently a backup dancer for Kendrick Lamar on The Big Steppers Tour. She is represented by Clear Talent Group. Talk about thriving!

Brynn Rumfallo co-hosts her own podcast

When Brynn Rumfallo joined "Dance Moms," she was no stranger to competitions. In 2013, she went on "America's Got Talent" with the dance group Fresh Faces, where they made it to the quarterfinals, won Abby Lee Miller's ALDCA Dance Off in 2014, and won Miss Female Best Dancer at the Las Vegas Dance Awards. So, when Maddie Ziegler was getting busier outside of the studio and eventually left the team for good, Miller brought Rumfallo on as her replacement, and she did not disappoint. Once the show ended, Rumfallo's time in the spotlight continued: She began modeling for brands like Miss Behave Girls and California Kisses, partnered with Pantene, Nordstrom, and Evry Jewels, dipped into acting on the comedy web series "Boss Cheer," appeared in commercials and music videos, and teaches class at different studios. Miss Rumfallo is booked and busy!

Between all of this, Rumfallo and her best friend and fellow dancer, Kelsey Milar, have started a podcast together called "Double Take," where they shared stories about their friendship and offer life advice to their listeners. And although the two met through dance when they were 5-year-olds, their bond didn't truly form until they were teenagers. "[Milar and I have] been through a lot together," Rumfallo addressed the listeners at the end of their first episode. "We wanna share so many things so do not be afraid to ask us what to talk about." The 19-year-olds post on Spotify, YouTube, and Instagram.

Elliana Walmsley went from a Mini to dancing with the Rockettes

In Season 6 of "Dance Moms," Abby Lee Miller formed her Mini Competition Team for 6-to-10-year-olds, which meant the show would be getting a whole new batch of moms and kids. Part of this team included goofy and talented 8-year-old ballerina Elliana Walmsley. Walmsley has been dancing since she was 18 months old and joined the show as a former Miss Petite Dance America, becoming a member of the Junior Elites for Seasons 7 and 8. 

Post her run on Lifetime, Walmsley has taken the world by storm. The now -5-year-old has been a professional dance partner on "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors," done international dance workshops, performed with Playground L.A. and Millenium Dance Complex, made her own collection of dancewear, and played Clara in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular alongside the Rockettes. In 2020, she joined TikTok's Vibe Crew alongside fellow "Dance Moms" mini Lilliana Ketchman and Season 8's GiaNina Paolantonio. In 2022, she became a model for the kids' makeup brand Petite 'n Pretty, a brand that Ketchman is also affiliated with. Walmsley has a YouTube channel with over 220 million views where she regularly posts entertaining videos.

During an episode for Awkward Stage, Walmsley reflected on her life and upbringing. "I've been through a lot in my life," she laughed. "But that's okay. We're thriving and surviving and we're getting better."