Dancer Madder Ziegler and Sia’s Video for “Chandelier”

This past summer, Sia Furler’s song “Chandelier,” from her newest solo album, 1000 Forms of Fear, became a major national and international hit, as well as one of my favorite songs of the season. In all honesty, I didn’t really know who she was when I first heard “Chandelier,” but I soon realized Sia had appeared on two other songs that I’ve really enjoyed: “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida and “Titanium” by David Guetta. With a little more research, I was surprised to learn that Sia had written for and collaborated with a wide range of my favorite artists, including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Kesha, and Rihanna.

I became even more interested in Sia after seeing her impressive performance on Ellen, which featured 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler, the young dancer who also stars in the remarkable music video for “Chandelier.” The duo recreated the video set on Ellen so that young Maddie could perform her amazing choreography to the song live while Sia sang the song. The performance was truly moving and gave me a new level of respect for Sia, while also making me a fan of the young dancer.

Maddie is not unaccustomed to the spotlight. She first reached the public’s attention as a competitor on Lifetime’s reality television show Dance Moms. Sia is apparently a fan of the show and used a tweet to ask Maddie to perform in her video. Two weeks later, the young dancer flew to Los Angeles to rehearse and film the video.

Part of what makes the music so impressive is that Maddie performs the whole complicated dance sequence while wearing a wig that resembles Sia’s signature hairdo. Maddie is also covered with fake tattoos that resemble Sia’s to really drive home the poignancy of the video and solidify the dancer’s role in the video as a mirror of the singer.