tm icons: Maddie Ziegler

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Maddie Ziegler. By name it’s highly likely that you will have no idea who Maddie is. Visually, the first thought that will cross your mind is ‘WOW, she’s young’ (and at just 14, she is).

Don’t let this fool you.

If an icon is ‘regarded with respect tinged with awe’ then I am utterly in awe of this female. And slightly obsessed. Also, admittedly, a little bit disconcerted. How can someone less than half my age be capable of moving me in such a profound way?

Best known in the UK for her partnership with singer-songwriter Sia, Maddie has featured in five of the artist’s music videos since 2014. Her performances are simply mind-blowing. Ziegler may look like – indeed, BE – a small child but as a dancer she weaves a tantalising spell. Her freedom of movement is transfixing: vulnerable yet fierce; disturbing yet infectious; hypnotically expressive. Above all else, to watch her dance is to experience a sort of primal explosion.

If you’re reading this and thinking I’m more than a little starstruck, then I challenge you not to be entranced: The Greatest, Cheap Thrills, Elastic Heart, Big Girls Cry and Chandelier (my all-time favourite with a staggering 1,446,323,091 views on YouTube).

Having researched Ms Ziegler for this post, I can report that she is in fact (perhaps unsurprisingly) a multi-talented American teenage prodigy – dancer, actress, fashion designer and model. She was included by Time magazine on its list of the “30 most influential teens” in 2015 and 2016. She started her dancing career aged two at the Abby Lee Dance Company and was ‘discovered’ after being cast on LifeTime’s hit reality show “Dance Moms”, which is precisely where Sia spotted her – and thus we come full circle.

Maddie, I nominate you as #tmicon for October because it feels so refreshing to be awestruck by someone for expression alone. Dancer? Gymnast? Actress? Model? I can’t wait for your next mesmerising performance.

Maddie weaving a spell in the 'Chandelier' music vid
Maddie weaving a spell in the ‘Chandelier’ music vid

3 fitness classes that will free your body & mind

1. Xtend Barre
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Prefer studio-based, fitness-focused dance? Then Xtend Barre is for you: low-impact ballet inspired training with high reps of elegant movements to strengthen, lengthen and define your body, enhance flexibility AND improve balance.

2. CircusFit
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Want to try something crazy? CircusFit utilises the training techniques for professional circus aerialists to create the ultimate acrobatic fitness workout. Plus works areas of your body that you never even knew existed.

3. Rhythmic Gymnasticsrhythmic-gymnastics

With classes available across the UK for all age groups, rhythmic gymnastics is a classic discipline that will teach you to move gracefully whilst creatively expressing yourself to music.

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