Maddie Ziegler and JoJo Siwa proved they’re more than just dancers, they’re activists! The former “Dance Moms” teammates appeared at the 2016 Industry Dance Awards this week, an event which honors the best in the industry and also raises awareness for cancer.
After years of being recognized by the event’s voters, Maddie Ziegler walked away with the Breakthrough Performance Award Honoree win at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood, California, Wednesday night. Maddie, 13, was also among several celebrity presenters, the list of which also included her 12-year-old sister Mackenzie Ziegler, also formerly of “Dance Moms” fame, Jordan Fisher (“Grease: Live”) and Mandy More (“Tangled”).
“There’s a reason why this talented young lady was always on the top of the ALDC pyramid! Maddie has proved her passion for dance and has come a long way since her days in the studio in Pennsylvania. Now, she has broken through reality television into a pop culture figure creating a name for herself in the dance and music industry,” the event’s website said of Maddie’s win. “She has recently starred in Sia’s music videos helping to bring new appreciation to modern dance in today’s youth. Maddie is currently on the judging panel of ‘So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation’ where she is inspiring a whole new generation to follow in her footsteps.”
JoJo Siwa, who joined Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” last year, was also awarded for her abilities. The 13-year-old secured Favorite Dance 17 & Under on Wednesday. The “Boomerang” singer was nominated alongside Maddie, Mackenzie, Aidan Xiong and Charlize Glass.
“So incredibly honored to have won,” JoJo wrote on Instagram Thursday. “Thanks you all so so much for voting for me. Love my fans.”
JoJo is not the first familiar face in the “Dance Moms” community to win the honor. Chloe Lukasiak was recognized in the same category in 2015. She went on to star in the TV movie “Center Stage: On Pointe” and recently wrapped the feature film “Cowgirl’s Story” with actress Bailee Madison.
The Industry Dance Awards is an annual event which honors dancers, teachers, musical artists, dance films and TV shows and more. The event benefits Dancers Against Cancer, a charitable organization which provides financial assistance to those involved in the community fighting the disease.
This year’s award ceremony comes just weeks before the return of “Dance Moms” on Sept. 6. While Maddie and Mackenzie no longer star on the show, JoJo will return to Abby Lee Miller’s ALDC LA (Abby Lee Dance Company Los Angeles) to compete with the elite junior team.