Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Mackenzie Ziegler Instills Confidence and Courage in Her Fans

Jul 20, 2017 04:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Photo by Glenn Nutley

By Sabrina Jordan

13-year-old Mackenzie Ziegler seems to have been born with an innate talent for the arts. This singer, actress, and now author, began her path to stardom as a dancer on the Lifetime reality series Dance Moms. She was in the first season released in 2011, at seven years old, through the middle of the sixth season released in 2016, at 12 years old.

After leaving the show, she further explored her skills in music. Ziegler released album Mack Z in 2014, which reached #1 on the iTunes Pop Chart. Her hit single “Monsters (aka Haters)” released this past spring, accompanied by a music video. The song portrays a message about staying true to yourself and blocking those who do not positively support you.

“The inspiration comes from dealing with the haters on social media who try to bring you down, and from kids who are bullies to others at school. We don’t need that kind of hate.”Mackenzie Ziegler

She is currently performing on the Day & Night Tour with singer and friend, Johnny Orlando. The duo has been on the road since February and will be ending the show in August. Orlando found fame at eight years old after posting song covers on YouTube. He received his first Teen Choice Nomination in 2016, and has a social media fan base of over 10 million. This tour headlines their collaborative single “Day & Night”, a duet about missing your best friend, released in 2016.

The teenager is now working on her first book, “Kenzie’s Rules for Life: How to be Happy, Healthy, and Dance to Your Own Beat.” It details the lessons she gained growing up in the spotlight, and encourages her readers how to live a confident and happy life. She plans to have it debut next summer.

Check our Mackenzie’s exclusive new music video, “Teamwork”, in collaboration with Justice. 

Don’t miss Mackenzie Ziegler and Johnny Orlando on their Day & Night Tour at the Baltimore Soundstage, July 28th at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show.

Photo by Glenn Nutley


You began taking dance classes at two years old, but when specifically did your passion for dancing develop? How do you incorporate your dancing into your live performances?

I loved watching the other girls in my dance class and they inspired me. I’ve incorporated dancing into my tour with Johnny, which has been so fun.

Dancing since such a young age, is there anyone in the dancing community that you’ve looked to for inspiration?

My sister was my inspiration. There was a point when I thought I wasn’t a good enough dancer but she encouraged me. I learned to be confident from her.

Your most recent hit single “Monsters (aka haters)” released in April empowers your listeners to persevere and follow their dreams. Can you tell me where the inspiration for this song developed?

The inspiration comes from dealing with the haters on social media who try to bring you down, and from kids who are bullies to others at school. We don’t need that kind of hate.

Next summer you will be releasing your first novel. What made you start thinking about this new project? What will the book be discussing and what do you hope your readers will take away from it?

The book is all about me, the roles of Mackenzie and what I do in my life. It includes a bunch of crafts! I talk directly to the readers so that it’s more personal. I hope my readers will learn about how to be confident.

How has being in the spotlight at such a young age affected your personal life? Are there times when you feel overwhelmed with adult responsibilities?

Sometimes it feels like a lot, and I remember that I’m still a kid and I just want to hang out with my friends. But what I get to do is super cool, so at the end of the day I’m grateful.

Photo by Glenn Nutley


You have a very large following on social media, specifically Instagram, Snapchat, and Why do you think it’s so important to engage with your fans via social media? What do you want them to learn about you from your social media posts?

I try to be positive on my social media and I love to interact with my followers, there are even some fan pages. When I have a hater on my page they all defend me. I just love the way I’m broadcasted.

How did the collaboration with Johnny Orlando come about? What is your favorite part about touring with him on the “Day & Night” tour and what can fans expect when they come to see the show?

When we were younger we wanted to do a song together, so we met and collaborated after that. My favorite part is being able to tour with my best friends, Johnny and his sister Lauren. The performance is very different from dancing on stage, but I want my fans to know that I’m having such a fun experience and I love meeting everyone.

What kind of impact do you hope to make as an influential figure among tween-age and teenage girls?  Is there any advice you would like to give to young and aspiring artists?

Don’t let people tell you what to be. I have had so many things in my life knock me down, and people who have told me I’m not good enough. It’s so important to not give up.