Dance Moms Returns: Where Are Abby Lee Miller's Students Now?

JoJo Siwa, Chloe Lukasiak and more stars have found huge success after appearing on the Lifetime show

By Mike Vulpo Jun 04, 2019 10:00 AMTags
Dance Moms: Where Are They NowLifetime/E! Illustration

For Abby Lee Miller's most beloved students, the beat goes on long after livin' on the dance floor.

Back in the summer of 2011, Lifetime premiered a reality show that followed the early training and careers of children in dance and show business.

Cameras rolled as students danced nonstop at the Abby Lee Dance Company Studios. As for their parents, they managed to get competitive when being their kid's greatest cheerleader.

Tonight, a brand-new season kicks off with a brand-new crop of students. But for those select dancers who have moved on, they are still finding huge success thanks to their hard work, talents and loyal fan base.

"I learned that you have to work hard for the things you want in life. They won't be handed to you on a silver platter—you have to work persistently to get them," Chloe Lukasiak shared with E! News when sharing her biggest lesson from Dance Moms.  "You can't give up or listen to the people who will try to stop you from reaching success."

Abby Lee Miller Praises JoJo Siwa & Teases New Stars

Since leaving the ALDC, Chloe has participated in seven films, wrote a book and started a YouTube channel to stay in touch with her six million Instagram followers.

But Chloe isn't alone in finding great success after the show. One name that many kids—and parents—will easily recognize is JoJo Siwa.

"Look at JoJo. She wants it. She works nonstop. Her YouTube videos are a sensation. She does that. She films nine episodes or nine little stories a week. She would edit them herself," Abby Lee shared with E! News' Justin Sylvester. "That kid was texting me at 3 in the morning. Why are you up? What are you doing? 'I have to finish this by tomorrow.' She goes into those meetings with Nickelodeon. She wants it."

Before a new season kicks off tonight, we're checking in with just some of the many talented faces who appeared in the franchise. Take a look at what your favorites have been up to in our gallery below.

Maddie Ziegler

Since leaving Dance Moms in 2016, Maddie's career has skyrocketed thanks to appearances in music videos for Sia songs such as "Elastic Heart" and "Chandelier." Her memoir The Maddie Diaries became a New York Times best-seller and a YA trilogy followed. Today, she continues to explore dancing, acting and modeling opportunities, appearing in Sia's directorial debut Music and the 2021 West Side Story remake. 

Chloe Lukasiak

Before starting college at Pepperdine University in the fall of 2019, the actress wrote a book titled Girl on Pointe: Chloe's Guide to Taking on the World. She started a YouTube channel to keep fans updated on all her projects. And for those who loved the dancer's mom Christi Lukasiak, she remains Chloe's biggest fan. "She always encourages me to follow my dreams, as does my entire family," Chloe shared with E! News. "Everything I've done up until now has been possible because of my family's belief in me." 

One of her most recent projects—kicked off while she was quarantining away from Pepperdine's Malibu campus due to COVID—sees the author sharing poetry on Instagram with the handle @chloelukasiakwrites

Kendall Vertes

After being a member of Cheryl Burke-led reformed dance troupe The Irreplaceables, Kendall starred in the 2019 movie Rapunzel: A Princess Frozen in Time. She also set her eyes on the music industry, Kendall K's list of singles including the 2017 track "Where Would I Be Without You." As for her friendships with the girls, Kendall had a "family reunion" with co-stars Maddie Ziegler and Nia Sioux in 2019 before meeting up with Brooke Hyland and Paige Hyland last June

JoJo Siwa

After leaving Dance Moms, the YouTube star has become the unofficial tween queen thanks to an exclusive licensing deal with Nickelodeon, branded merchandise with retailers and even a sold-out tour across the country. "One of the biggest things that I ever learned from Dance Moms was either to sink or swim," JoJo previously shared with Kelly Ripa. "Not, like, physically, actually in a swimming pool. But to really just be able to survive and to want it."

These days, as she pals around with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, she's doing more than treading water. In 2021, the LGBTQ+ icon partnered with Jenna Johnson to compete as the first same-sex couple on the U.S. version of Dancing With the Stars. Her appearance on the ABC competition show followed the premiere of her feature-length film The J Team

Mackenzie Ziegler

The dancer's music career began with her 2014 album, Mack Z. In 2018, she released her second album titled Phases. That same year, the singer was a finalist on Dancing With the Stars: Juniors and launched her own cosmetics line called "Love, Kenzie." But her most recent endeavor was a group project, Sia agreeing to join her on the 2020 track "Exhale."

A song "about needing to just breathe and have a party," as Kenzie put it to People, "I sent her the demo and she was like, 'Oh my gosh, I love this song so much.' I wrote the song, but I wasn't sure if I was going to release it, and she was like, 'Oh my gosh, if you don't release it by yourself, I'll take it from you or I'll just be on it with you.'" Expect more dance bangers in the future, with Kenzie telling the outlet an EP is in the works: "I have lots of songs that I've done, but I'm still trying to figure out which ones are my favorite. So after quarantine is over, I'm definitely going to be back in the studio."

Nia Sioux

The star of The Bold and the Beautiful and Sunnyside Up continues to stay in touch with her more than 1 million fans through YouTube and book future acting gigs. (On the docket: drama The Lies I Tell Myself and sci-fi flick IM/Mortal.) And in May 2020, she released her first children's book, Today I Dance

"I know that I am young and have a lot to learn, but I also know that I am young and have a lot to give," she shared on Instagram following her graduation from high school. "I'm so excited for the next adventures life has in store for me. Moving on to the next chapter, I want to encourage our generation that we can be the change. We have so much power and I have hope that we will make the world a better place."

Kalani Hilliker

Back home in Arizona, the dancer, actress and entrepreneur is fully embracing what she calls "my health and wellness era" with the 2023 launch of her beauty line Kare

"I struggle with anxiety," she explained to E! News of her inspiration. "And I really wanted to create a brand that was inclusive to everyone to be able to just relax and take time for yourself and have a solid self-care routine to help you get through your day."

And, yes, she's still nailing every last arabesque, having dipped her perfectly arched foot back into dancing and teaching. "I obviously have a very different teaching way than Abby does towards me. Or, honestly, most of my dance teachers," she shared. "I like to be very kind, but also you've got to push them to be the best they can be."

Camryn Bridges

While this Dance Moms alumna isn't as active on social media when compared to her co-stars, the high school cheerleader celebrated her 2020 graduation with a special guy named Darius Turner. And yes, fans. She's still dancing!

Brynn Rumfallo

They grow up so fast! The Dance Moms fan-favorite documented her prom on Instagram in 2019, promising to be active on YouTube all summer long. Still dancing, the Twilight fanatic ("Robert Pattinson is the love of my life") is embarking on her senior year of high school. "I've gone to four high schools now in four years," she shared in a Sept. 28 Q&A sesh with her 3.1 million Instagram followers. "I really like school."

Paige Hyland

Since leaving the show, Paige attended high school in Pennsylvania where she was able to model for various brands including Sherri Hill. Next on her agenda is three more years at West Virginia University, where she's dating Youngstown's defensive back Jayvon Thrift.

Brooke Hyland

It's hard to believe, but all the way back in 2016, Brooke graduated from high school. Having dabbled "in the world of fame," as she put it in a January post to her 3.5 million Instagram followers, "I was able to have more fun than I thought was humanly possible with the best of friends, new & old. I traveled to 17 different countries." She went on to attend Ohio University, collecting degrees in marketing, management information systems and business analytics, before road tripping to California to begin her new life as a social media influencer.

A new season of Dance Moms kicks off Tuesday night at 9 p.m. only on Lifetime.