Taking Australia by storm: Inside the highly anticipated Maddie and Mackenzie Tour
Last month international Dance Moms stars and sisters, Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler kicked off their Australia and New Zealand Tour, where they treated fans nation-wide to a day of dance workshops, performances, photos and an intimate Q & A session. Accompanied by none other than acclaimed choreographer Marko Panzic and The Dream Team dancers (Mitch Wynter, Alea O’Shea, Cheska Gonzales, Ben Turland and Cameron Field), the tour was a pandemonium-inducing hit for Maddie & Mackenzie devotees, who turned out in droves for the chance to dance with their idols.
Energetiks attended the Melbourne leg of the tour at The Centre, Ivanhoe, to check out the 12 & Under Session, and find out what a day of dancing with the Zieglers was like. The four hour event kickstarted at 9am with a masterclass with Marko Panzic and his Dream Team, who made a striking visual ensemble dressed head to toe in their Maddie and Mackenzie official tour merchandise, as well as The Dream Dance Company’s new merch (both proudly made and supplied by Energetiks). They taught eager young dancers an upbeat routine to the Greatest Showman’s number one anthem, ‘This is me’, splitting up into groups to let every dancer get their turn in the spotlight, and ending the routine with a freestyle section that saw fans as young as seven or eight whipping out fouetté turns, backflips and aerials.
After a few run-throughs to polish up their new routine, Marko invited Maddie and Mackenzie to join him on-stage for the first time, to a deafening uproar of excited squeals from around the room as both girls reached out to share high fives with the swarm of delighted young dancers. Before they stepped into the spotlight themselves the sisters came and joined the rest of the tour’s cast on the edge of the stage, where they sat and watched each group proudly perform their new choreography with amplified energy. This was an especially heart-warming moment for every dancer as well as the many dance mums and dads watching from the sidelines, who got to hear Maddie and Mackenzie’s praise and feedback at the end of each groups’ performance.
Even more adorable was the moment Marko Panzic spotted a tiny dancer amongst the crowd, dancing passionately in her Energetiks Crystal Frill Leotard, and brought her up on stage for her own special impromptu solo with the girls. The little dancer, named Stevee, was an audience favourite, receiving deafening cheers and plenty of hugs before being escorted back to the floor by the ever-chivalrous Marko. Many other dancers were also treated to their moment on stage, taking turns to show the Ziegler girls their moves. Dancing wasn’t the only way attending dancers were expressing themselves during the tour though, dancewear fashion was on full, technicolour display. With some attendees opting for sporty dance-active gear (like our new Kaleidoscope Collection) and runners as their outfit of choice, and others dressed in their favourite leotards and jazz shoes like the adorable Stevee. However by the end of the day, by far the most common ensemble was the official Maddie and Mackenzie 'Logo Crop Top', as well as the crop and short sets, both made and supplied by Energetiks, with most stock selling out before the day was over. Limited Maddie and Mackenzie merch was available for purchase exclusively at each tour stop, but Energetiks were happy to gift all attendees special offers for in-store and online as a consolation prize for anyone who missed out.
The Official Energetiks Maddie & Mackenzie Tour Merch and Dream Dance Company Merch on dancers Mitch Wynter, Alea O'Shea and Cheska Gonzales, and available at the Merch shop. Middle bottom: Dancer Stevee receiving high fives from Marko Panzic
The day continued with Maddie and Mackenzie settling down on stage for a candid Q&A hosted by Marko Panzic who read out fan-submitted questions for each of them. This caused the room to fall into utter silence for the first time all day as dancers sat transfixed while they listened to Maddie’s advice about online bullying, her favourite thing about working with Sia, and Mackenzie’s goals for the future, favourite singers, and how she keeps so positive and upbeat.
This was followed by the most anticipated moment of the tour, as Maddie and Mackenzie each performed a solo onstage for their fans. The lights were dimmed in the auditorium, with a single spotlight left on stage to light up Mackenzie and Maddie in turn, and the silhouette of the audience gently illuminated by hundreds of glowing phone screens held aloft as dancers filmed their idols' performances. Mackenzie then returned to the stage for an unexpected and unscheduled performance: sitting down with ukulele in hand to sing her own cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Ocean Eyes’ for delighted fans.
The day culminated with a stunning duo between Maddie and her long-time friend and special tour guest, Charlize Riley Glass, before the Dream Team and Mackenzie joined them on stage to bring the event to an electrified climax with a high-energy, euphoric routine to Sigala’s ‘Came here for love’. The event wrapped up with some allocated time for fans to get a photo with the Zieglers and the Dream Team on stage, whilst parents were welcomed into a personal Q&A session with the ultimate ‘Dance Mom’, Maddie and Mackenzie’s mother Melissa.
With a total of thirteen shows performed in six different cities and two different continents over thirteen days, and already an overwhelming clamour from Aussie and NZ fans for the duo to return (with many stating it was ‘the best day of their life’), it’s clear that the Maddie and Mackenzie Tour was a wonderful success for all involved. And the show itself was immeasurably enhanced by the presence of Australia’s own extraordinary industry icon, Marko Panzic and the phenomenal talent of the Dream Team dancers.
For those keen dancers who did miss out on seeing their Dance Moms idols in person, don’t feel too disheartened. If this month’s tour was anything to go by we’re optimistic another trip to Australia might be on the agenda. In the meantime, stay up to date with the girls on Instagram here: @maddieziegler, @kenzie, and follow the amazing Marko Panzic and his Dream Team cast to stay in the loop about upcoming workshops, tour dates and the unmissable performances regularly on the calendar: @markopanzic, @mitchwynter, @alea_osheaa, @cheska_gozales, @benjaminturland, @cameronfield_.
Article and photography by Elly Ford