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Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni

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g   Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni
Melissa Gisoni - MvK 04
Gender: Female
Born: June 13 [1][2]
Height: 5' 4" (estimated)
Friends and Family
Spouse: Greg Gisoni (husband)
Kurt Ziegler (ex-husband)
Children: Maddie Ziegler (daughter)
Mackenzie Ziegler (daughter)
Friends: Jill Vertes
Holly Frazier
Gianna Martello
Leslie Ackerman
Kira Girard
Jessalynn Siwa
Pets: Molly (dog)
Maliboo (dog)
Peanut (cat)
Episode Run
Debut: The Competition Begins
  I'm a doormat. 

Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni is the mother of Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler. She is friends with Abby Lee Miller, owner of the Abby Lee Dance Company.

Maddie and Mackenzie are favored over the rest of the girls at the Abby Lee Dance Company because Maddie is the "best" and because Melissa works at the front desk for free to pay for her dance bills, but

Melissa used to be married to Maddie and Mackenzie's father, Kurt Ziegler, but they got divorced because Kurt says that dance ruined their marriage. She is now married to Greg Gisoni

Other information

  • She is often called a "second mom" by people from Abby's studio.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
  • Shopping and chocolate are guilty pleasures of hers.[10]
  • Her daughters' solo music and Disney songs are on her iPod.[10]
  • Her most memorable Valentine's Day was when she got cards from her girls.[11]
  • Her biggest regret is not going to college.[11]
  • She wants her daughters to go on Broadway and go to college.[11]
  • Her husband Greg has been serving as a Vice President for Westinghouse Electric Company, which has its world headquarters in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.[12][13]
  • Out of all the moms, she is the closest with Jill Vertes and Holly Frazier.[14]
  • Melissa, along with several other members of the Dance Moms cast, appeared in Todrick Hall's video "Freaks Like Me." It was released on July 3rd, 2014. The music video can be seen in full here.
  • In May 2015, the Ziegler-Gisoni family sold their old home in Pittsburgh, moving into a larger custom built house in Pittsburgh,[15][16] although also expecting to live in Los Angeles half the time.[17]
  • During a Season 2 extra, Melissa said they didn't often use their kitchen, adding that their schedule has them dancing six nights a week.[18]


 I think [Maddie] is the best dancer in our studio. 
 Melissa, in "The Competition Begins"
 While Maddie was rehearsing, there was a little girl practicing as well, about ten feet away from her. Her name is Juliana and we've seen her at other competitions. A lot of people think that Juliana is Maddie's big competition. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a sweet girl and a great little dancer, but Maddie has no competition. 
 Melissa, in "Love on the Dance Floor"
 I like to keep my private life private. 
 Christi is jealous of my nine-year-old daughter and I think it's ridiculous. 
 Justice is on stage, and he is cuter than a button. 
 Melissa, in "Melissa Pleads the Fifth"
 '@SandraMak: @dancemom1313 @lifetimetv This whole lawsuit thing is scripted..' Do you think? Lol #dancemoms 
 Melissa, on Twitter, concerning the letters sent to the other moms in "Melissa Pleads the Fifth"
 She talks about sex like it's nothing, but apparently marriage is taboo. I thought is was backwards! 
 comment about Melissa, from "Melissa Pleads the Fifth"
 My ex-to-be claims that dance has ruined our marriage. 
 Melissa, from "The Competition Begins"

In Dance Moms

Season One

Melissa is not afraid to let the viewers and the moms know that she thinks her daughters are the best. In the first episode of the series, Melissa says, "I think she [Maddie] is the best dancer in our studio." Christi believes that Maddie and Chloe get compared too often and that it hurts Chloe's confidence.

  • In The Competition Begins, Melissa talks about her ex-to-be, saying that dance ruined their marriage. She also says that her boyfriend knew how much she spent on dance because he signed the checks. Maddie feels ill during the rehearsal of the group dance, so Melissa takes her to the bathroom and comforts her.
  • In Wildly Inappropriate, she stays silent as all of the other moms talk about how much attention Abby gives Maddie. She thinks the other moms are jealous of Maddie because she gets all of the attention and is front and center of most of the dances. A goal of hers for Maddie is for her to win national dancer of the year. At the competition, she cries during Maddie's performance, saying she was a little angel. Melissa is proud of the controversial group because the girls had only been working on it for a week and thinks it will win. After the awards, she thinks the girls were robbed because they out-danced everyone onstage. In Cheerleader Blues, Melissa brings in a cake for Cathy’s birthday and gives her some bracelets. She says that Cathy seems like a very sweet and genuine person like her. The next day, Cathy invites Melissa out to lunch because she can get some dirt about the other moms. Cathy asks about the other moms' husbands before asking about Melissa's, who tells her she was going through a divorce. She calls Cathy her new "best friend forever" and Cathy agrees. She comes into the den after Holly and tells the moms about her lunch with Cathy. Kelly asks if she and Cathy talked about her at their lunch, but Melissa says they talked about their husbands, surprising the moms. On competition day, Kelly asks Melissa where her "bff" (Cathy) was.
  • In Stealing the Show, Melissa has difficulties downloading Paige's music. Christi is angry that Maddie gets to perform two solos while she thinks Chloe is being set-up to fail with her rehearsals, accusing Abby and Melissa of refusing to speak of what's happening in front of the cameras. When Maddie and Mackenzie start crying at Christi's emotional outburst, Melissa leaves in disgust. When Christi apologizes in the next episode, Melissa wants to just avoid discussing the matter.
  • In She's a Fighter, Melissa and Maddie bicker in nervous irritation before the competition (which Abby and Kelly say always happens before going onstage, and is similarly seen again in Abbygeddon.) Maddie's solo "Angel" is dedicated to Bopcha, Melissa's deceased mother. With both now calm, Melissa places an angel-pin on Maddie's costume, which Melissa's mother always used to wear. Melissa cries watching the performance, her hand held by Gianna. Kurt, Melissa's ex, appeared in It All Ends Here at Nationals because Melissa was on vacation in the last two episodes with her boyfriend, Greg Gisoni (who is now her husband). Kurt walked into the dressing room and Abby immediately pushed him out & screamed at him. Kurt said that he would do everything in his power to make sure Maddie and Mackenzie left Abby's studio next year.

Season Two

  • In The Runaway Mom, Abby choreographs a wedding-themed group dance, hoping this will make Melissa abandon her secretiveness about her engagement.
  • When Abby wants all the fathers to attend the competition, the other moms also hassle her for not putting aside her difficulties with her ex-husband for her daughters' benefit and let Kurt attend who Melissa says will be at a hockey tournament (and only Holly's husband seems to have made an appearance.)
  • Melissa claims in Night of the Living Dancers that she stopped working at Abby's.


To view the gallery for Melissa Ziegler, click here.

External Links


  1. Melissa Gisoni, confirmed account, 5:45 PM - 13 Jun 2012: "Thank you to all my amazing friends for all the birthday wishes!!! #dancemoms"
  2. Sample of birthday wishes about Melissa on 13 June 2014: - from @aldcprobz "Happy Birthday to the studios Second Mom @dancemom1313 have a lovely day we love you ❤️❤️ #flashbackfriday " - from @itsKAMRYNBECK, "miss you also a very happy birthday to @dancemom1313 🎂💕 " - from @jennine_wedge, "Happy Birthday @dancemom1313 - I hope it's perfect! Thank you for all you do! Love you to the moon and back!"
    " @rach_thomaD: "Happy Birthday to one of the sweetest and generous ladies ever, @dancemom1313! Love you!!" @hi_itsRyRy: "@dancemom1313 happy birthday to my second mother, thank you for everything you do for me. Have the best day❤️" @ninalinhart: "Happy birthday to my second mom!! Thank you so much for all you do ❤️ @dancemom1313" @dancemom1313: "Thanks for all the birthday wishes! You guys are amazing and so full of love! I am elated that you are so sweet" @23kalani: "Happy birthday @dancemom1313 thx for being my Pittsburgh mom love you to pieces miss you xoxo"

    N.B.: the above tweets come from searching Twitter for "dancemom1313 birthday", and looking at "Top" results only, posted on June 13th, 2014. There is only one account wishing Melissa a happy birthday on June 30th, 2014, and it is from "Famous Birthdays ‏@FamousBirthdays". In addition, the same account (@FamousBirthdays) is alone again in wishing Melissa a happy birthday on October 22nd.
  10. 10.0 10.1
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2
  13. Greg Gisoni representing Westinghouse at a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) meeting.
  15. The Ziegler's 4-bedroom, 2500 sq. ft. suburban Pittsburgh pad... sold in just 6 hours, at the full $279,000 asking price... the new 7,000 sq. ft. pad is quite the step-ball-change up. Amenities include a dance studio in the basement...
  17. Mingle Media TV Network interview by JJ Snyder, May 2015
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named housetour
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