Payton Ackerman is an American professional dancer and actress who gained fame after appearing on the second season of Lifetime’s reality show, ‘Dance Moms’. Often considered to be one of the best hip-hop dancers in the USA, Payton has gone from being a teen dancer on a reality show to a professional with unparalleled skills. During her tenure at ‘Dance Moms’, the show portrayed her as a spoilt brat with the wrong attitude. She was often seen getting into fights along with her mom, with the leading teacher and the face of the show Abby Miller. However, after her exit, it was revealed that most of it was reality TV crafted drama and Payton was actually a nice human being. Even through all the drama, there was no denying the fact that she was an incredibly talented hip-hop dancer and her association with Miller turned her into a teacher herself. More recently, Payton is represented by talent agencies like ‘BLOC LA’ and the ‘Luciano and Reeves Talent Agency’.
Rise to Fame
Having an older sister like Taylor Ackerman, who is a professional dancer herself, Payton started dancing at a very early age. She was trained and found herself dancing for ‘Reign Dance Productions’. In 2011, the reality TV show, ‘Dance Moms’ debuted on Lifetime. The vicious attitude of leading teacher Abbey Lee Miller coupled with the drama and exceptional dancing by young dancers made the show a hit and caught the attention of Payton. She was already under the tutelage of Abbey Lee Miller. So in 2012, she jumped right in at the chance to be a part of the second season of the dance show.
Payton Ackerman became part of the ‘Abbey Lee Dance Company’ (ALDC) at the age of 10 and joined ‘Dance Moms’ when she was 14 years old. However, her journey in the show was anything but smooth. Being taller than all the other contestants, she was often harshly criticized on camera by Miller. It didn’t help that her mother got into constant bickering matches with Miller and physical fights with Christi Lukasiak. Consequently, the show was edited in such a manner that, Payton got portrayed as a spoilt brat, bully, and immature. In reality, she was friends with a number of girls and that continued even after she left the show.
Near the end of the season, she was left out of the ‘Dance Moms’ competition team because of her height, in spite of being one of the best dancers. This was the last straw for her mother, who decided that Abbey Miller’s treatment of Payton was unfair. She left the show. Due to interference from her mother, Payton’s journey ended even though Miller asked her to come back. However, her stint at ‘Dance Moms’ gave her enough exposure to become a household name.
Payton later returned to ‘ALDC’ to become a teacher in 2015. In an interview, she explained that her relationship with Abbey was not bad at all and much of the drama on the show was not what it looked like. In fact, she credited Miller for teaching her not only to dance, the tricks of the industry, but also for being a second mother to her. She eventually left ‘ALDC’ on good terms, to move to LA and pursue an individual career. Career Beyond ‘ALDC’
In spite of a prolonged absence from reality TV, Payton not only worked hard, but managed to craft a successful career for herself. In 2014, she was featured in Todrick Hall’s music video ‘Freaks Like Me’. The next year she was seen in the short film ‘High Hello’. She received critical acclaim for her performance. However, dancing remains her one true passion and on April 30, 2018, she performed live at Australian singer, Magenta Harley’s live show at ‘The Federal’ in NoHo. Besides these, Payton also enjoys a star status on social media platforms, especially, Instagram. Her regular posts on lifestyle and travels have garnered a massive following of 653K subscribers. She also uses the platform to post hip-hop dance videos performing alongside other professionals like Marissa Heart at the ‘Playground LA’ dance studio, which show her continuing success as a professional dancer.
You May Like
Payton Ackerman was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 24, 1997, to Greg Ackerman and Leslie Ackerman. She has an older sister, Taylor Ackerman and a brother, Connor. Payton graduated from Upper St. Clair High School, Pennsylvania in 2015. Payton is dating Logan Stork, whom she met while still at school.