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Murrysville girl of 'Dance Moms' fame releases album

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:06 p.m.

“Dance Moms” introduced Mackenzie Ziegler to TV viewers as a dancer. Now, with the release of “MackZ,” the Murrysville girl is telling the world she wants to be both seen and heard.

Her 12-track album was released on April 26, with the video for her first single, “It's a Girl Party” premiering three days later.

“This is really different for me,” said Mackenzie, 9. “It was one of my dreams that I always wanted to accomplish.”

Mackenzie and her sister, Maddie, are among the stars of Lifetime Television's reality TV show “Dance Moms,” which follows a Penn Hills-based competitive dance team.

Mackenzie first fell in love with singing after watching videos of other young girls performing online on YouTube. She tried coming up with her own songs but found that songwriting wasn't her forte.

Since she was 5, Mackenzie has taken voice lessons from Cathy Crocker in Pittsburgh. Despite three years of training, she can't bring herself to pick between singing and dancing.

“I like how I express myself when I sing,” she said. “But it's really hard doing both at the same time. I tried that with my music video. But it's still really fun.”

Recording an album has made the past few months pretty hectic. Her dance instructor, Abby Lee Miller, has served as manager of her singing career while MacKenzie shuttled back and forth between Los Angeles and Murrysville.

Her favorite track is “Cause You Believe,” which reflects how she feels about her mom.

“When I sing ‘Every time I fall, you pick me up, you're there' it's about my mom,” MacKenzie said.

Her mom, Melissa Gisoni, is her biggest fan. Gisoni was in Aruba when “It's a Girl Party” first was released.

“It's kind of amazing for me,” Gisoni said. “I was freaking out at the pool. Everyone around me started downloading it, too, and the DJ even started playing it.”

Gisoni credits the girls' fans for making the album a success. She and her daughters have received hundreds of tweets from fans excited about the album.

“I couldn't believe the reaction from the fans,” she said. “We have the best fans.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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