Dancing queen Maddie Ziegler has joined the judges' table for this season of So You Think You Can Dance. The competition series, which kicked off its 13th season on May 30, has shifted to a younger generation of dance contestants—right up Ziegler's alley! In fact, she's somewhat of an expert in this department, thanks to her long resume of starring in Sia's music videos (plus, an epic Grammy performance).
As for her first day on the job? "I was so nervous because I'm usually the one in their position, so to be on the other side watching people dance and judge them, it was really cool," Ziegler tells InStyle. "The talent is just incredible. I can't believe how good they are. Some of them are my age, too, and they're so good. It's so fun to watch them dance."
During the live taping on Monday nights, she works closely with her fellow judges: Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe, and Jason Derulo. "They're all so sweet," Ziegler says. "They just want me to have a good time. I feel really relaxed when I'm with them because they're so chill and not crazy at all. They're all really nice."
As the contestants battle it out, the dancing vet uses her expertise to both critique and praise their performances. She even has wise advice for them: "Always stay hardworking and always make sure you're passionate about what you're doing," she says. "Nothing is impossible with dance and if you want to achieve something, you can. I never thought I would be doing any of the things I'm doing today. I always dreamt of it but I never thought I actually would. Now I'm here and it's really cool."
So You Think You Can Dance airs on FOX Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET.