Alyson Stoner Returns to 'Ellen' After 17 Years to Talk Missy Elliott Surprise at VMAs

Actress and dancer Alyson Stoner made her first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the first time in 17 years Monday to reflect on her surprise dance during Missy Elliott's performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 27. Stoner recreated her famous dance from Elliott's "Work It" video from 2003, when she was only 9 years old. Stoner's appearance quickly went viral after everyone watching realized who that was in a yellow tracksuit pulling off those slick moves.

"So, this is crazy. Seventeen years ago, our first season, I saw the Missy Elliott video, and I was like, 'There's this little girl in this video that is so good,'" DeGeneres said during Monday's episode as she introduced Stoner. "And our producers found you, had you on the show, and look at you now. I mean, it's amazing."

DeGeneres then showed clips of Stoner's appearance on Ellen, including a scene with her teaching DeGeneres how to dance.

Stoner called the chance to work with Elliot again "absolutely perfect," adding, "First of all, obviously credit goes to Missy for allowing me to participate and honor her, and kind of recreate that timeless moment."

During the MTV VMAs, Elliot received the 2019 Video Vanguard Award and performed a medley of hits. When it came time to do "Work It," Stoner jumped out on stage in a yellow Adidas tracksuit with "Alyson" written on the back.

While on Ellen, Stoner gave fans an update on her lifestyle. She said she "downsized" her life by donating many of her possessions. Everything she still has can fit in her car, she said.

"The simpler your life is, the more room you have for your health and relationships to flourish. It was very easy to go as wild and luxurious as the entertainment industry can seem to be," Stoner told DeGeneres. "[Now] I can fit all my belongings in my car and you just have this weightlessness."

Stoner, 26, also appeared in the videos for Elliott's "Gossip Folks" and "I'm Really Hot," as well as videos for other artists. As a child actor, she also found success on the Disney Channel, with roles on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, That's So Raven and Camp Rock. She later took a role in the Step Up franchise.

Today, Stoner independently records and has published self-help videos promoting positive thinking and overcoming fears on YouTube. In February, she released the single "Stripped Bare," and showed herself getting her hair shaved in the video.

"Shaving my head is an act of mental health and confidence, not self-destruction," she told PEOPLE earlier this year. "I can't tell you how many beliefs and opinions and insecurities fell to the floor with every tuft of hair, and I'm leaving them there. I'm shedding one era and rising as a new being in real time."

Stoner shared her future plans in an interview with Us Weekly last week.


"I'm directing and starring in my own series ALchemy. My podcast launches this fall and in addition to being an artist, I'm actually advocating for my peers here," she said. "I'm trying to get mental health practitioners on every tour. My goal here is not to compete, it's just to make sure everyone's healthy, so we can kill it on stage."

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