During the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, Missy Elliott's medley of her iconic hits included a surprise guest. Dancer and actress Alyson Stoner, who appeared in Elliott's "Work It" video as a child, got a special spotlight. Fans online were stunned when they realized it was the 26-year-old Step Up star.
In the original "Work It" video, Stoner appears towards the end, dancing with pigtails. On Monday night, she was featured wearing a yellow tracksuit while dancing center stage.
"Work It" was released in 2003 and won the MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Hip-Hop Video. The video was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Direction, Best Special Effects and Best Female Video.
Stoner was also featured in Ellott's "Gossip Folks" and "I'm Really Hot" videos. She can also be spotted in Eminem's "Just Lose It" and the Kumbia Kings' "No Tengo Dinero" videos.
In 2015, Stoner released a video tribute to Elliott, with all her dances from the Elliott videos. Stoner's clip now has more than 20.4 million views.
Outside her career as a dancer, Stoner appeared in Cheaper By The Dozen (2003), Step Up (2006), Step Up 3D (2010), Step Up: All In (2014) and Summer Forever (2015). She also appeared on television in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
In February, Stoner made headlines for opening up about her battle with eating disorders and her recent trip to rehab. She told PEOPLE she suffered from anorexia nervosa, exercise bulimia and binge-eating disorders. In 2011, she was hospitalized and went to rehab.
"I had actually wanted to get help for some time, and my schedule didn't allow for it," Stoner told the magazine. "So I had already needed hospitalization, but I had to complete projects. The second that I finished the contract, I told my family that I was going. They knew. Everyone around knew."
Stoner said she was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, OCT tendencies and alexithymia while in rehab. She also considered leaving show business behind, but believes she still has stories to tell.
"I still have so many stories to share," Stoner told PEOPLE. "Anything I can do to bridge the gap between perspectives and help people learn the same positive things that I've learned is a privilege and I don't take it lightly."
Photo credit: Getty Images