Fans couldn't believe their eyes when Missy Elliott brought out Alyson Stoner, who appeared on her music video for "Work It" when she was a young girl, at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. Now 26, Stoner busted out some impressive moves on stage Monday night reminiscent of the 2003 music video that catapulted her and her talents to fame.
Social media erupted with praise for both Stoner and Elliott in the wake of the special appearance.
Stoner's reprisal of her iconic dance in "Work It" was part of a larger, seven-song medley by Elliott, who received the 2019 Video Vanguard Award. In addition to "Work It," she also ran through her hits "Throw It Back," "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)," "Hot Boyz," "Get Ur Freak On," "Pass That Dutch" and "Lose Control."
Missy Elliott is THE GOAT!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/BWq2gfd0Oc— Vote them & him out November 2020 (@Bevlovesevery1) August 27, 2019
Did no one notice that Allyson Stoner made an appearance on Work It? Old heads know— Jasmine Diaz (@thejasminediaz) August 27, 2019
Y’all I had a flash back to childhood especially when Allison came out. Almost broke my body when I was little trying to dance like her. Thank you Missy for the amazing work you have done and are doing! 🧡— Chuckie👅🔪 (@taigrime) August 27, 2019
"Work It" was released in 2003 and won the MTV Video Music Award for Video fo the Year and Best Hip-Hop Video. It also earned nods for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Direction, Best Special Effects and Best Female Video.
Tell my why I cried even harder when I saw Alyson Stoner dancing 😭 she was like the sweetest child star and a womanz now— Saanè (@ladysaane) August 27, 2019
I KNEW THAT WAS MY BITCH ALYSON 👏👏👏👏👏— Pexy_Lee (@PexyLee) August 27, 2019
In addition to appearing in other music videos of Elliott's (like "Gossip Folks" and "I'm Really Hot") as well as a few for Eminem, Stoner worked as an actor 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 Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
In 2015, she released a video tribute to Elliott with all her dances from the Elliott videos. The clip now has more than 20.4 million views on YouTube.
"When a child is voicing tiredness or crying out for help and they're met with silence or more methods of them being able to push an inch further, eventually they'll learn to neglect their needs and just go on autopilot," Stoner said. "As a kid, I learned to make fire out of fumes. There's just infinite room for cognitive distortions and imbalance for any person who has millions of eyes watching them and whose childhood is dictated by legal contracts and unpredictability."
Stoner said she considered leaving Hollywood behind, but said she still wanted to tell stories.
"My love for the art was still there — it is still there," she said. "I think the power of story is undeniable and the ability to empathize with every human walk of life through characters was a gift."
Photo credit: John Shearer / Contributor / Getty, Kevin Mazur/WireImage / Getty