Singer/dancer/actress Zendaya usually just goes by "Zendaya" — like Cher! — and she's only 16, so if she wins she'll beat Shawn Johnson as the youngest person to win DWTS. It's definitely possible, since she has dance experience as part of the Disney Channel show Shake It Up, and she was previously in a hip hop dance troupe called Future Shock Oakland. She also did hula dancing! Watch her sing and dance in her official music video for "Swag It Out." She has potential.
According to ABC, Zendaya was born September 1, 1996, in Oakland, CA, and her name is derived from the word that means “to give thanks” in Shona (a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe).
She grew up as part of the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where her mother works as the House Manager. While attending the Oakland School for the Arts, she starred as Little Ti Moune in Once on This Island at the Berkley Playhouse, and in the breakout role of the male character Joe in Caroline, or Change at Palo Alto’s TheaterWorks. She also studied at the CalShakes Conservatory program and at the American Conservatory Theater.
Zendaya has performed around the world, including at the White House and in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and she tours select cities with her Z-Swagg Dancers and Singers. She's been a fashion model for Macy’s, Mervyns and Old Navy, and was also one of the back-up dancers in a Sears commercial featuring Disney Channel star Selena Gomez. She now lives in Los Angeles, with her family and dog, a giant Schnauzer named Midnight.