Nia Sioux and her co-star from North Carolina Theatre's production of Aladdin and His Winter Wish (courtesy North Carolina Theatre)
Nia Sioux has been entertaining audiences with her fab dance skills since 2011, when "Dance Moms" first aired. Now, two music videos and an acting gig (on the daytime TV series "The Bold and the Beautiful"), later Sioux is proving that she's more than just a triple threat—she's a star. And last week when Sioux debuted in North Carolina Theatre's production of Aladdin and His Winter Wish, she was every bit that star. Sioux opened up to Dance Spirit about her transition from comp kid to a triple threat and offered advice for young dancers hoping to follow in her footsteps.
How did this opportunity come about?
As a little girl I'd go to several Broadway shows a year and that introduction made me dream of performing on a Broadway stage. My manager introduced me to panto theatre and I attended some Lythgoe Panto performances in Pasadena. When this opportunity became available I was eager to be a part of the production. I'm lucky to have a wonderful day job as a cast member on CBS' TheBold and the Beautiful that graciously permitted me flexibility so I could join the North Carolina Theatre cast as the princess in Aladdin and His Winter Wish.
(courtesy North Carolina Theatre)
How did being a comp dancer help you adapt to performing in a Broadway-style show?
There are definitely differences between competition dancing and Broadway dancing. Although competition dancing certainly helped me in refining my technique, performing in a Broadway show required me to concentrate on more than just choreography. There's a lot to remember. In addition to the choreography, I had to remember my lines, cues, and the right keys for singing. Being a fast learner also helped me adapt to performing in a Broadway show. Learning a new dance routine on "Dance Moms" each week was great training for theatre experience.
What's been your favorite part about performing in this production?
There were so many terrific things about performing in Aladdin and His Winter Wish. I had the opportunity to work in a wonderful Lythgoe Family Panto production with a talented cast and crew, while acting, singing, and dancing in a beautiful theatre, wearing wonderful costumes, in front of an engaging audience.
I also loved combining my love of acting, singing, and dancing. From an early age I've enjoyed dancing onstage, but now I get to sing and act as well. Blending all of these art forms is a lot of fun.
What was the hardest part?
There was so much to learn in such a short period of time. This was a full-scale production, but we only had a limited amount of time to learn the show. Since the cast is from L.A. and Raleigh we didn't even meet until we all arrived in Raleigh.
(courtesy North Carolina Theatre)
Reflecting on your time on "Dance Moms," what was the best thing that came out of that experience?
"Dance Moms" was an incredible experience. I've benefited so much from the show and I learned a lot from my years training at the Abby Lee Dance Company. Not only did I gain a tremendous following thanks to that platform, but I also developed a strong work ethic. I learned the value of discipline, how to take constructive criticism, and to apply critiques and corrections in a swift and professional manner.
What are your plans for the future?
I'm excited to go back to L.A. to resume my role as "Emma" on The Bold and the Beautiful, where I play an intern at a fashion company. I can't wait to film my new storyline for the soap opera. I'm also looking forward to creating and releasing new music in 2019.
What advice do you have for comp dancers who are looking to transition to Broadway?
Keep dancing, keep improving, and look out for opportunities when they present themselves. Be confident in your ability to succeed!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.