Nia Sioux and her co-star from North Carolina Theatre's production of Aladdin and His Winter Wish (courtesy North Carolina Theatre)

Nia Sioux Dishes on Life After "Dance Moms"

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' The Bold 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!

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Photo by Brooke Fera

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Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

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