After speculation surrounding whether or not the OG Dance Moms girls were still friends since some of them have come and left the show after season 1, we decided to sit down with Nia Sioux and get the details. She gave J-14 the exclusive inside scoop about what Abby Lee Miller is really like IRL, how Nia landed a spot on the coveted Lifetime series and her current relationship with the rest of the girls. One thing is for sure, Nia did not hold back!

So, let’s start from the beginning. A couple of years after Nia began dancing at the age of 2 or 3, there were auditions at her dance studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These auditions were supposedly for a 6-week documentary showcasing the dance environment at this particular studio, which we have all come to know and love as the Abby Lee Dance Company.

Nia said, “So there were open calls for the show at our dance studio. So I forced my mom to take me. I asked my mom and dad about like 3 times before they actually let me go. And they were like ‘Ohh okay whatever, go. We don’t want to live a life of ‘what ifs’. Whatever, just go.’ We did the interview and on the way back home my mom was like, ‘Nia, you’re not going to get it. You were just too boring.’ And I was like like, ‘Ugh I know mom but it was just worth a shot.’” Well, clearly Nia wasn’t THAT boring because she landed the role.

It was a month later at dinner with her family, ironically just after dance practice, that Nia got the call she had landed a spot on the team. But, she was still young. Now, the 16-year-old looks back on what she went through and what it was really like growing up on this incredible intense set at such a young age.

“Growing up on such an intense set has really benefitted me, but has also been really hard on my life as well just because physically and emotionally it’s hard and a lot of stress goes into it. Because we’re learning our dances in 2 to 3 days, sometimes you lose that passion for dancing because you’re working so much and trying to remember choreography and so much is going on outside. You just need to sit down and think about it and be like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m doing what I love, you’re okay.’ But, it can get really intense. It’s definitely taught me how to have a thick skin,” she told us.

And a thick skin is exactly what you need if you’re going to have a dance teacher like Abby Lee. What is Abby Lee really like? Nia said that is one of the questions almost everyone asks her and she always has the same answer.

“Whenever I meet a fan they always ask me, ‘Is Abby really that mean?’ And usually what I say is, what you see is what you get but also they don’t even show everything that happens on the show. So, I mean, other people might say differently but from my point of view, it’s much worse off camera. Nothing changes. That’s just her personality,” Nia said. We’ve got confirmation here, you guys – Abby Lee does not sugarcoat anything!

Throughout all of this intense training, Nia has had her dance friends by her side. Just because they may be in different parts of the world or traveling or doing different things, their friendship has never wavered.

“We all still have a really close relationship. I feel like I have a close relationship with the people who have come on the show and left the show. And if anything, if we don’t talk to each other for awhile, it’s just because we’re busy. We’re all so busy,” Nia explained. “And I talk to usually most of the girls. I talk to Kalani [Hilliker] almost every day. Same with Kendall [Vertes] and Chloe [Lukasiak]. I really stay in touch with them. Maddie and Mackenzie [Ziegler] are very busy so whenever I can catch them, I try and catch them. But yeah, we’re all super close.”

Aww! This is super cute but we’re not surprised. To go through such a crazy experience like they did on Dance Moms it’s no wonder they are forever friends. No one has done things they have together with a dance teacher like Abby Lee. Their bond is obviously untouchable.