A familiar face returns to Dance Moms tonight. And she does so as Abby Lee Miller says her big goodbye.

Former ALDC dancer Chloe Lukasiak, along with her mom Christi, makes her triumphant return to the Lifetime series in this week's episode, and as she tells E! News, she couldn't be more relieved that she's returning to a troupe guided not by Miller, who began serving a year-long sentence in federal prison on July 12, but a series of guest coaches, including Dancing With the Stars alum Cheryl Burke.

"She was great. She was very encouraging, which was very refreshing, because I was used to harsh criticism, to say politically correct. I keep saying this, but what was so wonderful about her was she encouraged our differences," the young dancer told us during a sit-down with her mom to celebrate their return to the series after three seasons away. "It was great to be taught that and to be celebrated for our differences...It was refreshing."

That said, don't expect to tune in to a drama-free Dance Moms now that Miller has been replaced by the kinder, gentler Burke. "There's still drama, but I think what's so wonderful about this season is it's so different because the girls and I definitely speak up a lot more," Chloe said. "We're definitely voicing our opinions, which is what's so great about Cheryl. Another great thing about her is she definitely let us talk and say what we wanted to say instead of always being told to just shush and not have an opinion."

Her mom echoed that, admitting that there will always be drama when the moms are in the mix. "I mean, the moms are going to be the moms no matter what. It's interesting because Cheryl would say something to us, and normally, we would fight back," Christi said. "And we were like, 'Oh, well, wait. She actually knows what she's talking about.' So she put us in our place. But there's always drama." 

Another big change coming to season 7B? A greater focus on the girls, Christi revealed. "I think the thing that's most interesting this season is the shift in dynamics because for so long Dance Moms has always been about the moms, and we kind of let the girls take the lead," she teased. "And I think that's what fans have wanted to see for ever."

Are you looking forward to Chloe and Christi's returns? Sound off in the comments below!

Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

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