Franco Nieto was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington. Franco was an athlete playing football for seven years before making his choice to dance. Franco began his training at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, and Columbia Dance, later studying under Tracey Durbin as a student and an assistant in Portland. Franco graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a B.F.A. in Jazz in 2009. Franco has danced original roles in NW Dance Project works by Sarah Slipper, Didy Veldman, Patrick Delcroix, Ihsan Rustem, James Canfield, Luca Veggetti, Pedro Dias, Jirí Pokorny, Maurice Causey, Wen Wei Wang, James Gregg, Alex Soares, Andrea Miller, Yin Yue, Gregory Dolbashian, Noam Gagnon, Loni Landon, Lauren Edson, Minh Tran, Tracey Durbin, and Carla Mann. In August 2012, Franco was one of only six dancers in the U.S. to win a Princess Grace Award for Dance.