Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas–everyone’s favorite former couple from Dancing with the Stars–may no longer be an item, but the two remain good friends.
“Our friendship is awesome,” Bryan told PEOPLE Wednesday at Toys R’ Us in New York’s Times Square, where she was on hand to help Fisher-Price launch its line of Color Me Gemz kids’ accessories. “We totally understand each other. True friendship takes a lot of understanding and communicating, and that’s how we’ve been able to stay so strong and such good friends.”
It hasn’t been easy–both have had a busy year. “It’s been a whirlwind for both of us,” said Bryan, who was recently in India filming the new movie The Cheetah Girls: One World and also co-writing her new novel Princess of Gossip. Meanwhile, Ballas won this year’s Dancing with the Stars with his partner Kristi Yamaguchi. “He’s doing an amazing job,” said Bryan, who returned to the ballroom this season to cheer on Ballas.
As for keeping in touch despite the long distance, Bryan says, “We’re able to talk and understand that when we can hang out, we can, and when we can’t, we can’t.” She added, “It’s nice to have a friend that understands.” –Lorina Lana