Just two days after her historic run with her partner JennaJohnson on DWTS , itsjojosiwa talked to Claire_ifying about pushing through the most difficult dances, advocating for herself, and what's next 💫✨
“I want people to know that where I’m at is I’m happy,” JoJo says.
JJS:Honestly, I’ve loved Britney since the day I listened to her first song. She’s awesome. So the fact that we got to dedicate a whole episode to her is so special. Our dance is something that gets to live on for forever, which is so special. It’s amazing.
TV: Which dance felt the most natural and fun to you, and which one was the most difficult to pull off?JJS:It’s interesting because the one that was the most difficult to pull off was our foxtrot, which wasGreaseweek as Sandy and Frenchie. But it got us our first perfect score, the first perfect score of the season. But learning that number, I had a lot of trouble. And the number didn’t really settle in my body until Sunday night, and so I was very happy that it finally started to come together. And I feel like naturally, the number I was able to have the most fun with was when I did Pennywise, and it was jazz. Although our bodies that week were literally giving out on us. Jenna’s leg was messed up. My back and arm was messed up, both of us were just a mess in our bodies because we took such an intense number and threw ourselves in it. Jenna dreamed this dance and created it in her head, but when you’re actually doing it over and over again, it takes a toll on you. But it was so worth it.
TV: I wanted to ask you about that one, because you kind of looked like you had unlocked a new part of yourself in that Pennywise costume.JJS:Totally. I say, day by day, I add a new floor to my hotel. Or I unlock a new level. Pennywise was a whole new level. headtopics.com
ContentView Iframe URLTV: I want to go back to what you said about feeling the dance settle in your body — how do you describe that? What does it feel like when you know you’ve got it?JJS:It’s interesting, because our first four dances really settled in my body nicely. But when we did
Descendants, it never really settled in my body, and I think that really showed in the dance. Then we did Sandy and Frenchie, Pennywise, there just comes a point in time with the dance where my body just understands what to do and it trusts itself. I feel like the only thing that gets in the way is my brain, and I overthink things a lot, and it can sometimes be a problem.
TV: That’s real. How did you and Jenna work together on these choreographies? Do you ever get to improv or add in your own special flair? What was your working relationship like?JJS:We really bonded well from the beginning. She was a great teacher, she says I was a great student. In rehearsals, we both had the same goal. She always knew that I was trying hard 24/7 and working and practicing and trying to make it as good as humanly possible, and I did the same with her. We’d understand that she’d get frustrated at times, but not with me, with the environment. With what’s going on inside or outside rehearsal. I think we were just very understanding of each other.
There would be weeks where I was mad at myself, thinking I wasn’t being fast enough or picking it up quickly enough. She’d be like, calm down, you’ve never done [this move] before, like we’re not gonna have it perfect today. I’m like, I know, but still. She choreographed everything. But when we did “Born This Way,” there was about eight and a half counts of choreography missing, and we were trying to figure out what should go there. I was thinking, “I think it should be an intricate little part where our feet are quick stepping.” She was like, I love it, let’s do it. She comes in the next day, and she’s like, “I want you to actually choreograph that part. Because I feel like it’s just in your body and you should have a say in what it is.” Like, no pressure, lemme just pull this one out, I can make an eight-and-a-half count, no problem. But it turned out. headtopics.com
TV: Thinking about the barrier you guys have broken onDancing With the Starsas the first same-sex couple, sometimes I wonder about initial positive steps that aren’t followed through in the future. What do you think of the future of the show? Do you think they’ll continue to cast same-sex pairings?
JJS:I think the crew on the show and the casting department is an amazing team. I feel like, if it makes sense, there should be and will be multiple more same-sex pairings. I’m happy I got to be the first, but I would never expect to be the last. It’s something that can go on forever and ever … a straight male can dance with a straight male, or a straight male can dance with a gay male. I think it shouldn’t matter, it should be what every party is comfortable with.
TV: You’ve been advocating for yourself recently with your shows and just making sure you’re getting to perform the songs that you own. How do you think you learned to stick up for yourself and take a stand?JJS:I think a lot of it comes from my mom, I really do. I feel like she has taught me that when you believe in something, you fight for it. That’s what you have to do in life.Read more: Teen Vogue »
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