Jenna Dewan Tatum graces the May 2017 cover of Prestige magazine.
JENNA DEWAN TATUM STEPS IT UP
Dancer and actress Jenna Dewan Tatum has built a career tripping the light fantastic. She talks about her latest moves, her earlier steps and her at-home dance parties.
How did you get involved in this new TV show?
Jenna: "I got a call from NBC about this opportunity and it turned out to be great timing. It was enough of a challenge, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d never done anything like this and it would force me to grow in ways I hadn’t before."
“I wish shows like this had been around when I was starting out. It would have been my ultimate goal.”
So how do you intend to play the host/mentor role?
Jenna: "I had four days to prep before we started filming, and I went into this not knowing a lot about hosting, or about this type of show format. I’ve never done an unscripted show. And by the time we were filming the first episode I was mostly involved in connecting with the dancers, helping them grow and helping them try to win. I wanted to show them how to play to their strengths. I was the mom backstage, crying and laughing with them."
Do you still dance recreationally?
Jenna: "Not like I used to. I used to dance hours and hours a day – for fun, for fitness, for performances that would come up out of the blue. And there are still random things that allow me to step back into the dancer’s shoes. It will always be my first true love."
How old were you when you started?
Jenna: "I took my first ballet lesson when I was five. I was your typical dance-studio kid – I did jazz, ballet and tap, the trifecta. We moved every couple of years when I was a kid, so I always had to start at the bottom in a new studio. But I felt like I had a natural talent with it. I trained really hard."
You’re a very commited vegan. Do you like to advocate veganism among others?
Jenna: "A lot of vegans are extremely passionate about what they believe in. I am, as well. You can show people the facts but you can’t judge them for being them, and you can’t force them to think or feel the way you do. I feel good consciously and morally eating this way. It works for me. But I’ve seen people try it and it doesn’t work for them. I personally think that the food industry is so off-kilter – the way we treat animals and the way we use food is out of balance. It’s important for people to be conscious about what they’re eating and where it comes from."
Does your daughter dance?
Jenna: "We put her in dance class but she wasn’t really taken with it. But we have a lot of spontaneous dance parties at home. She’s really coordinated and has a very athletic base. She does a lot of gymnastics."
As a family, how do you deal with being in the Hollywood limelight?
Jenna: "It’s never really normal, but it becomes your normal. People are respectful of us, and we have a rule that we don’t take photos with our daughter. We don’t live a Hollywood life. We love being at home. We keep things pretty normal and basic. This is our chosen field. Certain personalities can deal with the ever-changing nature of this business – and I love it."
Other than World of Dance, what else are you working on?
Jenna: I’m doing a biopic, which is a dream job for me. There’s also a film at Warner Brothers we’ve set up. There are so many fun projects and lots of irons in the fire. I’m lit up at the moment – there are so many wonderful opportunities. In this day and age, and knowing the nature and climate of the entertainment business, I believe that if you want to do something, you’ve got to make it [happen] yourself.
Photography Lionel Deluy at Love Artists Agency
Styling MONICA ROSE at Raudeville
Make-up Patrick Ta
Hair Kristin Ess using Kristin Ess Haircare
Manicure Christina Aviles at Opus Beauty using Dior Vernis