Jenna Dewan Reflects on Working as a Dancer for Janet Jackson

Jenna Dewan had a thriving career before her transition into acting. In fact, before her role in one of the biggest dance flicks in history, she worked as a dancer for one of the greatest entertainers of all time: Jackson Jackson. Dewan credits Jackson for her career and has spoken lovingly of her time working with the “Scream” singer for years. 

Janet Jackson performs during a stop on her 'All For You Tour'
Janet Jackson during Janet Jackson All For You Tour 2001 in San Jose | J. Shearer/WireImage

Jenna Dewan got her big break as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson

Long before Dewan was known as an in-demand actor, she made her living as a professional dancer. After years of training, Dewan landed her big break with her icon, Jackson. In light of Jackson’s recent Lifetime docuseries airing, Dewan reminded fans of where she got her start. “TBT to living out one of my biggest dreams,” she captioned a throwback photo of her and Jackson in an Instagram post. “I had one goal and one goal only when moving to LA…and that was touring with the legend herself.” 

Source: YouTube

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She continued: “I not only had one of the most incredible experiences of my life touring with Janet but she also showed me just how powerful a woman can be while still having unwavering kindness and respect for everyone around her. Truly an experience of a lifetime. I love you @janetjackson!”

Jackson responded to Dewan’s post. She replied with two kissy-face emojis. 

The actor has spoken about her time with Janet Jackson before

It’s not the first time Dewan has given fans an inside look into her life on the road with Jackson. In 2017, she shared a snap to Instagram of a group of the “Nasty” singer’s former dancers from different tours.

“Generations of Janet kids brought together,” she captioned the post in part. “Dancing for her was always way more than a job, it was being part of a legacy. I have been pinching myself all day being in a room years later dancing with these legends. Excited to share soon.”

Source: YouTube

She also spoke lovingly of Jackson during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. Dewan admitted that she hasn’t necessarily maintained a close relationship with Jackson but 100% admires her. 

“I’m not really in touch with Janet, but when I see her — we’ve seen each other at various parties or we actually emailed a little while ago,” she said. “I kind of owe everything to Janet. She was my dream job, she was my first big dance job and because of her, I met certain people who then led me to others, then led to acting then led to here.”

She eventually starred in a major dance flick

Post Jackson, Dewan’s career continued to rise. Dewan landed a co-lead role in the 2006 dance drama Step Up. Dewan starred alongside her future husband, Channing Tatum, as a classically trained dancer who meets a dancer with a hip-hop background in school and finds themselves paired against all odds. 

Source: YouTube

Step Up was not favored by critics. Audiences however loved it. The film grossed $114.2 million worldwide against a budget of $12 million. Four sequels followed, as well as a television series. 

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