Monday night will be the third night of Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars and JoJo Siwa is already tied for first place with Amanda Kloots — 60 points each – but the one thing that JoJo is experiencing that is unique is she is making history by dancing with a same-sex partner, Jenna Johnson.
“I think for the world, a same sex couple, they only get to see it for one minute in a package and another 50 seconds in a dance,” JoJo said when asked if the newness had worn off for viewers.
“For us, it’s 24/7 for four weeks in a row now. For us, this is what it is. There is no other way. I think the men on this show are fabulous, but I could not see myself dancing with one of them. I couldn’t see myself having the bond, having the trust. [Jenna and I] just clicked so well. I think I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and that’s what’s translated into the world to be so accepting of it. It’s so natural.”
JoJo hopes to continue her run of high scores on Monday night’s Britney Spears-themed episode. She and Jenna will be performing the Argentine Tango to … Baby One More Time, and says it is going to be “aggressive.”
“This is going to show such a side of me that’s never been seen before,” she said. “There’s a lot of different styles that are going to show different sides of me. The Viennese Waltz will show a different side of me, contemporary will show a side of me that’s still in there. My goal is just to make it through each week so I can do a different dance. Of course, I want to get to the end, but I want to do a different dance every week.”
JoJo has her eye on the Mirror Ball Trophy. After all, this is a young woman who is all about sequins and glitter, so the shiny Mirror Ball Trophy will fit right into her bedazzled home – and she feels that Jenna is just the partner to help her get the prize.
“When I first got Jenna, I was so pumped up,” JoJo said. “I was so happy. She is exactly who I would have wanted my partner to be. I feel so happy with the choice that I made of being partnered with another female because it feels so natural. I was comfortable with the idea of being with another girl and now, knowing that my partner is also comfortable with the idea of being with another girl, it’s so amazing.”
JoJo also talked about her biggest challenges on the show, her response to critics, and who she got advice from. Read on for more of what she had to say.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you when it comes to partner work?
Jojo Siwa: One of the challenges for me is really staying connected throughout my hands and my arms and my back. Keeping everything as one has been a challenge. Also, my partner is making me in the best way possible do pushups every day, which is miserable but so good. I need it so bad.
Your bows are your signature. Will you be creating new looks for DWTS to go with your costumes?
Jojo Siwa: I definitely will be creating new looks for Dancing with the Stars. I’ve got to have a little bow here and a little bow there. A little tease here and a little tease there. Definitely creating new things.
What do you say to critics who think it’s unfair that you’ve had so much dance experience?
Jojo Siwa: My partner actually text me and said, “Don’t let your dance experience get to you because there’s a lot of dancers this season, but also it’s totally different than anything you’ve ever done.”
I think, for me, the best analogy that I came up with was it’s like a football player trying to play baseball, or soccer, or basketball. It’s truly different. It’s different muscles. It’s different styles. You aren’t used to being grounded.
This style now is more up and pretty and back, and I’m used to forward and down and in your face. And so, it definitely is different. Of course, though I have the ability to pick up and comprehend faster and even my partner can use terms. She can use relevé, plié, chassé and chaîné, terms that a non-dancer would not know.
How do you hope to change hearts and minds this season?
Jojo Siwa: I think there’s a lot of people who almost want my partner and I to fail because we are both females. They want a reason to say that that’s why two girls don’t get together and that’s what we have to prove wrong is two girls can dance together. No matter what.
Have you figured out who is leading in the dance yet, or will it alternate?
Jojo Siwa: It definitely is going to alternate. We’re still figuring it out every single second of every single day.
We know this experience is going to be physically demanding. But what mental and emotional challenges are you anticipating and are you nervous at all?
Jojo Siwa: I don’t think I’m really nervous because I told myself when I was little that I was never allowed to be nervous because then I miss out on the fun. But I am ready. If I go on stage tomorrow, I would not be happy because I still have so much work that I have to do. But I would be pumped up if I was going on stage tomorrow. I think that adrenaline is my best friend, and that’s just where I live in every rehearsal and every performance, all of it.
Are you helping your partner with choreography or leaving it fully up to her?
Jojo Siwa: As of right now, it is her gig, it’s all on her. She’s got it, but I feel like throughout the season, when we get to freestyle, especially if we get to the point where we get to do a contemporary lyrical or jazz, because I am more trained in those than I am anything else, I actually have zero training in anything else, so I think that once we get to those points, we’ll see.
Did you get any tips from past DWTS competitors?
Jojo Siwa: I actually didn’t. I didn’t reach out to anybody, and nobody reached out to me. I could have very easily, but I wanted a non-jaded experience because everyone’s experience is different for them and I just wanted to have my own thoughts and my own opinions on all of it.
Dancing with the Stars airs Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.