This season, Dancing With The Stars made history with the inclusion of the first same-sex dance partnership in the 30 seasons of the show. Season 29 runner-up Jenna Johnson was paired up with beloved YouTube personality JoJo Siwa, who came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community in January 2021. In speaking on the HollywoodLife Podcast, Jenna revealed that she said yes to partnering with another woman “without hesitation,” but in the days that followed, “a ton of pressure set in.” “I was so honored but I felt a ton of pressure, because I just knew how much could go into this and how many eyes were going to be watching. And, because it is new and it is different and it is a little bit scary for some people. But the second I met JoJo, all of those fears went away,” Jenna admitted. “She is just so open and willing to do whatever whenever. She just was like a dream student for me.”
The DWTS star added that dancing together “has felt so natural.” “Having two girls dancing together, I don’t even think twice about it,” she told HL. The history-making moment has inspired Jenna to “push herself further” with her choreography this season, as well.
“It’s been really interesting this season because I can’t rely on things I’ve done in the past. Usually, you can look back on your dances… but I can’t fall back on those comfortable habits because this is completely different for me,” she explained. “I’ve just been so inspired the season to really push myself because I have to and sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but it’s been really empowering for me as a choreographer and as a teacher just to push myself, take risks and not be afraid to take those risks.”
The risks have certainly paid off as Jenna and JoJo have impressed the judges panel week after week, tying with Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten and Val Chmerkovskiy and Olivia Jade in first place with 24 out of 30 last week. This Monday, Oct. 11, and Tuesday, Oct. 12, the show has its first two-dance week and potential double elimination. “Obviously, we’re feeling some added pressure because there are two dances this week, which is crazy for week four. I don’t feel like we’ve ever done two dances this early before. But at least it is Disney week, so that adds some magic to it!” Jenna told HL.
The first night of DWTS this week will be Disney Heroes focused, and Jenna revealed that she and JoJo will be channeling an empowering Cinderella in their big number. Then, the second night will highlight Disney Villains, and the pair will be taking their inspo from Descendants Two. “You’re definitely going to want to tune in!” Jenna teased.
Be sure to watch Dancing With The Stars this Monday, Oct. 11th and Tuesday, Oct. 12th at 8 PM ET on ABC!