Jenna Johnson Explains How She ‘Uses’ Husband Val to Her ‘Advantage’ on ‘DWTS’ (Exclusive)

The 'Dancing With the Stars' cast member explained how she and her husband compete against each other during an exclusive interview with Hollywood Life.

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Image Credit: Michael Simon

Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy are married colleagues, but their job pits them against each other every season. As fellow Dancing With the Stars pros, the spouses compete on the show. However, Jenna, 30, sees the competition as a way to “use” Val, 38, to her “advantage” because they support one another, she exclusively told Hollywood Life during an interview while promoting her partnership with Exuviance.

When it comes to vying for the Mirrorball Trophy against her husband, Jenna explained that she and Val don’t see each other as an opponent.

“And it’s actually quite the opposite; I use him to my advantage. I mean, we’re a team,” Jenna said, before elaborating, “If it’s his win, it’s my win, essentially. You know, the trophy’s coming home to our home. But no, I love being able to have this partner in crime on the show. He’s my biggest cheerleader. I feel like I’m his biggest cheerleader.”

Jenna and Val started dating in 2015 while working together on DWTS. Nearly four years later, they announced their engagement and wed the following year. Since then, the pro dancers have welcomed their son, Rome, and have continued performing on the hit dance competition series. However, Jenna took some time off last year after welcoming Rome, which she said was “the best thing [she] could have done for [herself] because [she] was taking time to rest [her] body.”

Jenna Johnson
Michael Simon

“I danced throughout my pregnancy, which was really, really fun. But I miss performing,” she told Hollywood Life. “So, hopefully, I’ll be back this fall.”

Now that she and Val are raising their son, Jenna explained that the “most challenging part” of juggling DWTS and motherhood “is finding balance in all things and making sure that [she’s] being the best mom possible to [her] little angel.”

“And sometimes I feel torn about having to leave him for rehearsal to travel for work,” she admitted, while adding that she’s “just making the most and really being present in both capacities” — her career and her personal life. 

While “every week” and “every month looks different” in terms of scheduling, the So You Think You Can Dance alum pointed out that she and Val share “equal parts in being at home” to spend time with Rome. Jenna also recalled how “confident” she felt leaving Val with “mommy and daddy duty” for five days while she was on a work trip earlier this year.

“And he did incredible,” she said. “I love that he’s so involved. And I think we do make a great team.”

As fans eagerly await Jenna’s DWTS return, she opened up about her skincare routine while discussing her partnership with Exuviance. Since she wears “a lot of makeup” as a performer, the dancer uses the Exuviance Gentle Cream Cleanser as well as the brand’s Performance Peel AP 25 to thoroughly cleanse her face of the excess cosmetics and sweat.

“I’ve had my ups and downs with my skin, and I think that just finding a consistent routine is game-changing and can bring you so much confidence,” Jenna said.