The Major Star Jenna Dewan Credits With Starting Her Career

Jenna Dewan has carved herself quite the career. The star is probably best known for playing Nora Clark in the 2006 movie "Step Up" or for popping up in FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum," while she's also made the big transition from movie star to TV judge by scouting for talent alongside the likes of Jennifer Lopez on the NBC series "World of Dance." How is she qualified for that we hear you ask? Well, mom of two Dewan is actually a trained dancer!

Dewan actually started out her career as a backing dancer and has always had a burning passion for the medium. Speaking to USA Weekend in 2014, she described dance as being her "first true love" after she started when she was just 5 years old. "[It] the first thing I was passionate about and the first thing I knew I was good at. It was huge for my self-esteem. Knowing that I was talented and if I worked really hard I could accomplish my dreams shaped me as a person."

As for her first big break? Well that came thanks to a huge star you may or may not be aware Dewan had an association with. In fact, she even appeared in two of her music videos (and reuniting with her more than a decade later) after being a huge fan of hers for years before. Talk about a dream gig!

Thanks, Janet Jackson!

It turns out we have Janet Jackson to thank for the dazzling career of Jenna Dewan. Dewan gushed about her association with the "Miss You Much" hitmaker in a March 2022 cover story with New Beauty, describing the legendary performer as her "touchpoint," "the start of [her] everything," and "the start of [her] whole career." She explained, "I owe her so much. It was such a specific dream of mine when I was a kid. To have had that experience so young... it's overwhelming when I think about it. I'm still in awe of it all." As for what she was referring to? Well, Dewan's big break came at the hands of the star after Jackson hired her to dance in her "Doesn't Really Matter" music video, after which Dewan headed out on tour with her.

Dewan previously opened up about her admiration for Jackson in a 2018 Billboard interview, admitting she was "obsessed" with her before getting to dance for her, which she described as being her "ultimate goal." She admitted she danced for other acts like after Janet Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, and Celine Dion, but called it "hard" because Jackson was "the pinnacle" for her. "It never really feels the same. So I was very grateful that acting came around and sort of became a whole new career for me. But that's how amazing Janet is," Dewan said. "She's the mama bear to all of us. Once a Janet dancer, always a Janet dancer."