Jenna Dewan said that she could relate to both the parents and the kids on CBS’s new family dance competition series, “Come Dance with Me.”
“I was initially taken with the concept of the show. I loved the idea of taking young trained dancers, and asking them to ask one of their untrained parents to dance with them. I was similar to a lot of these kids, I was dancing nonstop, and it was my life,” Dewan, 41, told The Post.
“I know what it’s like to be a diehard dancer as a kid. But I also know what it’s like to be the parent who would do anything for her kids,” she said. “I could see it in their eyes [in the show], how much the parents wanted to impress us and be there for their kids. I get it. It was super-fun, but hard for me to judge, because my heart was so invested in their journey.”
Jenna Dewan as a judge on the new parent-child dance competition series “Come Dance with Me.” CBSMother and son duo Lucas and Carolina take the stage in “Come Dance with Me.” CBSIn “Come Dance With Me” (Fridays at 8 p.m.) is hosted by Grammy-winning songwriter Philip Lawrence — best known for his collaborations with Bruno Mars — with judges Dewan, Dexter Mayfield and Tricia Miranda.
In each episode, a young trained dancer (between the ages of 8 and 15) taps one of their dance-novice parents to join them on stage, performing a choreographed number for the panel of judges. They’re evaluated based on technique, team chemistry and showmanship. Each week, parent/child duos are eliminated until the last pair standing wins a $100,000 grand prize.
“I was drawn to the courage that it takes for these parents to say yes,” said Lawrence, 41, who has won seven Grammys and garnered 18 nominations.
Grammy-winner Philip Lawrence hosts “Come Dance With Me.” CBSEmelyn, 13, dances with her novice mom, Nicole, on “Come Dance with Me.” CBSAva, 10, dances with her novice dad, John, on “Come Dance with Me.” CBS“They’ve been watching from the sidelines, supporting their kids’ dreams, and they’re now thrust into that arena when they’ve had none of that training. It takes a lot of courage to get out of your comfort zone like that. It drew me to give them encouragement. You get to see the kids telling the parents what to do … and the parents are trying not to be told!”
In addition to acting stints on “The Rookie,” and “Superman & Lois,” Dewan is best known for the 2006 dance movie “Step Up,” and she’s also been a backup dancer for the likes of Janet Jackson and Pink.
Jenna Dewan with fellow judge, Dexter Mayfield, on “Come Dance with Me.” CBS“We have a lot of spontaneous dance parties in our house. There are a lot of fights over the Alexa and what songs are going to play, and what kind of dance party we’ll have,” she said. “But my daughter, funny enough, was not into dance at all. She had no interest in it. And then just recently, she became very interested in Irish dance.
“And so, we found an Irish-dancing class, and she’s obsessed. I’ve never pushed it, I was clear, I was like, ‘If this isn’t her passion, I’m not pushing this on her.’ But then, she said, ‘You know what I want to do? “Riverdance.”‘ I said, ‘OK.’ And here we are.”