February 16, 2017

We Did It!

Since December 14th, I have been on tour with Dancing With Stars Live. This was my 3rd tour with them and it turned out to be my favorite one yet. The show was created to be more personal for us dancers and it was so beautiful to share our stories 54 times! I also found out that we sold the most tickets out of any DWTS tour up to date. How incredible, right? I sometimes forget what a dream it is to tour the country, meet my amazing fans, and dance on stage every night…. and I get to call it my job.

If I’m being honest, touring can be pretty exhausting. It is soooooo worth it but it is definitely not as glamorous as it seems. A normal day on tour goes something like this:
-wake up (in your bunk bed… more like a coffin) in a new city
-slowly get out of bed. If you’re lucky enough to have woken up before 11am, you catch breakfast inside the venue
-check out the new venue’s stage and then find the dressing room
-group text for anyone wanting to go to the gym
-gym for an hour or so
-if it’s an exciting/interesting city, maybe you explore and walk around
-shower in the venue
-if you have meet and greet, you should probably starting getting ready
-two or more hours spent putting warpaint (makeup) on and doing hair
-meet and greet time
-quick bite of dinner before heading to warmup
-finish warmup and final touch ups before the show starts
-dance for 2 hours and 15 minutes
-finish show, shower, and pack everything up
-meet fans waiting outside the bus
-get on bus…. eat food and watch movies
-climb into bed and try to sleep while driving hours through the night
-wake up and repeat
If you like rollercoasters, you should definitely try to sleep on a tour bus!

The relationships you make during tour are incredible. Not just between us dancers but with our stage hands, wardrobe, bus drivers, tour managers.. we really do become a family. We make lots of inside jokes and mini tour rituals. For example, every night when I walked down the stairs before Mambo Number Five, one of our screen guys, Ryan, would give me a huge high five right before I started to jive with Alan. Marley, who was head of wardrobe, would write our names on pieces of tape every show and put them in front of our chairs in the pop up backstage. I looked forward every night to see how she had written my name. Sometimes there were hearts involved, sometimes missing letters, and on our last day there was chocolate involved. She knows the way to my heart. 🙂 Another one of my favorite rituals we did as a cast was a huddle after every show. Depending on the city or what had happened during the show we would chant a word or a phrase and do a ‘1, 2, 3, break’. Those are little moments that seem small and insignificant at the time but they are the moments and memories that will stay with me forever.

One of my favorite things about touring are our ‘girls dressing room’ chats. During high school I didn’t have a ton of close girlfriends so its been amazing to create some really close friendships with these girls. We talk about girly stuff, we vent about life, we cry together, we catch up on the Bachelor, we share beauty products and advice, and we laugh for hours and hours on end. It’s like having a mega slumber party everyday!! I truly love Lindsay, Emma, Hayley, Sharna, and Laurie SO much and I’m grateful to have shared these past few months with these beauties.

IGKV8955

FEUE0742

AAPZ2732

IMG_3173

I had the opportunity of being dance captain again on this tour and I’m really grateful for the patience I received from everyone who had to put up with my hundreds of text messages and reminders. 🙂 We found ourselves in a lot of funny/stressful situations during these past few months, so we ended up having to revise the show multiple times!! Every time there was a revision it meant you were going to get an insanely long text from me with a new show order and specific changes we were going to make. It also meant respacing and lighting rehearsals. I am SO grateful for the respect my peers showed me and for the support we gave each other. We always pulled out an amazing show and we couldn’t have done it without one another.

Tour always somehow teaches me a lot about myself. In the past I have felt the need to rely heavily on other people to stay entertained and comforted during 3 months on the road. I had this constant fear of being left out or not in the inner circle of what was happening at all times. This time around, I made it a goal to enjoy moments to myself. I needed to train myself how to enjoy being alone. I would take walks by myself in the different cities we were in, I saw sites I had wanted to see, I would sneak into bed earlier than everyone else and read a book, and I just did things for myself for once. I didn’t try to seclude myself by any means, but I usually feel that I have to do what everybody else is doing in order to stay happy. What I forgot to prioritize for so long was myself. So this time around I made sure I did something each day for ME. This may seem a little selfish but that never was my intention. I just wanted to learn to be secure in my own being and content with making simple daily decisions on my own. This also helped me with my quest to love myself. I ended up loving these moments to myself. I think a lot of us have this fear of being alone. We may even think of it as rejection. But we need to learn to appreciate having security in our own being. The most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. Explore yourself, do things for you, and love yourself!

I cannot believe tour is over! I am so proud of the quality show we put on every night and I’m honored to have been a part of this cast and shared the stage with these incredible dancers. I want to thank all of my partners who had to put up with me every night, the crew who went above and beyond to make our show perfect, Faculty (especially Guy) for giving us this platform to share our talents, and everyone who came out and supported us during these past 3 months! We appreciate your love and enthusiasm for our show very much! Thank you for adding another chapter in my book of life! Having said that, I am definitely ready for a few days at home with my family and ready to catch up on some sleep. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!

*Here are some of my favorite pictures taken by fans during the tour! Thanks for all the pics 🙂

Seduces Me

IMG_2006

IMG_3232

IMG_2425

IMG_2427

IMG_2076

IMG_2426

IMG_2717

IMG_3148

City of Stars

IMG_2610

IMG_3142

International Cha Cha

IMG_1707

IMG_2422

IMG_2753 (1)

Brooklyn

IMG_1708

AWBU8740

IMG_2697

IMG_2918

Spice Girls

IMG_2258

IMG_2262

Love In the Dark

IMG_2752

TYDA0562

 

PKYO6957

IMG_1933

 

Titanic

EOVG3642

WCMJ6809

IMG_3238

Finale/Ending Bows

IMG_3170

IMG_2609

IMG_3320

IMG_2743

CPXL8677

OATF6419

 

 

 

 

SHARE THIS POST:
|

17 thoughts on “We Did It!

  1. Thank you so much for including my photo. I have a ton more of you. I will try to send you all the photos I have of you so you can keep them. Thank you for leaving it all on the stage for us to enjoy. I have gone to two shows now and the next time I must do a meet and greet. I want to meet all of you! Enjoy your time with family. Rest. Can’t wait for the next season to start.

  2. I’m so glad you had an amazing time on tour Jenna!! So glad I got to watch throughout the past 3 months grow as a dancer and become somebody I truly look up to and I can safely say you are my biggest idol I will ever have. You’ve changed my opinion on how I see myself as a person and as a dancer and you’ve taught me how to love myself as well as everyone around me. Thankyou for letting me watch your journey and everyone else journey from the my house in England! One day I will be seeing you and the guys do your thing. Have an amazing break with your family and friends back home and see you on that dance floor for Dancing with The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance!!

  3. Jenna,
    A few months ago I found myself in the lowest state I’ve ever personally been in. I’ve found I could relate to your blog and you SOO much! I’ve read the books you’ve suggested and I’ve also started the 30 “cleanse” and started eating better. While I’m not completely out, I’m a lot happier and a lot closer to where I want me to be! So thank you ❤

  4. This was our fourth tour and it just keeps getting better and better! While I love seeing some dances from the season, the format this tour was wonderful and I loved learning more about each of you. Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your break and hope to see you again soon!

  5. Thanks for your post, Jenna. Loved catching everyone on tour- truly amazing show! So glad to hear you were able to prioritize time for yourself despite your grueling schedule. I’ve recently discovered it is such a treat to spend time alone. I enjoyed my first trip to the movie theater by myself (saw Lion- such an amazing, uplifting story), went out to eat at a restaurant with a book on my kindle (actually felt really good to tell the server I wasn’t waiting on anyone to join me), and have treated myself to a hair/nails day. You’re right- it feels good to do these things. My girlfriends and I will often use the catch phrase “Treat Yo’self” as a self care reminder, especially when we’re going through a rough patch. Taking time for yourself is so valuable. I’ve also found that these moments to myself often make me feel more fulfilled than time spent with others. Sometimes, we expend more energy than we consciously realize to accommodate another person. It can actually be draining! Time alone allows you to feel restored and enter into relationships feeling more refreshed. And of course, it builds strength too. Wishing you all the best and so much lady power!

  6. I also have the issue of fearing of being left out or not in the inner circle of people around me. It started giving me a lot of anxiety and making me start not wanting to be around a huge group of people anymore. Untill
    I finally took the those alone moment as a positive and learned more about myself. Now I love spending time alone! I get to freely express my creativity and ideas by either thinking out loud or writing it all down in a journal in judgment free zone, and I would trade those times alone for anything in the world! I also really enjoy your blogs their very deep, have debt and it shows your not scared to share your journey to help others! So thank you, I see a lot of similarities in your stories in mine and it helps knowing we’re all not alone! Xoxo

  7. I’m so glad my grandmother and I were able to go see our first DWTS Live show together in December! (The first Florida show, in Fort Myers). Thank you for being so kind to us after the show, taking pictures, and autographing my grandmom’s program book. My husband got her and I tickets, and I convinced her to wait outside after the show. She is 84 years old, and never in her life has she waited outside for an autograph, not even when she saw Elvis! She said it was the best Christmas present she has ever gotten and the funnest evening she’s had in a long time. It was for me as well. I have a 4 year old nonverbal son with behavioral disabilities. I have to handle his tantrums while dealing with my own chronic pain and exhaustion from rheumatoid arthritis, with very little help from anyone else. Needless to say I haven’t gone out in a long time! So thank you for being a part of that for us! We can’t wait for the new season of DWTS so you can grace our tv screens again, and this time we’ll be talking about y’all like we know you because we met you once, haha!

    P.S. As a lover of doing things alone, the best thing I’ve ever done alone was a day at Disney (EPCOT), years ago before I met my husband and had a baby. I got to go in absolutely every gift shop I wanted to look at everything without anyone rushing me. (OMG the gift shops in the World Showcase… so awesome. Japan, Morroco, Mexico… so many shiny and colorful things!) I made my own schedule. Did what I wanted, skipped what I didn’t. Totally recommend it!

  8. I was so glad to see you on tour in Florida! I became a fan of yours during season 20 and you’ve quickly became my favorite dancer. When you released this blog, I was so excited to read all the posts! You’ve aspired me so much through your blog and your dancing! You spoke about loving yourself and I have taken that in consideration because I am so hard on myself and I think everyone is. I’m not truly happy with myself, physically and mentally, and I know I need to change that. I’ve started working out, doing dance workouts for an hour 2 days a week. I tried your treadmill routine (but I set the speed a bit differently and cut the time into 40 mins) and one day I was so upset about something, I went on the treadmill and after the 40 minutes, that feeling was gone and I felt more at ease. But needless to say, I am on my journey to being confident and happy with myself and your posts are helping me through it. Thank you miss Jenna 🙂

  9. Not gonna lie, this made me tear up… I am SO proud of you and the whole cast for having such a successful tour. I’m happy you get to do what you love on that stage every show. Thank you for always sharing so much with your fans! I’m so thankful I had the chance to see you again. You always manage to put a smile on my face. Love you, Jenna! x

  10. CONGRATULATIONS Jenna on another amazing tour .Now get some rest I’m so happy for you and the whole cast you guys did an amazing job you are one beautiful dancer take care of yourself💖💖😀

  11. Hey, Jenna…I wasn’t able to get to a live show this year, but, oh, my goodness!! What struck me the most about watching all of those fabulous videos and hilarious IG stories was the sense of FAMILY! That wonderful family you are a part of, with its eleven siblings! Six silly sisters, and five funny brothers, and I love all of you a great deal. What more could you ask for? That sense of Family was very evident during the TV season, too, and I think you are all awesome. The best of the best. 🙂

  12. Hey Jenna, lot’s of love from germany. I’ve been watching DWTS for a couple of years now and i followed your blog from the beginning. i totally love it and i’m super impressed by everything you achieved so far. The progress (physically, as a dancer and obviously mentally) you made form the troupe member over last season to this tour is just incredible and everyone whos a real fan must have recognized it. You are a true role model and your honesty on all perspectives of your life helpes me a lot, especially in a time where everything and everyone seems so superficial. You are a terrific dancer, you can do EVERY genre perfectly and thooooooose legs ?!!!!! hope to see you soon as a pro and maybe you can tour in germany some time!!

  13. I saw the first DWTS tour in Windsor, but I really wish I had been able to see this one as well! It looks like it was absolutely amazing!!! You are an INCREDIBLE dancer Jenna, and I know you will be sorely missed on the show this coming season….but I wish you luck in you’re current endeavors and hope you can return from time to time and delight us with a gorgeous performance or two! 😘

Leave A Comment