With World of Dance winding down, it’s important to look back on the impact the show has had on dancers’ lives. For Luka & Jenalyn, the show has exposed them to new opportunities with their exciting Ballroom Cabaret style.
For the naysayers who think their style is too Cirque-influenced, note that portions of their piece were edited out in The Cut round — yes, those dance moments were not shown. But keep tabs on this dynamic duo because they were heavily influenced by their experience on World of Dance and their style is evolving even more because of the show.
Dance Dish chatted with Luka & Jenalyn at the World of Dance Tour finals last month where they talked about the summer that changed their lives.
“It’s crazy. We haven’t been able to process it all [the World of Dance hype] because it happened so fast,” says Luka. “There’s always a new thing to work on each week.”
Luka & Jenalyn talked about how unique each round was and how each week presented its challenges.
“When we made The Cut, it was amazing to see how crazy talented everyone was and how every aspect of every routine had to be perfect to have a chance in this competition,” explains Luka. “Every element had to be 100% or it wasn’t good enough.”
Even when it was perfect, viewers watched incredible crews, like The Lab, get sent home because the judges had a different vision in mind for the Junior division.
“I was a huge fan of The Lab. They did what they needed to do [to advance to the next round],” says Luka.
“Everyone from The Lab brought their A-game. They dance like beasts. They are like monsters, they command the stage,” agrees Jenalyn.
Jenalyn also described what it was like being the youngest competitor in the Upper Division. At 16 years of age, she held her own, but it wasn’t easy.
“It’s been pretty tough being the youngest one there. Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in because everyone is always older than me. I usually feel like that in the dance world that we are in,” Jenalyn says. “I had to do school for three hours every day during my time off, so I was the only in the back doing school work with my teacher. It was awkward.”
The benefits of being in the Upper Division certainly outweighed any drawbacks. They were competing with some of their dance idols.
“There were a lot of people who I looked up to. I’ve seen them all on YouTube and it’s great to be in their presence and compete against them,” she continues. “It’s an honor and a humbling experience.”
To compete against the best in the world, Luka and Jenalyn had to pull out some of their hardest — and untested — tricks for their routines. But pushing the limits of their abilities also has a few caveats.
“Anytime we go out on stage, there’s a risk of injury, there’s a risk for catastrophes to happen,” Luka explains. “We know how to prepare for that. We know lifts and tricks and we know how many times to do it to be ready.”
Luka & Jenalyn are now getting ready for the World of Dance Tour this month in cities across the U.S. After that, they are taking advantage of the opportunities coming their way, so there’s no summer vacation in sight.
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