“It’s like a dream come true and, like, the perfect job for me. In a sense, we created literally the perfect show for me to be a part of,” Lopez said Monday at a NBC press event in Beverly Hills., California, speaking on a panel with her fellow judges Derek Hough and Ne-Yo, host Jenna Dewan Tatum and executive producers Matilda Zoltowski, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and Benny Medina.
Lopez, who started as a dancer and first broke through as a Fly Girl on “In Living Color,” is a judge and executive producer on the reality show, and was integral in the development of the series. At the press event, she explained that “World of Dance” — which will feature solo artists, duos and teams of all ages in all genres — allows her to give back to the dance community.
“I ate one slice of pizza each day — no breakfast, no lunch. I would eat it at 6 p.m. so it would hold me over until the next day. That’s how I lived, once I moved out of my mom’s house, and I did that for a couple of years before I got my first big job, and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Lopez said, reminiscing on her early days, struggling, but loving life as a young dancer.
“I love dance such at a core level and I always consider myself a dancer first because I became a singer and an actress after. That was my first form of artistic expression. It’s so part of who I am,” Lopez continued, adding that the show “reminded me of all the reasons why I love dance and why I wanted to do this in the first place.”
The judges’ chemistry:
“Having done [these shows], I know that is key that you have judges knowledgeable on what they’re judging on and they have a lot to offer and they have their own personalities but also a chemistry with one another…we definitely have that,” Lopez said. “We were lucky. I was so fortunate in the projects I’ve been doing over the past years, and to pull together my dream team…these were three first choices. It was like, ‘Can we get Ne-Yo? Can we get Derek Hough? Can we get Jenna Dewan Tatum?’ “
However, you can also expect some tension between the judges. “There are definitely disagreements…that’s also what makes it interesting,” Hough said. “There were little mini battles happening.”
The show is authentic:
The entire cast is made up of born-and-bred dancers.
“We’re all dancers. We’ve all been in this business as dancers. So we have that authenticity and that voice,” said Dewan Tatum, who serves as host and mentor on “World of Dance” and broke onto the scene in the dance film “Step Up.” As for mentoring the competitors, she said, “We want to be part of that elevation for them. It just felt very authentic.”
The show is emotional:
“I guarantee within the first half hour of the show, you’re going to laugh and cry and you’re going to dance,” Lopez said on the panel.
There is a cash prize of $1 million dollars:
The highest prize of any other major reality competition show, the “World of Dance” winner will receive $1 million.
“You don’t get into dance because you’re going to be famous or rich. You do it because you love to dance,” Lopez said, to which Ne-Yo added, “We don’t have that multi-million cushion that basketball players have.”
Hough chimed in, “You can be the top dancer in the world and go on tour worldwide for a decade and never reach a million dollars, so this is life-changing.”
The world is ready for more dancing:
“World of Dance” follows in the footsteps of broadcast competitions like ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” — the former on which Hough has been a longtime dancer.
The panel said after a decade of those dance shows, audiences have an appetite for the genre. “Being a part of that movement over the past decade of dancing, I feel like America has been sort of elevated and now this is the never level of a dance show,” Hough said.
Executive producer Benny Medina added, “We are essentially going to do to dance what ‘The Voice’ has done to singing.”