Jonathan Jenvrin Bares All!
Born in Lyon, Jonathan moved to Paris at the young age of just 13 years old to star in the musical “Le Roi Soleil” and put in some hard work in a dance school. All his hard work and sacrifice paid off as he booked his first tour when he was 16 and, soon after, his career took off. Just before he traveled to Seoul for his next adventure, to star in a production of Romeo and Juliet, we took the time to find out how he made it as a dancer and what it takes to remain successful in the industry. It hasn’t been easy but Jonathan has forged his career, danced for some of music’s biggest stars and remains as hard-working and down to earth as he was when it all started.
Craig Andrew James: So was it difficult starting at such a young age or has that helped you develop as a dancer?
Jonathan Jenvrin: I was so young. So I grew up in the industry. I guess it’s less difficult than arriving late in the industry and trying to make your place.
CAJ: And how was it when you were working in Paris at just 13 years old? Talk a little about that.
JJ: It was crazy. It’s like the dream come true before you even dreamed of it. But it was cool. I was with good people who took good care of me. Just the distance with family was hard so young. When you live alone and have to make your food, clean your flat, do your homework, go to school in the morning and go to dance school in the afternoon. I was quite busy.
CAJ: So it’s fair you have worked hard to get where you are. You also work hard on your body. does dancing help to keep you fit or is working out a big part of your life?
JJ: I was really skinny before. I was dancing more in musicals and I danced at the opera and I danced for companies. When I decided to do commercial [dancing] I had no choice but to go to the gym and build a new body.
CAJ: When you work out what do you like to do to get in shape?
JJ: I don’t really like to go to the gym but I have to because it’s part of the job. I work the top body only. Chest. Arms. Back. Shoulders. Commercial physique is important and that’s why I changed my body. I’m now comfortable showing my body. I’ve been working hard for that.
CAJ: Talking of physique, when was the last time you had to show off your body?
JJ: (Laughing) Almost every job I do.
CAJ: So let’s talk about your work. Are there any highlights that stand out?
JJ: Yeah. When I danced on a big stadium with Kylie Minogue. When I danced at the O2 arena with Rihanna. When I did Jessie J’s domino promo and all the X Factor that I did all around the world. Places like France, UK, Israel and Libyan. When I did a two-year tour with Shy’m. There are many things and all so different.
CAJ: So is it nerve-wrecking working with some big stars or is it more exciting?
JJ: No it’s exciting. So many dancers dream to dance with such icons. So you have to take the moment and enjoy it.
CAJ: What was it like working with Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue?
JJ: She is the nicest. You rehearse with them. Share the stage and travel. It’s nice.
CAJ: What’s next in your career? Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
For now I’m going to South Korea; for a big show. We perform there for 6 weeks. And in five years…. I don’t know. I trust life and it’s opportunities.
CAJ: With such a busy work schedule and travelling all the time do you still find time for love?
JJ: [It’s a] fragile subject. I had one big love story; distance relationship.
CAJ: What do you look for in a partner and relationship?
JJ: Respect and understanding. I hate competition in a relationship, I have enough in my work. Someone who’s not scared of what I do and that trusts me. Thats all.
CAJ: When you’re not dancing what do you like to do? Is there anything surprising your into?
JJ: (Laughing) I love sharing time with friends and family. I am really into human but dance, gym and friends take a massive part of my life.
CAJ: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to make it as a dancer in the industry today?
JJ: There are many young dancers asking me for some advice. The best way to succeed is to train hard, have a strong base. After that, everyone is different and everyone has his opportunity so take it when it comes. And don’t try to look like anyone, just be you. I never try to copy anyone or dance like anyone. You take class, you feed your dance with what you see but at the end I still dance like ME.
CAJ: And before you go you must have some good tour stories right?
JJ: One day we arrived on a tour bus in a city with the face of the singer on the bus and people were throwing cans and little rocks at it. It’s that kind of moment where you realise all city’s in France are really different from Paris.
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